Egypt: scientists discover remains of an ancient submerged city

The remains of a funeral complex as well as a military ship were discovered during underwater excavations in Heraklion, one of the main ports of Egypt before the founding of Alexandria, located at the mouth of the Nile.

Heracleion
© ART

Underwater excavations in the ancient sunken city of Heraklion (formerly Thônis), located in Abu Qir Bay near Alexandria off the northern coast of Egypt, have unearthed the remains of a military ship and a burial complex. It is an Egyptian-French submarine mission, led by the European Institute of Underwater Archeology (IEASM), which carried out the excavations.

“Extremely rare” and precise ancient finds

Heracleion was, for centuries, the largest Egyptian port from the Mediterranean Sea, before the founding of Alexandria by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE. Many earthquakes followed by tidal waves caused the collapse into the sea of ​​a 110 square kilometer portion of the Nile Delta, including the towns of Heracleion and Canopus.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities, announced the discovery: a 25 meter long ship, which had sunk while loading huge blocks of the famous Temple of Amun had it not completely destroyed in a cataclysmic event in the 2nd century BCE.

The ship was moored at a landing stage along the southern facade of the temple when the disaster struck. The fallen blocks have preserved the precious remains, remained nailed to the bottom of the canal. The ship was detected under nearly five meters of hard clay, mixed with the remains of the temple, thanks to a prototype of electronic equipment. Franck Goddio, the French underwater archaeologist who discovered Thônis-Héracléion in 2000, said that finding such a vessel from this antiquity was ” extremely rare ».

See also: An “exceptional” medieval treasure discovered at the abbey of Cluny

In addition, the researchers discovered an astonishing funeral complex « in excellent condition “, Which shows” the presence of Greek merchants in the region during the Late Period of ancient Egypt ”, According to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

These latest findings testify to “ the wealth of temples in this city which now rests in the Mediterranean Sea “. A real scenario ofUncharted orIndiana Jones which will undoubtedly delight all international archaeologists.

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