Discovering the Ancient City of Heracleion

Just off the coast of Alexandria sits the lost city of Heracleion. It covers the bottom of the sea, about 10 meters under the water in Aby Qir Bay. The ancient Egyptian city submerged underwater about 1,200 years ago for reasons we have yet to discover. But for the last decade, archeologists have been studying this fascinating city.

Scuba divers

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Heracleion is also known as Thonis, and it used to be a city of great wealth. It was home to the main station where all trade from Greece and other spots of the Mediterranean entered Egypt. Because of this, the city was a very important port at the time and played a large role in the trading industry.

Many things have been recovered from the ruins of Heracleion. More then 64 buried ships and 700 anchors have been discovered along with gold coins and stones. Archaeologists have also discovered giant statues that are as tall as 16 feet and hundreds of smaller statues of gods. Large stones inscribed in ancient Egyptian and ancient Greek are just some of the ancient items scientists have brought to the surface. One of the greatest discoveries is a huge temple to the god Amun-Gerab, which happened to be one of the supreme gods of the Egyptians.

Lost City

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The site has incredible preservation and scientists continue to observe and study the area. They still do not know what caused the wealthy city to submerge, but it is possible that the sea level rose and combined with unstable sediment it caused the city to collapse around 12 feet.

The discovery of Heracleion was an incredible find. There is still a lot to learn about the lost city and it gives us a way to connect with history. Hopefully one-day scientists will be able to figure out what caused the city of Heracleion to submerge underwater.