Well-known and long-time Algarve resident Peter Daughtrey has, after many years of investigation, thrown the cat amongst the intellectual pigeons by suggesting in his debut book, Atlantis and the Silver City, that the lost city of Atlantis is nowhere near Santorini, Greece, but actually located at the site of the Algarve’s former capital city, Silves.
“For more than 2,000 years, people have been enthralled by the legend of Plato’s Lost City of Atlantis – but it was right under my nose all along” says Peter Daughtrey who has worked extensively in the publishing industry.
According to Peter, Plato was “undoubtedly a clever chap” but even he could not have guessed that, two millennia after he described the great civilisation of Atlantis vanishing beneath the waves, so many historians and archaeologists would still be enthusiastically searching for it in the 21st Century.
Plato explains that Atlantis (and its glittering capital) vanished 11,600 years ago – before the dawn of other civilisations.
“Plato gives us many pointers as to where Atlantis and the Lost City are located – clues which researchers and TV documentary makers are still analysing and interpreting in their quest for the mysterious and mesmerising Atlantis”, explains Peter Daughtrey.
In recent decades, some researchers suggested that volcanic Santorini (in Greece) was the location of Atlantis and its Lost City.
Many media debates and TV programmes about the ways in which the Santorini theory fits a few of Plato’s descriptions, left many people with the impression that Santorini was the home of Atlantis, he reasons.
However, Daughtrey says he has found a place that matches “all of Plato’s descriptions”.
In presenting his arguments to The Portugal News, he clearly believes the evidence contained in his book make an extremely plausible case that the Lost of City of Atlantis was actually on the site of the Algarve town of Silves – and, to the surprise of many, about nine kilometres inland.
He adds that actual remnants even exist of its famous encircling embankments, separated by canals of water.
Daughtrey describes the massive seismic shifts, tsunamis and other natural events that have shaped the landscape of the Algarve over the last 12,000 years.
He then goes on to argue how, 12,000 years ago, the area of southwest Iberia would have precisely matched 60 of Plato’s descriptions – whereas it is generally held that Santorini only matches a fraction or so of Plato’s clues.
Daughtrey supplies several arguments in favour of Silves, which he says lends additional credence to his theory.
“It is connected to the sea by a tidal waterway which is the exact distance specified; it is built on a small hill, itself on a small plain and the diametre of the hill is much as Plato indicated; it would have been only a couple of kilometres from the vast agricultural plain; red, black and white stone could all have been mined from this one small hill and used to build the city; remains of the surrounding earth embankments, each originally separated by a ring of seawater are in the correct positions and are the correct sizes. It all represents a unique geological and geographical template.”
However, he does question whether Plato was reporting accurate facts or whether he made up the story to achieve other ends.
Daughtrey thinks there is enough evidence to suggest Plato was certainly reporting a kernel of truth about a great lost civilisation but did embellish his accounts in places.
The very fact that it has now been proved that Plato was talking about an exact area that once existed and had largely disappeared long before his era, is strong proof in itself, he says.
Evidence is also presented in the book to support Plato’s date of around 9,600 BC as being credible for the disappearance of Atlantis.
Daughtrey hopes the book will inspire exploration, particularly on the seabed as only then will we really know just how accurate Plato’s facts were. Apart from the ruins he knows of, he points out that the whole sunken area would have been peppered with cities and ports. The sea-floor chart shows many clumps of “rocky areas”; could some of those be ruins of Atlantis stone buildings, he asks? Exploration will be fairly easy with modern equipment as the area is shallow and flat.
He also hopes the launch of his book could generate heightened interest with the possibility of revelations that will force a complete re-assessment of human civilised history.
But this is not the only occasion the Algarve has been suggested as the probable site of the Lost City of Atlantis.
Back in 2002, The Portugal News spoke to Dr. Roger Coghill, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the legendary hidden city of Atlantis.
But unlike Peter Daughtrey, who had also reached his conclusions at the turn of the millennium, argued the site lies slightly to the east.
“There is no other proposed location for Atlantis that has so many clear similarities than Faro. For centuries different locations have been suggested but, Faro is head and shoulders above all of them”, he told The Portugal News.
“Plato describes precisely the route to Atlantis via the Pillars of Hercules, or in other words the Straits of Gibraltar, passing by Gadeira which is identified as the modern Cadiz. This takes you in a north-north west direction and according to Plato leads you to a large island or peninsula. This can only mean the Iberian-Lusitanian peninsula.”
While Faro is nowhere near to being an island, he explained that the interior soil around Estoi, which is slightly north of Faro, is abundant in seashells which means at one time it must have been under water thereby making Faro an island.
Also, and with growing evidence pointing to southern Portugal as a possible location for Atlantis, Peter Daughtrey finds himself in agreement with a comment made by Dr. Coghill to The Portugal News as to the significance of these findings could have for the Algarve and Portugal.
“Can you imagine what the reaction would have been if Atlantis had been pin pointed as being in Florida or California? By now Atlantis theme parks would proliferate, Disney Land would feel under threat and we would all be eating Atlantis beef-burgers. Identification of Faro as the seat of an advanced civilisation in contact with ancient Egypt between 11,000 - 10,500 BC would fill one of the biggest gaps in prehistory. It would lift Faro to the status of the Acropolis”, Dr. Coghill said.