Scientists unbelievable discovery under the ocean will defintely give you an amazing dose for the day
Each time a discovery is made from the depths of the sea, it is a phenomenal event. Man recovers another clue to his rich heritage. Such discoveries like the lost city of Heraclion help uncover mysteries of the past haunting scientists for centuries. Heraclion or Thonis was one such ancient Egyptian city dedicated to Hercules that was discovered and excavated from the oceans depths by French archaeologist Frank Goddio in 2000.
The fantastic discovery of Heraclion finally proved the city wasn’t a myth as some experts thought it to be. Frank Goddio famed for his underwater exploration found Heraclion lying in the Abu Quir bay just 2.3 km off the coast of Egypt. The ruins lay scattered in the depth of the Mediterranean Sea just 30 feet below sea level.
1 One of the most important cities of ancient Egypt
Heraclion existed near the famous port city of Alexandria famed for its light house. Heraclion was named after the legendary Hercules who was also called Thonis or Heracles. Heraclion existed 2700 years ago during the 12th century BC when it was considered an important landmark during the ancient era of Egyptian culture.
Heraclion also flourished during the reign of the last pharaoh Nectanebo who helped the city grow. Unfortunately natural disasters and massive flooding finally took its toll on the area and Heraclion was lost in the depths of the Mediterranean sometime between the 4th and 8th century BC.
2 The excavation yielded a treasure trove of artifacts
According to excavation member Doctor Damian Robinson, director of the Oxford center for Maritime Archaeology. “It is a major city we are excavating”. Diver’s uncovered a treasure trove of artifacts, gigantic statues and gold coins.
Perhaps the biggest find was the life sized statue of Hapi the God of fertility who looked down from his pedestal over passing ships coming in from the Mediterranean, Hapi was considered the protector and life giver. The statue of hapi was the massive gatekeeper to what was the greatest port city on the planet at the time. Unfortunately it seemed the ground shook below Hapi’s feet and he too was swallowed up by the very waters he was supposed to protect. The reassembled gigantic statue of Hapi is now on display at the British museum
3 700 ships lay beneath the water
The lost city of Heraclion is mentioned in several ancient manuscripts written by Greek historians like Herodotus and Diodrus. One important and interesting fact about the city is that according to Greek Mythology, two very famous lovebirds came here to seek refuge from persecution. They were Paris and Helen of Troy, who set foot first in Heraclion just before the Great War.
It was a mammoth task for Frank Goddio excavating Heraclion out of the depths of the sea. The excavation site itself spread over a 15 mile radius and yielded several historically significant artifacts including 60 ships that lay buried underwater. The discovery also included several sarcophagi of mummies, clay and sandstone inscriptions and anchors of 700 ships along with gold and bronze coins.
4 Perhaps the most significant find of the century
The lost city of Heraclion is perhaps one of the most significant discoveries was a stone tablet decree issued by the great Pharaoh Nectanebo lying in the temple of Amon Hareb. In fact Egyptians believed that Heraclion was a personal sanctuary of the great god Horus who sailed frequently from the temple of Amon Hareb to enjoy the peace of the city.
The successful underwater excavation was a result of side scan sonar which emits direct sound pulses form the sea bed and nuclear magnetic resonance magnetometers that can detect an anomaly in the earth’s magnetic field. Such instruments can reveal geological faults that have been caused by the weight of submerged structures pressing upon the sea floor.