Atlantis: Aftermath by Lee R. Kerr

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What really happened to the fabled island of Atlantis?

Debate on its storied fate has spanned the centuries from the misty time before Plato to the present day. And now Texas attorney and archaeology buff Lee R. Kerr embarks on a  fascinating quest of his own to trace, once and for all, its historical lineage and true resting place.

His journey is chronicled in Atlantis: Aftermath, an ambitious narrative that is part historical primer and part Michelin guidebook. Along the way, he takes the reader along, first on a sun-drenched exploration of the artifact-rich environs of the ancient but still beautiful islands of Crete and  Santorini, and thence, at dawn one day, to the storied Acropolis and Parthenon on bustling Greece.

Figuring unexpectedly in this search for Atlantean origins is a diverting fascination with a mythical creature called a Griffin — a large beast with the head and wings of a bird and the body of a lion. With origins in Minoan frescoes dating to 1600 BCE, Kerr concludes that “they provide tangible evidence of the connection between Minoan and ancient Egyptian civilizations and the connection to the Atlantis story.”

He continues with a long recap of the Atlantis history as recorded by Plato and then takes us on a whirlwind tour of three other possible Atlantean connections in southern Spain, in Ireland, and even Egypt, where a necklace of amber, jet, and faience beads resembling those found in Tara, Ireland were found around the regal neck of no less a famous figure than King Tut. The beads are thought to have origins dating back to the Bronze Age. So how did such a priceless artifact find its way from its Celtic roots to an Egyptian throne room? It’s yet one more diversionary path pursued in fascinating and exhaustive detail by the enthusiastic author, whose sometimes giddy exhilaration at finding these historical bon mots is positively contagious.

Kerr goes on to posit the startling conclusion that the island nation of Ireland was in fact once a major part of the Atlantis legend. He gives an impressive body of evidence to back up this theory, based in no small part on a plethora of ancient ring forts that appear to draw heavily on Minoan and Atlantean-era culture.

The remainder of this highly enjoyable — and eminently readable — volume deals with travels to central Spain and then on to Portugal in search of still more clues, then back to Ireland’s haunting burial grounds for a tangible connection between those mysterious mounds and the violent eruption of the volcano at Santorini eons before.

In the end, does Kerr find his Holy Grail of evidential proof that Atlantis’ fate was tied to a much broader geological footprint than previously imagined? Winding up his saga in picturesque Zurich, Switzerland, he sums up his thoughts with epiphany-tinged candor:

“As I walked down the steps of the museum in Zürich, I was overwhelmed by a profound feeling of accomplishment. I know the final story is not written yet. Archaeology will continue. New discoveries will lead to greater and fuller understanding. But for now, for me, I feel satisfied that I had completed my Griffin Quest.”

He had, indeed. And the reader of this book will be the richer for having journeyed with Kerr in search of the Atlantean truth. Five plus stars to Kerr and his heroic and exhaustive research, packaged as it is in an archaeologically rich recounting of a story that has withstood the test of time.

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