A breakthrough in the search for the underwater treasure of an Egyptian temple. It has survived intact for thousands of years. The mysterious sunken city delights scientists.
The European Institute of Underwater Archeology has made another breakthrough discovery. A team of archaeologists examined the canal of an underwater city off the coast of Egypt. Scientists found the treasure of a temple that probably collapsed in the 2nd century BC. Divers managed to reach the sanctuary’s treasury hidden underwater.
An underwater city close to Egyptian beaches
The Temple of Amun was the place where Egyptian pharaohs received their insignia of power and was located in the city of Thonis-Heracleion. The mysterious city in Aboukir Bay has been an area of research for underwater archaeologists for over 20 years. This port was known to the ancients even before the founding of Alexandria in 331 BC, which took over its role as the main trading center in the region. The hidden excavations are located only 7 kilometers from the Egyptian coast. The sinking of the city was most likely caused by earthquakes followed by tidal waves, causing this part of the Nile Delta to be completely submerged.
Treasures hidden in clay
Scientists had to wait for access to new geophysical technologies that allowed them to search the seabed so thoroughly. The development of archeology now allows us to detect objects hidden under layers of clay several meters thick. The vault found, among others: gold objects, jewelry, ritual tools, a pillar made of lapis lazuli stone and perfume containers. According to the institute, these objects prove the wealth of the sanctuary and its popularity among former inhabitants. Excavation director Frank Goddio, who has been involved in the project since 1992, did not hide his emotion. “The discovery of such fragile objects that have survived intact for thousands of years despite numerous cataclysms is extremely moving,” he said. Thonis-Heracleion was discovered by his team in 2000, after 8 years of project planning and research. Archaeologists announced further discoveries related to the temple’s treasury on Tuesday.
There are more lost cities
Sunken cities, like from the legend of Atlantis, are something unique even in the world of archaeologists. There are, among others: in Italy (the former Roman resort of Baje), in Israel (the village of Atlit Yam) or Greece (ancient Pavlopetri on the coast of the Peloponnese).