SAVE THE LIBRARY
because it prolly HAD info about what happened to Atlantis. :|
Pfft, save the library, of course. Atlantis isn’t real.
Our current popular definition of Atlantis isn’t, but I am pretty sure there was a thriving cultural center that was wiped out by a huge environmental catastrophe that was just completely unimaginable to the people back in that era, and they left at least some lore stating it as best as possible through the knowledge available at that time. I just think that redefining it over and over and over through the lenses of successive cultures and authors through the centuries has turned it from an actual location (that very likely wasn’t even called ‘Atlantis’) into this huge overrated fantasy myth. The Myth is just that, and it’s fake as all get out. I want to know about the real thing buried under all of it.
Your point is quite valid. In fact, many Anthropologists theorize that the myth of Atlantis was based upon the destruction of the Minoan civilization in the 16th or 17th centuries (BC) as a result of the Thera eruption which blew apart the island of Santorini and would have caused massive tidal waves and blackened the sky for weeks.
A similar theory links the myth of the Great Flood to recurring floods in the Black Sea, and there is much contention among Biblical Scholars as to the location of such ancient sites as Babel; locating these sites was a huge force in Middle Eastern Anthropology for much of the 20th century.
Obviously, knowing for certain what happened to Atlantis would be far preferable to theorizing, but the adventure and study of ancient civilizations has its own reward. Waving a wand and “knowing” for certain would leave us without the advances in science and technology that lent credence to the Thera theory. And perhaps we would have missed the effect the eruption had across cultures; how the explosion changed not only Minoan civilization but that of Egypt and the budding Phoneticians.
I think one of the reasons I personally am partial to saving Alexandria is because of the things that Anthropology cannot help us discern; the daily lives and characters of the people who lived in ancient times. What were their stories? Who did they dream of? What were their gods like? Archaeology can only give us hints of these things - the location of pots and pans, ruins of temples and alters, graffiti on the backs of houses…
The layering of volcanic ash may give us an answer to the location of an ancient myth, but it cannot recreate the voices of the people who lived there.There is little I wouldn’t give to hear their stories and understand their world just a little bit better.
Sources:1, 2, 3 (There are far better discussions out there of this subject, but this is the quick sourcing I found.)