Antiquity Beneath the Sea

189 Antiquity Beneath the SeaThere used to be a very important town in Egypt that submerged beneath the Mediterranean Sea some 1 200 years ago. It used to be the most essential port and commercial hub in the region in the Classical period. All trade routes ended there and all trade and goods from Classical Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean basin entered Egypt namely there. The name of this lost ancient city in the era of the pharaohs was Thonis-Heracleion (the Egyptian and Greek names of the city).

If we continue revealing the mystery of the ancient trade emporium of Egypt, we shall have to say the power and wealth of the trade hub was mentioned by Herodotus. It was also visited by the two lovers – Beautiful Helen of Troy and Paris, in the epoch of Homer (in the 8th century B.C.). Last but not least, in the centuries to come the ancient Greeks knew about the existence of an enormous temple dedicated to Heracles. They also wrote about an ancient town called Canopus (Canobus) in the Nile Delta and the neighbouring district of Menouths in Egypt in the Hellenistic times.

Myth and legend? ….The legendary Egyptian harbour was thought to be a myth for many centuries only mainly because of its mysterious disappearance at a depth of 45metres underwater, 6.5 kilometres off the Nile Delta. One of the descent explanations for this was the high tides and the erosion of the soil. Well, all of the secrets embracing the lost city have been revealed by Dr Franck Goddio (a French underwater archaeologist). After his re-discovery of Thonis-Heracleion, plenty of the city’s remarkably preserved treasures (like 64 buried ships and 700 anchors, golden coins and statues, and remains probably of the temple of God Amun-Gereb, etc.) were found. Nowadays archeologists continue with the excavations and they try to restore the previous appearance of the lost grand coastline city. Some compare it to Venice and even nickname it as Ancient Egyptian Venice. Why? … Because Thonis-Heracleion, like La Serenissima, is supposed to have had islands that housed dwellings and small sanctuaries. And these islands were surrounded by canals. And just imagine this city (once grand and mighty) submerging in the Mediterranean and ending up mysteriously entirely under water, and its history being fully obscured.


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