Treasures from Ancient Greek Shipwreck Found near Egypt
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Treasures from Ancient Greek Shipwreck Found near Egypt

In an extraordinary exploration beneath the waves, a shipwreck laden with ancient Greek treasures has been unearthed off the coast of Alexandria. 

This fascinating discovery was unveiled by the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM), led by researcher Franck Goddio.

The submerged city of Heracleion, or Thonis, lying in the Bay of Abou Qir, has now revealed a remarkable shipwreck from the Ptolemaic era of Egypt. 

This age hails from a period when Greek influence held sway over Egypt, standing alongside the pharaohs in their twilight.

The sunken vessel met its fate through a cataclysmic event, struck by massive blocks dislodged from the temple of Amun. 

The temple itself was obliterated during the calamity that occurred in the second century BC.

The ship had been docked in a canal beside the temple when the catastrophe struck. 

The fallen debris of the temple became a strange savior for this ancient Greek ship, anchoring it to the canal floor beneath five meters (15 feet) of solid clay and temple remnants.

The discovery of this ancient Greek shipwreck was facilitated by a cutting-edge sonar prototype called a “sub-bottom profiler,” which showcases the advancement of underwater exploration technology.

Franck Goddio elaborates on this enigmatic ship’s construction, revealing it as a rare example of a fast galley from that period. 

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Discovering Ancient Shipbuilding in Thonis-Heracleion’s Depths

In an extraordinary exploration beneath the waves, a shipwreck laden with ancient Greek treasures has been unearthed off the coast of Alexandria.

While Greek galleys of this era are few and far between in archaeological records, this ship offers valuable insights into both Classical Greek and ancient Egyptian shipbuilding techniques. 

It was designed with a blend of both traditions, boasting an advantageous flat-bottomed structure suitable for navigating the Nile and the Delta.

The remarkable finds extend beyond the shipwreck. 

Another segment of Heracleion unveiled a tumulus containing remains of a Greek funerary area, adorned with lavish offerings dating back to the 4th century BC. 

These offerings, notably the beautifully preserved Greek vases, reveal the presence of Greek merchants and mercenaries residing in Thonis-Heracleion.

The submerged city itself, Thonis-Heracleion, once a thriving Egyptian port, was eclipsed by its successor, Alexandria. 

It served as Egypt’s main gateway for ships traversing the Mediterranean from the Greek world. 

Thonis-Heracleion occupied islands in the Nile Delta, boasting impressive temples, harbors, and tower houses connected by a network of bridges and ferries.

This astounding archaeological venture has unearthed insights into ancient maritime trade, Greek-Egyptian coexistence, and the art of shipbuilding. 

The ongoing collaboration between Franck Goddio’s Institute, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt, and the Hilti Foundation continues to unveil the hidden chapters of Egypt’s rich history, offering glimpses into its vibrant past resting beneath the waves.

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Source: Greek Reporter

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