In a statement dated Monday, July 19, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of the remains of a military ship and a funeral complex in Heracleion, an ancient city submerged in the Mediterranean Sea.
Remains in the heart of Heracleion
This is a discovery that should delight fans of ancient Egypt. Monday, July 19, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced that archaeologists have discovered in the heart of the ancient submerged city of Heracleion a military ship and a funeral complex.
The discovery took place during underwater excavations in the Mediterranean Sea. Located at the mouth of the Nile with the Mediterranean Sea, Heracleion (Thônis in ancient Egyptian) was one of the main Egyptian ports before Alexander the Great founded the city of Alexandria in 331 BC. Discovered in 2001, Heracleion would have been, according to specialists, submerged after a series of earthquakes and high tides.
Rare finds and in excellent condition
“A Franco-Egyptian mission (…) found debris of a military ship from the Ptolemaic era and remains of a Greek funeral complex dating from the fourth century BC”, explained the ministry. Egyptian Antiquities. With a flat bottom, wide oars, a mast and sails, the ship was 25 meters long and was used for navigation in the Nile Delta. According to the archaeologists who carried out the excavation, the military vessel was to moor at the quay of the ancient temple of Amun. It is said to have sunk after the building collapsed in an earthquake in the 2nd century BC. “Finds of ships from this period are extremely rare,” said Franck Goddio, of the European Institute of Underwater Archeology, who led the mission.
Archaeologists have also discovered a funeral complex which proves the presence of Greek merchants in the country during the Late Period of ancient Egypt. The remains found underwater are “in excellent condition”, mentions Cairo and show “the richness of the temples in this city which now rests in the Mediterranean Sea”.