The mythical lost city of Atlantis has had a hold on the human imagination since Plato first mentioned the city in the 4th-century Timaeus and Critias dialogues. In those texts, Plato described the nation as a series of concentric ring islands which possessed incredible technologies and a vast wealth of natural resources. According to Plato’s tale, Atlantis fell out of favor with the gods after attacking Athens and was banished beneath the waves. In the centuries that followed Plato’s ancient tale, different legends and theories about the supposed lost civilization have risen and fallen, sometimes accompanied by circumstantial evidence in the form of shipwrecks or mysterious ancient maps.
Now, deep-sea treasure seeker and Titanic director James Cameron has completed an expedition to search for the long-lost, perhaps mythical civilization and has claimed to have possibly found evidence of Atlantis’ existence. Cameron was filming a new documentary series called Atlantis Rising using much of the same deep-sea exploration equipment used in his previous dives to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
According to the legendary director, this expedition and the subsequent documentary are an attempt to bridge the worlds of mythology and archaeology:
We set out to investigate the most interesting theories that argue that there is some kind of history behind the myth of Atlantis.
On one of their dives, Cameron’s team found a set of six anchors far from the usual Atlantis-hunting waters of the Mediterranean. The anchors were found just outside the Strait of Gibraltar on the Atlantic Ocean side of the strait.
Filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici accompanied Cameron on the expedition and claims the discovery of these anchors was a complete surprise to the team:
These anchors could be 3,500 to 4,000 years old and establish a harbor in the Atlantic, where I didn't even dare dream to find anchors. It's easier to find a needle in a haystack than Bronze Age anchors in the Atlantic.
Cameron and his team of interdisciplinary researchers put together maps by poring over Plato’s writings about Atlantis. Whether or not these anchors truly provide evidence of the lost civilization is yet to be seen.