Lost ancient underwater city revealed

Lost Egyptian city revealed after 1,200 years under sea

It is a city shrouded in myth, swallowed by the Mediterranean Sea and buried in sand and mud for more than 1,200 years. But now archaeologists are unearthing the mysteries of Heracleion, uncovering amazingly well-preserved artefacts that tell the story of a vibrant classical-era port.

Known as Heracleion to the ancient Greeks and Thonis to the ancient Egyptians, the city was a port for both civilisations. It was found 6.4 kilometres off the coast of Egypt and nine metres below the Aboukir Bay in 2000.

French underwater archaeologist Dr Frank Goddio's 13-year excavation will be explored in Egypt's Sunken City - A Legend is Revealed, which will air on French and German TV network Channel Arte on Saturday 11th May (and no doubt streamed online).

During the underwater excavation Dr Goddio found a giant red statue of the god Hapi, ancient ships and a monolithic chapel.

They have discovered the remains of more than 64 ships buried in the thick clay and sand that now covers the sea bed. Gold coins and weights made from bronze and stone have also been found, hinting at the trade that went on.

Giant 16 foot statues have been uncovered and brought to the surface while archaeologists have found hundreds of smaller statues of minor gods on the sea floor.

Experts at an Oxford University conference earlier this year said the ancient city may have sunk due to the heavy structures being built on clay. Others believe an extreme flood may have sent this city into the water.

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