This is one of the coolest discoveries ever! And while it’s a pretty old discovery (back in 2000)… yeah I know, feeling old now? It’s still incredibly remarkable. Thonis-Heracleion (Egyptian and Greek) was a lost city that existed before the foundation of Alexandria in 331 BC. The city saw its golden days as it served as the main port of entry to Egypt for all ships arriving from the Greek world.
The god Hapi, which decorated the temple of Heracleion
It was also of religious importance because of the temple Amun. The city most likely was formed around 8th century BC and fell victim to natural catastrophes causing the entire city to sink into the Mediterranean in the 8th century AD. Thanks to the unique discovery by Franck Goddio and his team from the IEASM, along with the cooperation of the Egyptian Supreme Council, Thonis-Heracleion has now been found after being completely invisible beneath the Mediterranean for nearly 2,000 years.
On Frank Goddio’s website, an in depth explanation of the incredible discovery explained, “The city is located within an overall research area of 11 by 15 kilometres in the western part of Aboukir Bay. Franck Goddio has found important information on the ancient landmarks of Thonis-Heracleion, such as the grand temple of Amun and his son Khonsou (Herakles for the Greeks), the harbours that once controlled all trade into Egypt, and the daily life of its inhabitants.”
“He has also solved a historic enigma that has puzzled Egyptologists over the years: the archaeological material has revealed that Heracleion and Thonis were in fact one and the same city with two names; Heracleion being the name of the city for the Greeks and Thonis for the Egyptians.”
The stele of Heracleion (378-362 BC)
“The objects recovered from the excavations illustrate the cities’ beauty and glory, the magnificence of their grand temples and the abundance of historic evidence: colossal statues, inscriptions and architectural elements, jewelry and coins, ritual objects and ceramics – a civilization frozen in time.”
Colossal statue of red granite representing the god Hapi
Gold object engraved with a Greek text
Bronze statue of Osiris, the assassinated and resurrected king-god
Stone with gold fragments (6th-2nd century BC)
Shallow dishes used throughout the Hellenistic world for drinking and pouring to a deity
Bronze oil lamp
The enormous statue is of red granite and measures over 5 metres
Here’s some cool videos about it
This is phenomenal! Don’t forget to give this a share with your friends on Facebook before you go. For more stories, subscribe to our e-mail list. (h/t TwistedSwifter) (Sources: Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation / Christoph Gerigk)