|14 August 2004
Ireland named as latest Atlantis
A Swedish academic who believes Ireland is the ancient land of Atlantis flew into Dublin amid a storm of controversy about his theories. Dr Ulf Erlingsson went on a three-day tour of the country to prove the Emerald Isle is actually linked with the utopian empire which was believed to have been destroyed by a flood-wave 12,000 years ago.
On a visit to the Boyne Valley's ancient burial sites, some of the biggest and oldest in Europe, which he claims are remnants of the lost utopian civilisation, he said: "I expect to have my knockers. But we must assume that I am right until others can prove I am wrong. Just like Atlantis, Ireland is 300 miles long, 200 miles wide, and widest over the middle."
Plato's Atlan-tis had a central plain surrounded by mountains. I've looked at geographical data and of the 50 largest islands there is only one that has a plain in the middle - Ireland," Dr Erlingsson said, adding that he believes the idea that Atlantis sank came from the fate of Dogger Bank, an isolated shoal in the North Sea, which was sunk by a huge flood wave around 6100BC.
Atlantis has been "located" at thousands of different sites, including under the Sahara desert, near the Azores islands, in the Aegean, at the bottom of the Atlantic, and, two months ago, in southern Spain. Some think it was located only in Plato's imagination.
Mark Hennessy, a geo-grapher from Trinity College Dublin, said the theory was "extremely far-fetched". Colin Breen, a lecturer in maritime archaeology at the University of Ulster, said: "We know what the seabed around Ireland looks like. If there was a lost city there, we would know about it." Ulf Strohmayer, the head of geography at University College Galway, described it as wishful thinking to satisfy longing for a past utopia.
Sources: BreakingNews.ie (11 August 2004), The Guardian (14 August 2004)
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