The ocean has always been a fascinating mystery to me. The possibility of uncovering underwater cities that was once lost is intriguing, to say the least. So many undiscovered things that may have descended into the depths of the vast blue body of water that is without a doubt hypnotizingly beautiful, yet fatal for some.under
Submerged hundreds of meters beneath the sea, lies ancient civilizations that were once glorious cities that were thriving and filled with people. From the Dian Kingdom in China to the Dutch City of Saeftinghe in the Mediterranean, there are many cities in the Mediterranean that have succumbed to their soluble foundations and raging waters sinking into a watery grave. One of the most famous of all cities discovered, after being swallowed by the Mediterranean Sea over 1,200 years ago is the City of Thonis-Heracleion.
In 2001, the city was unearthed by a French underwater archaeologist, Dr. Franck Goddio and his team. The city was nestled about 30 feet under the surface of the Mediterranean Sea in Aboukir Bay, located in Egypt. After removing layers of gravel and dirt, the team revealed to everyone’s amazement a well-preserved city, with many of its treasures undamaged. It was one of the most noteworthy underwater findings in nearly a decade. It is believed that before the city was washed away by floods it was a very important religious center and trading hub for other towns around it. Especially for the city of Alexandria. Thonis-Heracleion was suggested to be the port of entry for trades that occurred between the Nile and the Mediterranean Sea.
Researchers believe that because of all the findings in Thonis-Heracleion that the town was a very booming trade hub for all the other areas located around the town and beyond. They have found coins, weights, and giant tablets inscribed in ancient Greek and Egyptian texts. Religious structures such as 16-foot stone sculptures from the City’s temple where Cleopatra was inaugurated and also mummified animals were also found, lead many people to believe that the inhabitants of the lost City of Thonis-Hercaleion were very religious. Many people to this day still wonder what made the city sink? It is believed that the weight of the buildings on the clay and sand caused the city to sink during an earthquake and then a flood came and just washed the city away.
Carbon dating suggests that some ancient underwater cities that have now emerged from the past, like the Bay of Cambay, date back some 9,500 years ago. One can’t help but to ponder with anticipation and amazement at how many more forgotten cities are buried in the ocean’s abyss waiting to be uncovered?