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Archeologists May Have Discovered Tsunami Swamped Atlantis

 NORTHAMPTON, Massachusetts (Reuters) ~ A US-led research team may have uncovered evidence of the legendary metropolis of Atlantis, an ancient city which some believed was wiped out by a tsunami, in the mud flats of southern Spain.

"It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that's pretty much what we're talking about," said Richard Freund, University of Hartford professor who lead an international team searching for the true site of Atlantis. To solve the age-old mystery, the team scanned satellite photos from an area north of Cadiz. There, in the region known as the Dona Ana Park marshlands, they think they've uncovered the ringed civilization. The team of archeologists and geologists in 2009 and 2010 used a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology to survey the site.

Freund's additional discovery of a series of "memorial cities" in central Spain, built with similar Atlantean design by the tsunami survivors, gave researchers added proof and confidence; they claim this shows those who didn't perish moved inland to rebuild. While it's difficult to prove the uncovered ruins are the Lost City, Freund says the addition find of the memorial cities gives him confidence that Atlantis was buried in the mud flats. The team's findings will be unveiled in "Finding Atlantis," a new National Geographic Channel special.

Some 2,600 years ago, Greek philosipher Plato described Atlantis as "an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Hercules," as the Straits of Gibraltar were known in antiquity. Using Plato's detailed account of Atlantis as a map, searches have focused on the Mediterranean and Atlantic as the best possible sites for the city. Tsunamis in the region have been documented for centuries, Freund says. One of the largest was a reported 10-story tidal wave that slammed Lisbon in November, 1755.

The debate of Atlantis' existence has been waged for millenia; Plato's writings from around 360 B.C. are the only known historical sources of information about the iconic city. Plato said the island he called Atlantis "in a single day and night... disappeared into the depths of the sea." Further excavations are planned at both sites to more closely study geological formations and to date artifacts.

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