Ancient Egyptian city emerges from under the sea
|Image via Franck Goddio web-site|
"The 'lost city of Atlantis has eluded explorers for centuries and is almost certainly the stuff of myth.
Staggeringly, though, an ancient city that is Atlantis in all but name has emerged from under the sea near Alexandria — and now the lost world of Heracleion is giving up its treasures.
Just as in the classical tale, Heracleion was once a prosperous, thriving city before it was engulfed by the sea around 1,500 years ago. It was grand enough to be mentioned by the Greek writer Herodotus, the 5th-century BC historian. He told the fabulous story of Helen of Troy, the most beautiful woman in the world — she of the face that launched a thousand ships — travelling to Heracleion, then a port of ‘great wealth’, with her glamorous Trojan lover, Paris.
But no physical evidence of such a grand settlement appeared until 2001, when a group led by French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio stumbled upon some relics that led them to one of the greatest finds of the 21st century.
Goddio was in search of Napoleon’s warships from the 1798 Battle of the Nile, when he was defeated by Nelson in these very waters, but came upon this much more significant discovery.
Goddio’s team has since been joined by the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology and the Department of Antiquities of Egypt to produce a wealth of dazzling finds.
The archaeologists first faced the mammoth task of reassembling massive stone fragments on the seabed before they could haul them to the surface. Twelve years on, their fabulous finds have been exposed to public view for the first time after more than a millennium spent beneath the silt and water of Aboukir Bay, 20 miles north-east of Alexandria.
Among the discoveries are colossal statues of the Egyptian goddess Isis, the god Hapi, and an unidentified Egyptian pharaoh — all preserved in immaculate condition by their muddy burial shroud. Along with these 16ft statues there are hundreds of smaller statues of Egyptian gods — among them the figures that guarded the temple where Cleopatra was inaugurated as Queen of the Nile." - Mail Online
To read the full article and see some amazing photographs and a video, click on Ancient Egyptian city lost for 1,200 years begins to reveal its secrets
To visit Franck Goddio's site, click here