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Medieval map may have revealed the lost city of Atlantis

Published Aug 27th, 2022 9:01AM EDT
3D illustration based on the legend of the lost city of Atlantis
Image: fergregory / Adobe

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Historians have long hoped to find a map to Atlantis, a mythical city believed to have been lost to the sea thousands of years ago. Now, a new study could prove that an Atlantis existed, though it might not have been as mystical as some had previously thought.

To truly understand the significance of this finding, we have to travel back to the ancient days of Wales. For centuries, rumors of an ancient kingdom known only as Cantre’r Gwaelod have circulated. This kingdom, many say, was lost long ago to the waves of the Cardigan Bay. From there, it became the basis for a “Welsh Atlantis.” And now, this map could point us directly to it.

Study suggests ancient map can lead to Atlantis

ancient mapImage source: Dmitry Rukhlenko / Adobe

Of course, the reasoning behind the sinking of Cantre’r Gwaelod into the Cardigan Bay can vary, depending on who is telling the story. Some say that a drunken gatekeeper didn’t pay close enough attention to the dykes, leading the area to overflow and cover the kingdom with water. Others say a maiden forgot to stop a well from overflowing the kingdom.

No matter what reasoning you believe, the possibility of a map to Atlantis existing is very tantalizing. A group of researchers published a study in Atlantic Geoscience. In the study, they discuss their findings, which include the presence of two islands on a medieval map of Cardigan Bay. These islands, they believe, are the lost kingdom of Cantre’r Gwaelod.

The map that could lead to Atlantis is the Gough Map, and it’s thought to date back to the 13th or 14th century. If the dating is correct, it’s the oldest surviving map of the British Isles. The two islands found on them ap are located just offshore. However, the researchers say estimating their size is difficult because of the map’s age and wear from time.

It’s also likely that coastal erosion has led to many changes along Wales’ coastline. That’s because this map also appears to depict the coast of Wales being around eight miles further into the sea than it currently is. So, it’s also possible that erosion could have helped bury the Welsh Atlantis as seen on the map, too.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to say whether the lost kingdom of Cantre’r Gwaelod is actually Atlantis. Or if this map even points to Atlantis. But, the study does provide some interesting possibilities, and it could put us one step closer to proving or disproving such a mythical city even exists.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.