THE MYSTERY OF ATLANTIS
"In what way is the question about the existence of Atlantis best answered - as a continent in the Atlantic, a myth invented by Plato, or as the story of Minoan civilization?"
The probability that the lost city of Atlantis may have been Minoan Crete is the most persuasive explanation although it did not answer some remaining questions. Although Plato's literature may have consisted of some fact and some fiction, it presented many plausible details that relate Atlantis to Minoan civilization. Logical speculation that led Desmond Lee and Otto Muck to jump to extreme conclusions are avoided in Edward Bacon's reasonable deductions and definitive comparisons between Atlantis and Minoan Crete. Bacon also used archeological findings to support the resemblance between the two great civilizations. Supplementary evidence was necessary only to confirm the precise location of Atlantis.
Plato's literature, which consisted of the Timaeus and Critias, provided the basis for all theories about the existence of Atlantis yet seemed to support the possibility of Atlantis resembling Minoan Crete the most. Desmond Lee insisted that Plato wrote these two dialogues to "make a philosophical point," and that "Plato's account of Atlantis could be regarded as the first example of science fiction." This means that the information included in Plato's literature could not be taken as a literal truth about that time in history. Rather than denying the clues to the past provided by Plato, Edward Bacon logically linked the described Atlantis to "the Bronze Age civilizations of the Aegean and the Near East, such as the Minoans." This theory examined the known details of Minoan culture, and more realistically attempted to prove the existence of Atlantis. Otto Muck took Plato's dialogues for their literal meaning, believing that an overwhelming asteroid was not limited to the continent of Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean, but stimulated catastrophic destruction around the world. While some elements of Plato's works may have been fabled and other descriptions may have stood for their literal meaning, Edward Bacon presented the most realistic viewpoint by using available information to find a middle ground between whether Plato wrote absolute truth, or absolute fiction.
Plato's literature raised more questions than answers, making logical speculation an integral factor in solving the mystery of Atlantis. Lee and Bacon agreed on the speculation that Plato's dates could have been misinterpreted, such as wrongly substituting nine thousand for nine hundred years (which linked the destruction of Atlantis with the decline of the Minoans), but Lee concluded that "there are no other similarities between Atlantis and Minoan Crete." In contrast, Bacon argued that there are numerous similarities between Atlantis and Minoan Crete:
The land was intensively cultivated and produced two crops a year with the aid of hot and cold springsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Technologically, Atlantis was extremely advanced. The people had written laws. They possessed a knowledge of metalworking, including the use of gold, silver, and bronze. They had an exceptional grasp of the engineering and architecture involved in the construction of temples, walls, long canals, tunnels, and harbour works. The inhabitants worshipped a number of gods, of whom Poseidon was the chief, and they also practiced a bull-cult.
Atlantis's Royal City's dimensions also lined up with the central plain of Crete when divided by ten, which suggested that Atlantis had much in common with Minoan Crete, and could itself have been the lost city of Atlantis. Otto Muck took logical speculation to an extreme by attempting to prove the disappearance of Siberian mammoths, the abrupt change in climate, and the Bible's Great Deluge based on the asteroid that supposedly hit the vicinity of Atlantis before 4000 B.C. Given the almost perfect alignment of the possible destruction of Atlantis with the decline of Minoan civilization, Bacon's view seemed most acceptable and radical views with less evidence need not be seriously considered.
The semblance between Atlantis and Minoan civilization as suggested through literature and logical speculation was strengthened by evidence from archeological records. Otto Muck chose to ignore this criterion in favor of whimsical deductions such as "the magnitude of the destruction is why the memory of Atlantis was lost." Similarly, Lee avoided the issue at hand by saying, "it is difficult to assess events before and following the event." Clearly, both Muck and Lee attempted, at one point, to overlook the facts and obfuscate the issue. Bacon, however, referred to archeological evidence to further draw the correlation between Atlantis and Minoan Crete:
We have two curiously of which is similar accounts, one Plato's. The other, the sum of the discoveries of archaeologists and geophysicists, tells us that the great empire of Minoan Crete suffered a series of natural disasters -- fires, earthquakes, and floods -- in the late sixteenth century B.C., which brought about the end of the civilization, and that, around 1500 B.C., a fertile island some 100 km north of Crete blew up and caused widespread devastation throughout the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean.
When combined with the written account of Plato, the multiple similarities between Atlantis and Minoan Crete became highly reasonable. Until more research proved Atlantis distinct from Minoan civilization, and more evidence is found on the possibility for Atlantis to exist in the Atlantic Ocean, its resemblance to Minoan Crete presented the most convincing explanation for Atlantis' existence.
With Plato's literature, minimal logical speculation, and archeological evidence outlining a strong argument, Bacon's idea that Atlantis was the story of Minoan civilization offers the most consistent explanation about the existence of Atlantis. The Timaeus and Critias provided many details that were similar to both civilizations, such as their extensive know-how and preoccupation with the bull. Lee and Bacon attempted to take logical speculation to an extreme by proving too much (in Muck's case) or too little (in Lee's case), ignoring the historical evidence found in Plato's writing. These two civilizations are drawn even closer when archeological records indicate that natural disasters destroyed both societies at approximately the same time (1500 B.C.) Nevertheless, controversy remained about the whereabouts of ancient Atlantis, and arguments could have been made in favor of any alternative. This and other queries continued to keep the mystery of Atlantis unresolved.