The notion that Malta could be Atlantis has cropped up at different instances within national media for years, but could there be any truth in it? And did Atlantis even really exist? Well, let's evaluate...
Although almost everyone has heard about Atlantis, most historians and archaeologists dismiss it as legend. Yet Plato has never so vividly described anything as much as this place, nor has he ever said anything that was untrue in any of his writings. Why this was to be an exception is quite strange.
Plato describes Atlantis in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias. Over the years, several attempts have been made to discern the location of this amazing place that mysteriously disappeared ‘in a single day and night of misfortune’ which included earthquakes and floods.
So... is Malta Atlantis?
Malta keeps coming up as a contender, along with several other Mediterranean locations such as the Greek island of Santorini, the Azores Islands in the Atlantic and a rather convincing new contender: the Eye of Africa in the heart of the Sahara desert.
What evidence points to Malta being Atlantis?
1. It is in the Mediterranean
Although many assumed, due to the name, that Atlantis should be found in the Atlantic Ocean, several clues point to the Mediterranean. Plato described Atlantis as being ‘inside’ the Pillars of Hercules, or the Straits of Gibraltar, which once upon a time kept the Atlantic Ocean from flooding the Mediterranean Basin. The crumbling of the mountains that connected Africa to Europe and resulting flood would also fit Plato’s descriptions of how Atlantis disappeared.
2. Malta was once much bigger
The same flood caused the Maltese Islands. Al Nika, an independent Greek researcher, urges investigation of a possible archaeological site identified off the coast of Malta known as Gebel gol-Bahar. He suggests that the ruins of Atlantis lie in this location on the sea bed, and has dedicated an entire website to offering evidence that Malta could actually be Atlantis.
3. Malta has the world’s oldest buildings
Indeed, Malta has the oldest free-standing manmade structures in the world. There are a staggering 35 Megalitic Temples within an area of just 316 km². Older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge, extraordinary in their construction and precise in their astrological alignment, these structures could indicate that an advanced ancient civilisation once inhabited the area. We call them ‘temples’ but virtually nothing is actually known about what these buildings were, why they were built and who built them.
4. The interest is really great
There is enough in Malta that fits the clues in Plato’s description to have captured the interest of many a researcher, some becoming quite convinced. Maltese architect Giorgio Grognet had already proposed the idea that the Maltese Islands are the remnants of Atlantis 1854. Francis Galea further published the book Malta fdal Atlantis (Maltese remains of Atlantis) in 2002 and Francis Xavier Alojsio a trilogy supporting the notion that Malta really is Atlantis.
5. It’s already in the name
Some believe that the most fundamental evidence that Atlantis is Malta is hidden right before our eyes. Malta is ‘Atlas’ spelt backwards, which makes some sense when we consider that Early Greek was written right-to-left, just like Phoenician. Interestingly, the Letter S or Sigma in Greek is written much like an M!
While other contenders, such as the Eye of Africa, also propose some very good reasons for being the location of the ancient Atlantis, the ones pointing at Malta cannot be denied. What do you think? Could Malta hold the remains of Plato’s ancient advanced civilisation of Atlantis?