Archaeologists find 2,200-year-old shipwreck in Egypt’s underwater city

Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,200-year-old shipwreck in the Mediterranean — along with the remains of a burial site — that sank after being hit with “huge blocks” from the Temple of Amun.

The wreckage was discovered beneath the ancient city of Heracleion, which fell into the water after being destroyed by earthquakes nearly 1,200 years ago.

Experts have noted that the ship, known as a fast galley, is 25 meters long and the body is built with a flat keel, something that was common for navigating the Nile and Delta.

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They also found a large sail and other evidence that “the ship was built in Egypt,” according to a statement from Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Posted on Facebook.

Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,200-year-old shipwreck - along with the remains of a burial area - in the Mediterranean that sank after being hit with 'huge blocks' from the Temple of Amun

Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,200-year-old shipwreck – along with the remains of a burial area – in the Mediterranean that sank after being hit with ‘huge blocks’ from the Temple of Amun

The galley is less than 5 meters (16 feet) of clay on the seabed, along with rubble from the temple

The galley is less than 5 meters (16 feet) of clay on the seabed, along with rubble from the temple

The galley is less than 5 meters (16 feet) of clay on the seabed, along with rubble from the temple

The ship sank due to the collapse of the temple and huge blocks that fell on it in the second century BC, as a result of a devastating earthquake, the fall of these stone blocks helped keep the ship in the deep channel that is now filled with temple rubble,” the statement added.

The galley is less than 5 meters (16 ft) of clay on the seabed, along with rubble from the temple.

The burial was also covered with a pile of stones called a tumulus, which was used in ancient times to signify burials.

“This discovery beautifully illustrates the presence of the Greek merchants who lived in that city,” the ministry said Reuters, noting that Greeks also lived there during the late Pharaonic dynasties.

“They built their own shrines near the huge Temple of Amun. They were destroyed at the same time and their remains are found mixed with those of the Egyptian temple.’

Franck Goddio, lead researcher and chair of the European Institute of Underwater Archeology, said in a statement that the finds of fast galleys from this period are “extremely rare.”

It is one of only two surviving ships built in this way: the first, the Marsala, built in 235 BC. Artnet.

The discovery of the wreck, along with the remains of a funerary space, was found using a new type of sonar.

The ship sank after being hit with 'huge blocks' from the Temple of Amun, which slipped into the ocean when the ancient city of Heracleion fell into the water

The ship sank after being hit with 'huge blocks' from the Temple of Amun, which slipped into the ocean when the ancient city of Heracleion fell into the water

The ship sank after being hit with ‘huge blocks’ from the Temple of Amun, which slipped into the ocean when the ancient city of Heracleion fell into the water

In the funerary area, experts discovered a gold amulet of the Egyptian god Bes, often associated with childbirth, fertility, sexuality, humor and war

In the funerary area, experts discovered a gold amulet of the Egyptian god Bes, often associated with childbirth, fertility, sexuality, humor and war

In the funerary area, experts discovered a gold amulet of the Egyptian god Bes, often associated with childbirth, fertility, sexuality, humor and war

In the funerary area, experts discovered elaborate pottery and a gold amulet of the Egyptian god Bes, often associated with childbirth, fertility, sexuality, humor and war.

The city of Heracleion was one of the most important trading centers in the Mediterranean.  Before Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331, Thônis-Heracleion was Egypt's largest port city

The city of Heracleion was one of the most important trading centers in the Mediterranean.  Before Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331, Thônis-Heracleion was Egypt's largest port city

The city of Heracleion was one of the most important trading centers in the Mediterranean. Before Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331, Thônis-Heracleion was Egypt’s largest port city

It is believed that Heracleion was the center of Mediterranean trade more than 1000 years ago.

Home to the temple where Cleopatra was consecrated, the city of Heracleion was one of the most important centers of trade in the Mediterranean before disappearing into what is now Aboukir Bay.

Before Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331, Thônis-Heracleion was Egypt’s largest port.

The city sank into the sea about 1200 years ago, around 800 AD, probably as a result of a series of earthquakes that eventually pushed it into the sea.

Real-life Atlantis: The sunken city of Heracleion, brought to life by the research team investigating where it now lies 150 feet below the sea, including the main temple of Amun-Gerb, center right

Real-life Atlantis: The sunken city of Heracleion, brought to life by the research team investigating where it now lies 150 feet below the sea, including the main temple of Amun-Gerb, center right

Real-life Atlantis: The sunken city of Heracleion, brought to life by the research team investigating where it now lies 150 feet below the sea, including the main temple of Amun-Gerb, center right

Heracleion, also known as Thônis-Heracleion (for its Egyptian and Greek names), was rediscovered by archaeologists around the turn of the 21st century and the European Institute of Underwater Archeology and experts have been analyzing it ever since.

Some have nicknamed it ‘Egypt Atlantis’.

In 2019, archaeologists discovered the ruins of an underwater temple in the city, located off Egypt’s northern coast.

WHAT IS THE ANCIENT CITY OF HERACLEION?

Thonis-Heracleion (the city’s Egyptian and Greek names) 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 gateway to Egypt for all ships that came from the Greek world.

It also had religious importance due to the Temple of Amun, which played an important role in rites associated with the continuity of the dynasty.

The city was probably founded around the 8th century BC, suffered several natural disasters and finally sank completely into the depths of the Mediterranean in the 8th century AD.

Before its discovery in 2000 by the European Institute of Underwater Archeology (IEASM), led by Franck Goddio, no trace of Thonis-Heracleion had been found.

The name was almost obliterated from the memory of mankind, preserved only in alleen

ancient classical 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 in Egypt.

He also records Helen’s visit to Heracleion with her lover Paris before the Trojan War.

More than four centuries after Herodotus’ visit to Egypt, the geographer Strabo noted that the city of Heracleion, which held the Temple of Herakles, lies immediately east of Canopus at the mouth of the Canopic branch of the River Nile.

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