The ruins of a sunken city in the Mediterranean have begun to reveal secrets lost for more than 1,000 years.
An international team of marine archaeologists is preparing to show some of the initial finds recovered from a well preserved ancient port city that now lies beneath the shallow waters and mud of Aboukir Bay, about 20 miles northeast of Alexandria.
The ancient city of Heracleion, home of Cleopatra’s inauguration, was thought to be myth, such as the lost city of Atlantis, until underwater archaeologist Dr Frank Goddio unexpectedly came across its ruin in 2001.
More than 64 ships (largest number of ancient ships to have ever been found in one place), 700 anchors, and gold coins and weights made from bronze and stone were some of the treasures, the abundance painting a picture of what is thought to have been the Mediterranean trading hub in its time.
Other historical and well-preserved treasures include many giant, 16 ft statues on the ocean floor, stone blocks with both ancient Greek and Egyptian inscriptions, and dozens of sarcophagi with mummified animals for sacrifice to Amun-Gereb.
Experts have marveled at the variety of artifacts found and have been equally impressed by how well preserved they are.
But despite all the excitement over the excavation, one mystery about Heracleion remains largely unsolved: Why exactly did it sink?
Goddio’s team suggests the weight of large buildings on the region’s water logged clay and sand soil may have caused the city to sink in the wake of an earthquake.
The mysteries of Egypt are not just buried underwater, but also under the sands of the desert far inland, and some are in plain sight, yet not recognized by Egyptologists, especially examples of Lost Ancient High Technology from the distant past, such as the presence of power drills and saws.
By Brien Foerster, Hidden Inca Tours; | Read Brien’s latest book, Lost Ancient Technology of Egypt.