A - for once - reputable team of scientists believes it may have found the fabled lost city of Atlantis, saying it appears to have been destroyed by a tsunami.
While other, earler references to the city exist, it was most famously described by Plato: "In front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, 'the pillars of Hercules,' there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travelers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean," he says.
And the team from the University of Hartford says it has indeed found something at a site which could be descibed as lying beyond the Pillars of Hercules - generally accepted to refer to the Straits of Gibraltar. But it's not out in the Atlantic, where most people have tended to look, but in a marshland, the Doña Ana Park, near Cadiz.
For two years, the team surveyed the area using electrical resistivity tomography, deep-ground radar and digital mapping, uncovering evidence of a city which, like Plato's, was designed to a circular format and which dates back 4,000 years.
Findings include what appears to be a communal oven, a network of canals and statuary that looks very different from other European Bronze-age artifacts.
But even stroger evidence, says the team, was the discovery of a series of 'memorial cities' 150 miles further inland, and mimicking the circular shape of Atlantis itself. These would have been built by survicors of the tsunami, says lead researcher Richard Freund.
"We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archeology, that makes a lot more sense," Freund told Reuter.
The team is planning further excavations both at the site they believe to be Atlantis itself and at the 'memorial cities'.