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Civilization and Tsunamis

Written By: Charles Scaliger  |  Posted: Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

             It is a signal irony that, within days of the apocalyptic earthquake and tsunami that have brought Japan to her knees, archaeologists announced the possible discovery, after millenia of speculation, of the ruins of the legendary lost civilization of Atlantis, buried deep beneath the marshes of the Coto Doñana in southwestern Spain.

            Atlantis, originally referenced in Plato's dialogue Timotheus, was purportedly the original tsunami victim, a great civilization located on a now-sunken landmass to the west of the Pillars of Hercules (as the Strait of Gibraltar was known in antiquity) that perished overnight in a great earthquake and the wave that followed. The legendary Atlanteans learned what other civilizations since have learned, at fairly long intervals: that the awesome power of earthquakes  - especially the "megathrust" variety that spawned both the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and the Japanese cataclysm - and the tsunamis they beget sometimes redirect the entire course of history, leaving the ruins of an Old Order in their wake.

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