THE FLOOD FROM HEAVEN: Deciphering the Atlantis Legend by Eberhard Zangger

THE FLOOD FROM HEAVEN: Deciphering the Atlantis Legend

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Plato's myth of Atlantis--a lost continent, according to the Timaeus, that was destroyed by a cataclysmic flood over 11,000 years ago--has bedeviled archaeologists, historians, and occultists for millennia. Is Atlantis fact or fiction? If fact, where was it located? Zangger, a prominent geoarchaeologist, offers a novel and witty solution to the mystery. Researchers have place Atlantis everywhere from Malta to Greenland to outer space. Zangger, who has no truck with his subject's occult reputation, proposes a rather more mundane answer: That Plato's account of Atlantis is actually a ""coded"" history of the Trojan War, Atlantis itself being Troy at its peak, circa 1300 B.C. Zangger makes his case with sterling scholarship, first reviewing ancient Greek history and then offering a point-by-point analysis of Plato's accounts in light of modern archaeological knowledge. To reconstruct Bronze Age Troy, Zangger leans heavily on Homer's account in the Odyssey, perhaps a risky venture. More persuasive, if also more boring, are his attempts to chart the Trojan landscape, both citadel and plain, by using Landsat satellite images, 19th-century maps, and his own observations. Zangger's wit triumphs at the end, as he examines and rejects eight ""counterarguments and shortcomings"" to his thesis and spurns convention in favor of inspiration, inhibition in favor of fun. Zangger's ""solution,"" no doubt, will take its place as just one more entry in the colorful history of the Sunken Continent. But don't let his thesis get lost in the shuffle: In the barren land of serious Atlantean studies, it's like manna from heaven.

Pub Date: Aug. 20th, 1992
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Morrow