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Underwater Archaeology: Heracleion City Egyptian submerged.



Already twenty years ago, to a Prehistoric Archaeology Symposium, remember that you argued at length about the future of the archaeological research, it would be more concentrated below sea level with the help of ever new technologies.

In 1992, the IEASM, in cooperation with the Egyptian Supreme Council for Antiquities, undertook a research project to locate and map ancient areas now underwater on the eastern side of Port of Alexandria (Portus Magnus) and modern Aboukir Bay.

Research has shown that the sites of the Portus Magnus of Alexandria and the cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus in Aboukir Bay, were upset by cataclysmic phenomena in different geological eras, accompanied by rising waters of the Mediterranean level.

In the eighth century A.D. (According to the most recent dating of artifacts analyzed), all sites mentioned ended up under water: Portus Magnus, the city full of famous Canopus for the glitz and the city of Thonis-Heracleion, about 3 km to the east. Thonis called in Egyptian, was a scattered in the indefinite realm of legend cities until the discoveries of IEASM, European Institute for Underwater Archaeology, not unearthed.

It is an overwhelming archaeological discovery. Finds lying on the sea bed, covered and protected from the sand, they have been wonderfully preserved for centuries. The city was originally located on one of the islands in the Nile Delta, and was crossed by a network of canals. Possessed individual berths and a large temple dedicated to Khonsu, the Greeks then identified with Heracles. In later times, the cult of Amon became more prominent. It was also the place of celebration of the Mysteries of Osiris, which was taking place every year during the month of khoiak. God in his ceremonial boat was carried in procession from the temple of Amon citizen until his shrine at Canopus.

The greek historian Herodotus (fifth century. BC) tells of a massive temple that was built in the spot where the famous hero Hercules set foot for the first time in Egypt. also it tells of a visit of Helen and Paris before the Trojan War. Even Strabo and Diodorus Mentioned the city.

It was possible to solve a dilemma that plagued the academic world for years, since the archaeological material has revealed that Heracleion and Thonis were in fact one and the same city, but with two different names: Heracleion was the name for the Greeks, Thonis that for the Egyptians. So far, 64 ancient shipwrecks and more than 700 anchors have been unearthed from the mud of the bay, surrounded by gold coins, Athens weights (never found in an Egyptian site) and stele in two languages written giants, Egyptian and ancient greek.

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