The myth of Atlantis has been around for 2,300 years. The tale of the rise of a great, ancient civilisation followed by its destruction has been told many different ways.

It has been intriguing and entertaining, but none have been as controversial as the most recent one in Ancient Apocalypse.

The legend of Atlantis is said to have been inspired by a comet crash that destroyed a once sophisticated culture.

The survivors of the calamity brought with them technology, agriculture and monumental architecture. It is said that we owe everything to these people.

Archaeologists have deliberately covered up this catastrophic vision of civilisation's spread and are accused of being arrogant and patronising by a man who has been promoting these ideas for decades.

These stark claims have helped the series reach the top of viewing lists on both sides of the Atlantic, to the displeasure of archaeologists who have denounced Ancient Apocalypse on the grounds that it provides little evidence to support its grandiose claims.

The basic thesis was described as "flawed thinking" by an Archeologist. He says archaeologists don't hate him. In an article in The Conversation last week, Dibble said that they believed he was wrong.

Why has the story of Atlantis, compared with other ancient myths, remained popular for so long? What is the most important thing in the story?

We only have to look at the works of a number of authors who have found the myth to be an irresistible inspiration.

The suggested location of this lost civilization has ranged from the Sahara to theAntarctic.

The theories of Graham Hancock, presenter of the Netflix series Ancient Apocalypse, have been criticised by archaeologists.

The theories of Graham Hancock, presenter of the Netflix series Ancient Apocalypse, have been criticised by archaeologists. Photograph: Netflix

It's not the first time that the destruction of a once great civilization led to the growth of culture elsewhere. In the late 19th century, a maverick US congressman and popular writer published a book that claimed that the world had been wiped out by a flood 10,000 years ago and that the survivors had spread the secrets of farming around the globe. It sounds similar.

There were fascists. There was a belief that the white Nordic superior race came from Atlantis. The Ahnenerbe, or Bureau of Ancestral Heritage, was set up by Himmler in 1935 to find out where people from Atlantis ended up after the flood.

The myth of an ancient lost civilization is useful because of that. It is a story of a rise and fall that can be used for a lot of things. Plato wanted his story to be an example. The gods destroyed Atlantis because of the arrogance shown by its inhabitants. Don't get too large for your boots.

He suggests that survivors of the flood were the instigators of the great works of other civilisations, from Egypt to Mexico and Turkey. White supremacist ideas are reinforced by such claims. They strip indigenous people of their heritage and give credit to white people. The idea of race science is promoted in the series.

The alternative view believes that the island of Santorini exploded in one of the most violent volcanic events in human history around 1630BC.

The Minoan civilization on Crete would have been destroyed by a hail of ash and huge waves of rock that were thrown into the air.

It was1-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-6556 He didn't know how his description of a lost culture would be received throughout the ages.