Egypt has long been a place of mystery be it because of the pyramids the questions surrounding which have not been solved till date or the Sphinx. But those are not all the mysteries of this ancient land. It harbors many more, some almost a myth, unsolved, undiscovered. Some, well veil from some have been lifted and the truth has amazed the world. This is the uncovering of one such mystery, which many people did not even know existed in the first place.
Unlike the city of Pompei and Babylon, the city of Thonis-Heracleion is not very well known. The reason? It has been lost for over 2500 years now and some had started believing that it did not exist in the first place. How and where was it found is not as interesting as WHAT was found in it. When a group of dedicated archeologists discovered this lost grand city, even they weren’t prepared for what they found there.
The Egyptian g0d of fertility, life-giving steward of its floods and lord of the river, Hapi for hundreds of years, proudly gazed upon the ships of trade and the bustling life of the city. Then, it was unarguably one of the greatest port cities on the face of the planet. The city of Thonis-Heracleion. But it was not meant to be so for long.
It was probably the end of the 2nd century BC; Earth quaked open, there were tremors and the ground began to sink beneath Hapi’s feet. More than six tonnes of finely crafted stone and artwork submerged into the sea, within a matter of minutes. The remaining settlement soon followed and the legendary city of antiquity vanished underwater as if it never existed.
Cut To Modern Times
In modern history textbooks, the city of Thonis-Heracleion was rarely mentioned. It was a legend but also a myth. All that was known about it was that it was like an ancient Egyptian Venice and the city was finely built with canals and a mainland for trade. That it submerged into the water completely because of an Earthquake is also just a theory. Absolutely nothing was concretely known about this city until recently when it was rediscovered.
It was the early 2000s and a crew of divers were off the Egyptian coast when they came upon a huge rock fragment under the sea and decided to bring it to the land. It was a fragment of the statue of Hapi, covered it salt but intact. They decided to continue their search and found 6 such fragments. There were other things found around this and when researchers got to know about it, they were ecstatic. This could be the city of Thonis-Heracleion they had been looking for.
The Search Begins
Archaeologists took upon themselves to find this lost city and prove to the world that it was not a myth. Not only did they want to find the city, they wanted to learn about the culture of the residents and how it managed to become a port town. The screened the area of the Abu Qir Bay off the coast of Egypt for years and finally, their dedication paid off. Only they were not prepared for what they were about to find.