HERACLEION the lost EGYPTIAN city
More than 2,500 years ago there was a very prosperous city at the mouth of the Nile River. The original Egyptian name of the city was Thonis. It is known as Heracleion and was named by the Greeks in honor of Hercules.
About 100 more years Later, in the second century BC, it was consumed by the sea in an event that still remains a mystery today. This city appeared in some ancient texts and rare inscriptions, its origins date back to the 12th century BC and it is known that it saw the fall of the last pharaohs and the beginning of the Hellenistic period with the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great.
In 1999 and after 5 years of searching by a French underwater archaeologist, Frank Goddio and his team. For more than two millennia the city remained forgotten until it was discovered.
The objects found under the sea suggest the opulence and importance of the city: great temples, houses, colossal statues, jewels and coins, inscriptions….. A whole civilization sunk and frozen in time.
The city was a great center of international trade and ran around a great temple and between canals.
Anchors and the largest collection of ancient shipwrecks ever discovered were also found, including from ships that were not thought to exist, such as the baris, which had been described by Herodotus in his work and which were thought to be legend.
There is a discovery that astonished the archaeological community: a black granite stele two meters older than the Rosetta stone that allowed the Egyptian hieroglyphics to be transcribed.
Franck Goddio estimates that only 5% of the city has been discovered. On its website (https://www.franckgoddio.org) you can see the objects rescued with the discoveries that have been made around them about their historical context and origin.
Other sunken civilizations are Alexandria or Canopus. Photos of Cleopatra’s Sunken Palace (photos and recreations) and some of the Heracleion discoveries (real pictures from Frank Goddio’s web) appear on the carousel.
The sediments of the Nile preserving almost intact ancient cities. When I read about these things I am fascinated. What do you think?