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Atlantis, the Lost Land

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Some Comments on Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev's paper "Atlantis: New Hypothesis"

Mirror of 'Prof_ Grosswald About Koudriavtsev's Hypothesis.htm'

originally published on in 1997 all rights reserved


Some Comments
on the third version of Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev's paper "Atlantis: New Hypothesis"

(Translated from Russian by Elena Koudriavtseva)

The paper makes a good impression on one, thanks to the author's profound study of the issue. He is familiar with texts which may be considered original sources, as well as with all the existing versions of their interpretation; his judgements and his reasoning seem to be sound and sufficiently logical.

Speaking of the paleogeographic aspects of the hypothesis, I have the following to say.

The conclusion proposed in the paper was completely unexpected to me. I have read something on the issue, but no one seems to have looked for Atlantis on the Celtic Shelf. But on second thoughts, this conclusion makes sense. Listed below are the reasons why I think so:

  • The areas of the European shelf to the south of Ireland, could actually have been land during the glaciation and late glaciation - until approximately 10 thousand years ago. Why "approximately"? Because we only know with a sufficient degree of reliability the modern depths over the shelf and the chronology of the changes of the ocean level for the past 18-20 thousand years. However, the position of the actual level of the land in relation to the sea level in this specific region also depended on a third factor, which so far defies quantitative determination. This factor is the changes of the level of the earth crust surface due to the glacio-isostatic effects of the Scandinavian and the British Isles ice sheets. Proceeding from theory it can only be stated that isostasy corroborated Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev's hypothesis: during glaciations it was bound to uplift the shelf...

  • Was the climate of the Celtic Shelf conducive to the life of people? Probably, it was, though it was far from hot. It was cool and wet, conducive for primitive farming; besides, in the proximity of the glaciers there could have been concentrations of big mammals and other animals.

  • How did the late-glacial and post-glacial changes of the sea level take place? They were far from fair and gradual. It is known now that the degradation of the ice sheets of North America, Iceland and the north-west of Eurasia did not proceed in a smooth manner, and the process can be depicted not by a fair curve, but by a stepwise graph, in which the vertical segments correspond to the stages of rapid discharge of ice into the ocean. Such discharges, at least the biggest ones, known as the "Heinrich events", were simultaneous all around the periphery of northern Atlantic, and in the course of these discharges millions of cubic kilometres of ice surged into the ocean, causing a leapwise rise of the sea level.

    One of such episodes of rapid discharge of ice into the ocean that I know of, took place about 10 thousand years ago. For low lands, including the area of the hypothetical Atlantis, this particular ice discharge (glacial surge) could have been fatal, causing a disastrous deluge.

  • Of course, there are things making the hypothesis less plausible. Maybe, there are quite a few such things, but I will point out one. "The Celtic land" was an ephemeral phenomenon, it had not existed before glaciation, it did not exist between glaciations, it existed not longer than several thousand years. Thus, the time span which nature allotted for the hypothetical Atlantean society and economy to develop was brief.

Professor Grosswald
D.Sc. (Geography)
Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Mirror of 'Prof_ Grosswald About Koudriavtsev's Hypothesis.htm'

originally published on in 1997 all rights reserved 

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