Archaeologists studying the 'Egyptian Atlantis' of Heracleion have discovered a sunken ancient Greek temple and treasure-laden boats
Lost city of Heracleion was lost around 800AD due to flooding and earthquakes and its relics are now submerged under the sea off the Egyptian coast.
The city slumped into the sea some 1,200 years ago but since its discovery in 2000 marine archaeologists have been probing to uncover new parts of the settlements.In the most recent discovery, Egyptian and European divers uncovered the ruin of a temple along with several boats holding treasures like bronze coins and jewellery.
Scroll down for videoThe ruins of an ancient underwater temple have been discovered in the ancient sunken city Heracleion, off Egypt 's north coast, described as Egypt's Atlantis. Granite columns and a Greek temple were found during recent dives and studies to the lost city of Heracleion (pictured)
Using a sophisticated scanning device, they revealed a new part of the city's main temple, which has been completely destroyed.Remains of a smaller Greek temple, complete with ancient columns was found along with pottery from the third and fourth centuries B.C.E.
The bronze coins were from the reign of King Ptolemy II (283 to 246 BCE).Archaeologists also stretched their map of Canopus—another sunken settlement close to Heracleion.They found the remains of several buildings, expanding the city by about two-thirds of a mile along with gold and bronze coins as well as jewellery including rings and earrings.
RELATED ARTICLES Share this article Share 20 shares Egyptian and European researchers spent two months probing the remains of Heracleion and Canopus off the coast of the Nile Delta, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities reported and found the coins (pictured) on boats
The city slumped into the sea some 1,200 years ago but since its discovery in 2000 marine archaeologists have been probing to uncover new parts of the settlements.. Ancient columns, 2,000-year-old pottery and bronze coins as well as this stunningly preserved necklace, here
Using a sophisticated scanning device, they revealed a new part of the city's main temple, which has been completely destroyed. Research has found the remains of a Greek temple and boats filled with coins (pictured) and jewelleryArchaeologists also stretched their map of Canopus—another sunken settlement close to Heracleion
The team believe the artefacts date from the Ptolemaic dynasty (305 to 30 B.C.E) to the time of the Byzantine Empire, which began in 330 C.E.Researchers also investigated some of the many ancient ships known to exist at the site.They found treasures including crockery, coins and jewellery in one now fully-excavated vessel. The team believe the wreck dates from the fourth century B.C.
The city of Heracleion, home of the temple where Cleopatra was inaugurated, was one of the most important trade centres in the Mediterranean area before it disappeared into what is now the Bay of Aboukir.But 12 years ago, underwater archaeologist Dr Franck Goddio was searching the Egyptian coastline for French warships from the 18th century battle of the Nile, but instead stumbled across the treasures of the lost city.
Secrets of the sea: Three divers inspect the ancient colossal statue of Hapi, the god of the Nile, at the site of the sunken city of Heracleion. Here, divers inspect a statue of the God Hapi off the coast of AlexandriaArchaeologists also stretched their map of Canopus—another sunken settlement close to Heracleion. Divers first discovered the ruins in the year 2000 and the ongoing projects to learn more about it has led to continued discoveries
Real-life Atlantis: The sunken city of Heracleion, brought to life by the research team investigating the site 150ft under the sea where it now lays, including the main temple of Amun-Gerb, centre-rightAfter removing layers of sand and mud, divers discovered evidence of extraordinary wealth, painting a picture of what life was like in Heracleion, believed to have been at the centre of Mediterranean trade more than 1,000 years ago.
Although it was mentioned in classical texts, Heracleion lay undisturbed beneath the waters of Abu Qir Bay until it was mapped in 2000.Researchers spent four years charting the city, known as Thonis in Egypt, according to the lead researcher Franck Goddio.
After more than a decade of excavation, researchers were able to create a map depicting life in the ancient trade hub.The research team, led by Dr Goddio have yet to establish what caused the city to go down, but the main theory is that the unstable sediments Heracleion was built on collapsed, and in combination with a rising sea-levels, may have caused the entire area to drop 12 feet straight into the water.
‘We are just at the beginning of our research,’ Dr Goddio told the Telegraph in 2013.’We will probably have to continue working for the next 200 years.’ WHAT IS THE ANCIENT CITY OF HERACLEION?Thonis-Heracleion (the Egyptian and Greek names of the city) is a city that sank 1,200 years ago.
Before the foundation of Alexandria in 331 BC, the city knew glorious times as the obligatory port of entry to Egypt for all ships coming from the Greek world.It had also a religious importance because of the temple of Amun, which played an important role in rites associated with dynasty continuity.
The city was founded probably around the 8th century BC, underwent diverse natural catastrophes, and finally sunk entirely into the depths of the Mediterranean in the 8th century AD.Prior to its discovery in 2000 by the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM), directed by Franck Goddio, no trace of Thonis-Heracleion had been found.
Its name was almost razed from the memory of mankind, only preserved inancient classic texts and rare inscriptions found on land by archaeologists. The Greek historian Herodotus (5th century BC) tells us of a great temple that was built where the famous hero Herakles first set foot on to Egypt.
He also reports of Helen’s visit to Heracleion with her lover Paris before the Trojan War. Read more: Daily Mail Online »
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