Atlantis, The Center Of The World And...Sardinia! 0 Comments
I love Sardinia. And it’s not only due to the famous imposing Sardinian rocks, and it’s not only due to the Mediterranean scrub nor due to the enchanting emerald-like colour of the sea. It’s the Mistral’s dry air dehydrating my lips that reminds me of the windy plateau of the land where I was born. It’s the bare earth, stony, dusty, where the first drop of rain forms a ring and a puff of dust as if falling on water, releasing a fragrant smell of wet soil, petrichor. It’s the dry stonewall bordering the land properties containing a vague scent of moss. It’s the eucalyptus tree which, heated by the August sun, radiates its balsamic fragrance. It’s the odour of prickly pears in lush ripening. It’s the smell of saltiness when the warm breath of the Sirocco wind blows it in my face. Ultimately, is the sour stench that floats in the air when goats are passing by, a mixture between the feral smell of their skin and one of their round excrements...
But when I found myself browsing through "Omphalos, the First Center of the World" by Sergio Frau, 1154 pages with beautiful explanatory illustrations, I felt projected "from the mythos to the logos", “from the village of the not quite to the world of the accuracy", in short, from legends to science, into a wonderful world. Plato tells us that going towards the north from the Pillars of Hercules, where ships were risking of running aground, there was the Great Sea, and northern of that sea was Atlantis, an island blessed with all gifts: clear waters (sacred wells?) precious metals, luxuriant vegetation.
Frau states that if we move the columns of Hercules from the Strait of Gibraltar, where the sea is very deep, to the two islands between Sicily and Tunisia of Malta and Gozo (Għawdex), where the sea is less deep and ships are more easily running aground, in the northern sea... there is Sardinia!
Sardinia, famous in the ancient world, rich in metals and rare stones, known throughout the Mediterranean by the power of its ships, and the hardness of the Shardana, Warriors Of Sardinia, mentioned in the Egyptian texts as mercenaries and pirates, the same texts where Egyptians listed the Sardinians together with the men of the sea. And indeed to the thousands of towers along the coasts, as well as in the heartland the island, have often been attributed the defence functions of a prosperous and well-structured society.
But... Atlantis was at the centre of the world ... then Frau takes a ruler and measures, on the 40th parallel north, the distance between the western coast of the United States and the coasts of Japan and discovers that Sardinia is at the centre of the world, being 11,350 Km from the coasts of Japan and 11,359 Km from the coast of America! Yes, Sardinia could have been Atlantis!
But... Atlantis had been sunk "in a single day and night of disgrace" by Poseidon, the god of the sea ...
It is always Frau who hypothesizes that Nuragic Sardinia may have been submerged by a huge Tsunami, s'Unda Manna, which buried many coastal settlements in Sardinia, pushing the population inland, on the mountains, thus giving rise to a Sardinia that replaced the warriors and navigators with the shepherds and farmers. As proof of what Frau says, there are dozens of archaeological sites that, like the magnificent 'Su Nuraxi', Nuragic Village of Barumini, have been found buried under hills of muddy origin.
So, this fantastic hypothesis, shared by experts and at the same time debated by others, lets us dream on Atlantis, described by Plato, to precisely be Ichnusa, Sardinia, our marvellous Italian island.
[…] for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, 'the pillars of Heracles,' there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travellers 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. […] But afterwards, there occurred violent earthquakes and floods, and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island” (Plato, Timaeus)
Written by Daniela Toti