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National Geographic Channel’s Film Atlantis Rising Showcases Professor’s Research


Posted 02/03/2017
Posted by Mary Ingarra


“This is the world’s most sophisticated and extensive search of Atlantis ever made,” says University of Hartford Professor of Jewish History and archaeologist Richard Freund about his role in National Geographic Channel’s new documentary Atlantis Rising. Produced by and starring Oscar-winning director James Cameron (Avatar, Titantic) and Emmy-winning filmmaker Simcha Jacobovic, the two-hour investigative documentary includes extensive footage of Freund and an international group of archaeologists, scientists, and historians as they search for the lost city of Atlantis and evidence of the “Atlantean” civilization.

The film takes viewers on a journey through Greece, Spain, and multiple locations in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean; with the highpoint of the expedition being the discovery by Freund’s team of marine archaeologists of six stone anchors which could date back thousands of years to the Bronze Age off the coast of Southern Spain.

Watch a trailer from the film, which premiered in January and is available on demand at channel.nationalgeographic.com.

To coincide with the launch of Atlantis Rising, the University and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT) partnered to create and launch a mobile app that gives the sense of what it’s like to be a member of the Atlantis archeology project. Archaeology Quest: Atlantis, is available for free download from iTunes. It allows users to explore the team’s years of research on Atlantis and learn about many other archaeological projects that included University students on the research team.

“You don’t have to study archaeology to be a member of our research team,” says Freund, who encourages students from all areas of the University to participate.

Last summer, students were part of Freund’s international team that made one of the most important discoveries from the Holocaust. That group located a 100-foot-long underground tunnel made by 80 Jews who attempted a courageous escape from the extermination pits at Paneriai, Lithuania on the last night of Passover in April 1944. The New York Times called it one of the most memorable scientific discoveries of 2016, and it was detailed in hundreds of media outlets worldwide, including The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, CNN, WNPR, and the BBC. The discovery is the subject of an upcoming NOVA documentary, The Holocaust Escape Tunnel, which is scheduled to air on PBS on April 19.