A lost city of ancient Egypt
Discovered 1200 years after being engulfed by the Mediterranean
Ancient Egypt is a period that still holds many mysteries
Ancient Egypt is a period that still holds many mysteries. An underwater city near the Nile Delta reveals its secrets 1,200 years after being submerged.
The ancient Egyptian city Heracleion finally begins to reveal its history 10 years after the discovery in 2001 of submerged ruins by a specialist in underwater archeology, the French, Franck Goddio. Its existence, known since 1992, suggested that this city was one of the main ports of Egypt for maritime traffic from the Greek world. Idea confirmed by the elements found on the spot.
This city was founded in the 8th century BC, long before the founding of the mythical Alexandria in -331 BC, before being completely submerged by the Mediterranean 1200 years ago. After this event, it was practically impossible to find written traces of the existence of this city, called Thonis in the rare Greek testimonies of the time.
The discovery was made in Aboukir Bay, 6.5 kilometers north of Egypt and at a depth of 45 meters. Using very sophisticated equipment, Franck Goddio succeeded in precisely locating and then bringing to the surface the remains of this submerged city. Among these treasures from another age were:
– 64 boats buried in the mud and sand of the bay, – more than 700 ship anchors, – gold coins and weights made of bronze and stone, – statues almost 5 meters high, accompanied by statues of minor deities, – dozens of small sarcophagi which would have contained mummified animals, – stone stelae engraved in hieroglyphics or in Greek.
The cause of the engulfment of the city is not yet very clear and research suggests that geological phenomena, such as gradual erosion of the soil or subsidence due to an earthquake, could have hastened the end of Heracleion. . The significant rise in sea level at this time is also mentioned as an aggravating factor.
Other studies evoke the hypothesis of a collapse of the land on which the city had been built. With the consequent weight and pressure that the buildings placed on the rather weak ground, made up of clay, sand and silt, it could not have held indefinitely.
The images are the property of Franck Goddio
A discovery that allows you to learn a little more about this Egyptian people who marked history. It reminds us a lot of the myth of Atlantis or the discovery of the lighthouse of Alexandria a few years ago.