Off the coast of Egypt, divers have discovered something that was thought to be lost a long time ago. It was said that the Egyptian city of Heracleion was lost under the sea for good. Founded around 8th century BC, well before the foundation of Alexandria in 331 BC, it is believed Heracleion served as the obligatory port of entry to Egypt for all ships coming from the Greek world.
Well after being underwater for 1200 years, off the bay of Aboukir, this ancient city was finally been discovered. The city was rediscovered in 2000 by French archeologist Dr. Franck Goddio after a four-year geophysical survey. The city dates back to the 6th century B.C. and holds some of the most beautiful artifacts you could imagine. Things like grand statues of gods and goddesses standing well over 15 feet tall and carved out of red granite, treasures of gold and rare stones, elaborate temples and enormous tablets. This find is enormous in the historical preservation community and has been commissioned by museums around the world. Take a look at this incredible city found underwater.
This is diver Franck Goddio examining the enormous hand carved statue of a pharaoh. This statue stands roughly 16 feet tall and was found near a large temple under the sea.
Here is the head of a statue carved out of red granite depicting the god Hapi. Hapi is known as the god of the flooding of the Nile. Hapi is a symbol of abundance and fertility and has never been discovered at such a large-scale before.
The divers and their team of researchers carefully lift the statue to the surface in order to preserve and protect this piece of history. It will reside safely in a museum.
Here the pharaoh, the queen and the god Hapi are laid on the barge next to a temple stele. The stele dates back to the 2nd century B.C.. It was found broken into 17 pieces however all were found and placed back together.
This gold plaque was found in the southern sector of the city. The text is written in Greek and acts as a signature for foundation deposits in the name of the king responsible for building this area. King Ptolemy III (246-222 B.C.)
In the reflection of this divers mask we see a bronze statue of the god Osiris. The crown is the typical insignia of power and this statue has eyes adorned with gold sheets.
Every single detail of this site in Aboukir Bay has been meticulously documented. Here a diver measures a red granite statues feet below the surface of the ocean.
A bronze oil lamp in excellent condition. This dates back to the 2nd century B.C.
Diver Franck Goddio showing off the size of this inscribed stele. This was ordered to be built by Nectanebo I sometime between 378 and 362 B.C.
The divers carefully lift the enormous stele out of the water where it has been for well over 1200 years.
Here the divers carefully inspect a stone full of gold fragments that date back to the 6th century B.C. I’m amazed that these are still in tact.
This is a shallow gold saucer that was used for drinking and serving.
This is an absolutely stunning statue found under the bay of a Ptolemiac queen. Most likely Cleopatra II or Cleopatra III dressed as the goddess Isis.
This red granite statue was also found near the big temple of Heracleion and weighs a massive 4 tons.
Here is a beautiful artifact, a Graeco-Egyptian statue of a queen carved out of dark stone.
This is the head of a pharaoh statue being raised to the surface. The statue measures over 5 meters and was carved out of red granite.
A bronze small figure of the pharaoh of the 26th dynasty found at a smaller temple in the underwater city of Heracleion.
This is an absolutely epic underwater find that has researchers scrambling to this part of the globe to learn about this incredibly beautiful Egyptian city. The fact that this city found underwater has been left untouched underwater for so many years is an amazing factor on its own let alone being a find as big as it truly is. These statues and artifacts are massive and nearly perfectly preserved. The attention to detail in these pieces is truly beautiful and I’m happy to see it being preserved with great care.
More Info: Franck Goddio
This is a pretty awesome discovery.