Συνολικές προβολές σελίδας ΕΠΙΣΚΕΠΤΕΣ

Δευτέρα, 1 Μαρτίου 2010




Eliki, the lost Atlantis

Alexis Papadopoulos stated: "The whole issue reminded me of the legend of the lost Atlantis but the fact that 19 people before me had periodically attempted to find Eliki led me to believe that Eliki was submerged but not lost. Therefore for me as an under water explorer, -because that's what I am and not an archeologist-, I had trained myself to observe the seabed and notice any morphological changes. That was my only weapon. The all story started in 1972, when I read on a magazine the legend of Eliki. There was also a picture with the only evidence of the ancient city existence. The coin with Poseidon's head. After seeing the picture of the coin on a magazine (photo 1 STAATLICHES MUSEUM, BERLIN), I had been studying whatever had been written about ancient Eliki. The evidence indicated that apart from the powerful earthquake, which leveled the city, the Tsunami wave, which followed, completed the job. I was not expecting to discover a Hollywood style scene of an intact city complete with temples untouched with their marble columns and decorations or houses as they were over two thousand years ago. What I was expecting to come across was the remains of a city after a powerful earthquake. My eyes scanned the seabed looking for some geometric shapes, a straight line or other evidence eroded with the passage of time. The beginning of the discovery occurred in the beginning of September 1979. By 1982 I had completed the documentary. I am the only one to have amassed the evidence, which proves the existence of Eliki".

In 1979 after 7 years of research and 300 hours of diving, the Greek diver Alexis Papadopoulos records traces of Ancient Eliki with his underwater camera. With the collected evidence a 10-minute documentary is made. He personally publishes an announcement in a Greek newspaper on the 28th March 1982, which tours the world.
The Greek Ministry of Culture says to him: "If this is true, we cannot say that a common man has made such a discovery. This is job only for the archeologists". My father is not an archeologist but he is not also a common fisherman. So Alexis insisted and asked only for credit for his discovery.
One American archeologist gave him a lot of courage. Mr. Michael Katzev (ship of Kiryneia) when he saw the 10' film congratulated Alexis and repeated to him the words of Spyros Marinatos "only the declaration of a third world war could overshadow the prospects of the discovery of Eliki".

Alexis Papadopoulos continues: I followed the written texts of the historian Pausanias who gives a most detailed account of the disappearance of Eliki. He describes the devastating earthquake, which was followed by a Tsunami wave, swallowing the entire city with the sea covering its remains. Ruins of the ancient city were still visible under the sea during his time and 5 centuries after the earthquake (Pausanias "Achaika"). In his writings "Achaika" he pinpoints Eliki, stating: "as someone proceeds further he comes across the river Selinounda and there, 40 stades (Greek ancient unit of linear measurement, nearly 7 nautical miles) from Aegeion on the sea is the region of Eliki".

My love for what I was doing, my stubbornness and possibly my Goddess of good fortune led me to a stone (photo 2). A chiseled stone. It was the first indication that I was close to my goal.

The seabed was unusual, hollow. One vertical surface about 2 meters high had form and harmony (photo 3).

I sensed that it was formed by human hand. Cleaning it with my knife, I noticed even distances in the seams (photo 4). It was part of a wall made of large chiseled rectangular stones without mortar in the seams.
With my camera I recorded part of walls, fallen roofs, streets, roof tiles.
In the area around there were scattered tiles of Corinthian style as established later by the archeologists (photo 5,6).
The ruins of walls exclude the possibility to face a shipwreck which carried ceramics. The ruins of walls with the ceramics seal the traces of the lost city (photo 7,8).

The city's patron Poseidon had been worshiped since Homeric times. There was a temple dedicated to the Elikoneos Poseidon. It is mentioned (Pausanias "Achaika") that there was a statue of supernatural proportions, dedicated to the God of the Sea, Poseidon. Moreover, the reports from the historian Stravonas (Stravon VIII 384a) who was based on Eratosthenis who visited the area one century later after the disaster, states that in the sea there was the statue of Poseidon on which fishermen often fouled their nets. The nets of fishermen could not be fouled in the land. I cannot convey the intensity of the emotions I felt when I touched a gray mass on the seabed.
It was a large base 7m x 7m and 4m high with a smaller base 5m x 5m and 0,80m high mounted on top. The dimensions of such a big base verify that this base must have accepted a very big statue. It is well known that from ancient years the statues stood on a base. I do not believe that somebody must be an archaeologist in order to understand this. I am convinced that it is the stand of Elikonios Poseidon. The throne of the God of the sea was still there after 2.500 years".

One of the most notable objectives in the field of underwater archaeology is the location and the excavation of Eliki, the ancient Achaean City. Located east of Aegeion it sunk along with its habitants into the Corinthian Gulf after the terrible earthquake in the winter of 373/372 BC. The discovery of a town along with its edifices, temples and sculptures will be an extremely significant event since the destruction occurred during the classical period. Thus its finding would contribute a great deal to our knowledge of classical architecture, town planning, art, etc. Many efforts have been made to locate the ancient town, however its exact position has not yet been determined and the opinions of scientists diverge as to whether or not Eliki presently lies on the sea bottom or on the shore.

Discovering a sunken town
In the Corinthian Gulf and in the area of Aegeion the diver-explorer ALEXIS PAPADOPOULOS has discovered a sunken town. It lies at a depth of 25m-45m with exhibits walls, fallen roofs, discarded roof tiles, streets, etc. Whether or not this town can be identified with Eliki is a question to be answered by extensive underwater research. In any case, the discovery of this town can be regarded as an extremely interesting find.

1. Frenchman Fr. Pouqueville , ( Voyage de la Grèce ) 1826
2. German Herneste Kurtios , 1851
3. German Julius Schmidt, 1879 (Smit was the director of the Athens observatory and issued a study comparing the Aegeion earthquakewhich occurred 26th December 1861 with the earthquake whichdestroyed Eliki. In 1861 large faults developed on land and the seasurged after the earthquake inundating the planes between Temeniand Diakofto).
4. Greek Spiros Panagiotopoulos, 1883
5. Greek P.K.Ksinopoulos, 1912
6. German Paul Velters, 1912
7. Frenchman Montessi De Bailor, 1924
8. Englishman Stanley Kasson, 1939
9. Italian G.Caro, 1948
10. Frenchman Rovertus De Mangel , 1950
11. German Alfred Filippson, 1950
12. Greek Spiros Dontas , 1952
13. Greek Aristos Stauropoulos, 1954
14. Greek N.P.Moutsopoulos, 1956
15. Greek Spiros Marinatos, 1960 (The renowned archaeologist had stressedthe importance of the discovery of Eliki stating that only the declarationof a third world war could overshadow the prospects of the discovery of Eliki. If Eliki is discovered everything will belong to the classical period.When Eliki sunk Platon was still living and teaching. At the same timeSkopas and Praxitelis were creating masterpieces).
16. Greek George Georgalas , 1962
17. Greek Nikos Papahatzis , 1967
18. American Harold Edgerton, 1967 (Worked with the American researcherPeter Throckmorton who was convinced that Eliki lay on the seabed ofthe Gulf of Corinth. Edgerton perfected the sonar for the needs of thisresearch. Permission was not granted for the research to continue andall efforts were curtailed).
19. Frenchman Jacque Yv Cousteau , 1967 and 1976
20. In 1979 , discovered by ALEXIS PAPADOPOULOS