Ours is an increasingly fast society, in which trends, habits, and interests emerge and volatilize at the frenetic pace of consumerism and new communication technologies.
The voracity of the new times, however, it has not prevented the survival of the fascination for certain fetishes of the collective ideology of Humanity, perhaps because of the many unresolved questions.
Is the case from the myth of Atlantis, the powerful and legendary civilization described by the philosopher Plato in his dialogues, and so often invoked and imagined in literature, film, television, music and video games.
The location of that fabulous and immemorial culture mentioned in Plato's texts, in that sense, has been the subject of many hypotheses, guesswork and research, further fueling the demand for answers.
It is precisely on one of these hypotheses that the work entitled ‘Tartessus vs Atlantis: a debate that transcends myth', From the PhD in Archeology from the Autonomous University of Madrid Esther Rodriguez Gonzalez.
In this essay, included in the annual number of the scientific journal Arqueoweb, the aforementioned archaeologist reviews the theories that connect the Platonic myth with the ancient Tartessian culture, inviting "to reflect on its scientific and historical basis" and "to place each concept in its context".
Esther Rodríguez, who has participated in various archaeological excavations of Tartessian enclaves, recalls in this regard the advances made in the scientific research undertaken on Tartessos.
And it is that, despite such advances, Tartessus "continues to be a culture halfway between history and myth", as the "strong tradition of the possible existence of a city or kingdom with a monarch capable of living 120 years prevails" , alluding to the legendary king Argantonio, and also weigh the theories about its supposed connection with the famous Atlantis.
Different "stories" from the beginning
In this sense, this archaeologist warns that, in principle, Atlantis and Tartesus "were not part of the same story" and, in fact, the Greco-Latin authors did not reflect "any relationship" between the mythical civilization of the Atlanteans and the Tartessian culture, whose vestiges dot the southwest of the peninsula.
To this end, Esther Rodríguez attributes the identification of Atlantis with Tartesus to the "coincidence" implicit in the "similarities" of their geographical descriptions and the "fundamental point in common" of the wealth attributed to both cultures.
Especially, the author of this work points out the crusade led by the German archaeologist and historian Adolf schulten during the first section of the 20th century, in search of Tartessus and the riches of its mythical and long-lived monarch.
And it is that according to Esther Rodríguez analyzes, Schulten's “intuition” led him to identify Atlantis and Tartesus “with the same reality”, given the “coincidences” in the descriptions about the location of both cultures beyond the columns of Hercules and in "a great plain open to the sea on one side and mountains on the other."
Faced with this, the author of this work warns that while "archeology is unable to confirm the existence of Atlantis", discoveries and scientific advances about the Tartessian civilization have endowed it with "a cultural reality that distances it from its most important city to bring it closer to historical materiality ”.
Such an extreme, in fact, is highlighted in deposits such as those of El Carambolo (Beds, Seville), Houses of Turruñuelo (Guareña, Badajoz), Asta Tables (Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz) or Cancho Roano (Zalamea la Real, Badajoz), to mention some of the Tartessian enclaves investigated by science.
In parallel, Esther Rodríguez points out the investigations carried out by Schulten in the natural area of Doñana in the search for Tartessus and how subsequent aerial and satellite photographs of its marshes and groves have been "the support of the hypotheses on the location of Tartessus and Atlantis" in said environment.
"Given the inability of the sources and archeology, the treatment of these images is the last resort to speculate on the location of both," Rodríguez warns.
Science is pronounced
So, this archaeologist wields the results of the Hinojos scientific project, promoted since 2005 to clarify whether the geometric shapes detected in Doñana through aerial photographs and satellite images corresponded or not to historical vestiges.
That lengthy investigation, as Esther Rodríguez well recalls, concluded for example that the remains of structures attributed in 2004 to Atlantis they finally corresponded to “constructions from the Andalusian period”.
As if that were not enough, said scientific study pointed out the "slow but continuous clogging of the Doñana marshes", because as a consequence of the "oceanic incursions" in said territory, the remains of "all human occupation" with more than 2,000 years of antiquity would be "buried due to levels of silt silt clogging, so it is quite difficult to detect deposits both on the surface and through aerial or satellite images ”, according to Esther Rodríguez, thanks to the aforementioned study.
And after a businessman from Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz) once again defended that some satellite photographs reflected the remains of old constructions in the subsoil of pine forests peripheral to Doñana, attributing them to Atlantis, Esther Rodríguez recalls that science has already "documented "That such an enclave" was the object of (human) occupation between the sixth and fourth centuries BC "and later during the Turdetan and Roman periods.
In addition, the archaeologist warns that the recent documentary ‘The resurgence of Atlantis'(2017), produced by the famous science fiction and action film director James Cameron, identifies the legendary civilization described by Plato with the Low Moroccan site (Jaén), starting from supposed "Evidence that lacks scientific contrast and that is not part of the same historical and chronological context."
After all this argumentation, Esther Rodríguez asserts that despite all the efforts made over decades and decades, archeology has not located "a single fragment" that corroborates the "physical existence" of Atlantis, While in the case of Tarteso "the progress of the investigations has allowed to draw a profile increasingly distant from the myth" and points to a culture resulting from the "hybridization" between natives and Phoenicians.
For this reason, this archaeologist specialized in the investigation of the Tartessian culture calls to "put an end" to the effort to connect Atlantis with Tartesus, "Turn the page" and "stop writing about the symbiosis" between the two.
"Until we stop justifying the non-existence of connections between Tartessus and Atlantis, neither will we strip the former of its mythological basis or accept that the latter is only a myth", sums up the author of this work, concluding that Atlantis "existed within the philosophy of Plato and that is where he must remain, without trying to go beyond the limit to reality ”.
Europa Press journalist, collaborator of "Sevillanos de Guardia" in Onda Cero Radio and collaborator writer in MRN Aljarafe.