An Egyptian-French mission today revealed the discovery of new archaeological remains of a cemetery and a military ship in the city of Thonis-Heracleion, submerged in the waters of the Mediterranean off the coast of Egypt and close to the coastal town of Alexandria.
In a statement, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the two new discoveries: first, the remains of a military ship that sank in the second century BC and was found under five meters of mud, along with vestiges of the temple of the god Amon.
This sanctuary was very prominent in the city of Thonis-Heracleion, which was also the main port of entry into Egypt for all vessels from Greece, before the founding of Alexandria in 331 BC.
Franck Goddio, director of the European Institute of Submerged Archeology (IEASM), explained in the statement that to find this type of fast boats of that time is “extremely rare” while the team revealed that its characteristics suggest that it was built in Egypt, with local and Greek techniques, that it was 25 meters long and had a flat keel to be able to navigate on the Nile.
On the other hand, the remains of a Greek cemetery dating from the first years of the 4th century BC and containing many valuable donations have been discovered, according to the note.
“This discovery illustrates the presence of Greek merchants who lived in the city and controlled the entrance to Egypt at the mouth of the Canope arm of the Nile River”, the westernmost and closest to Abu Qir Bay, in the Mediterranean Sea, where he found Thonis-Heracleion and also the city of Canope.
According to the mixed mission, the Greeks were able to settle in the city during the last pharaonic dynasties and built their own shrines near the temple of Amon, and the remains of both have been found together and in good condition in the submerged city about 7 miles off the coast of Egypt.
In the last half of the 8th century AD, large areas of the Nile delta disappeared, due to the rise in the water level and due to a natural phenomenon of soil liquefaction, including Thonis-Heracleion, which was discovered by the European Institute of Submerged Archeology (IEASM ) in 2001.
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