Dreamed of by philosophers, sought after by mad men, and written about by poets for centuries, the legend of the lost civilization of Atlantis refuses to go away.
Which is just as well, because it appears the island that fell out of favor with the gods has been found in the sea just off the coast of Wales.
Well not quite, but something remarkably similar to Plato’s lost land has.
Yahoo! News reported that sunken traces of a 5,000 year old human settlement has at long last emerged from its watery grave.
Since the early 20th century, remains of a forest has been visible at high and low tide off the coast of Borth.
However, the recent spate of storms in the UK has stripped this stretch of beach of its sand and revealed intriguing clues about the people who once called this “drowned world” home.
The remains of camp fires and wooden walkways have been discovered, which scientists investigating the dig have said were swamped 5,000 years ago by a sudden rise in sea levels.
Dr. Martin Bates of the University of Wales explained:
“Over the past year, floods cleared off very large areas of sand from the beach. It has opened our eyes to what’s really out there.
“We found the remains of burnt stone pebbles on the beach. Five thousand years ago, heating up water in containers was quite difficult, so humans would heat up stones instead and drop them into water. It’s clear evidence that there were humans down there.”
Now in a manic rush to carry out a thorough investigation of the new “Atlantis” before the sea reclaims it, Dr. Bates and his team are leaving no stone, or tree unturned.
Dr. Bates said:
“We’re now seeing the remains of a forest a metre to a metre and a half thick. It’s been known about and periodically exposed before, but it’s always been just the odd tree stump. We’ve now seen footprints, clear evidence of humans. Maybe they were bringing cattle or other animals through.”
The Welsh Atlantis has invoked many a local legend, such as the “sunken kingdom” of Cantre’r Gwaelod, written about in the poem Boddi Maes Gwyddno. The famous verse describes a drowned land whose bells can be heard from the shore.
Yet for Dr. Bates, this new Atlantis comes with an all too familiar warning:
“I’m not a climate scientist, but in hindsight we’ll probably see that it was caused by climate change.
“What we’re seeing now wouldn’t appear unless something was happening. We’re seeing these things because destruction is taking place — floods and coastal erosion. The downside is that people are losing their houses and their land — and we’ve got to be sensitive about that.”