Heracleion: The Mysterious Underwater City Of Ancient Egypt


Stories that emerge from inscriptions and relics are often interesting. There is no other way to confirm the existence of what lies only in ancient texts and mythologies. All one can do is to look for proof. Or, in this case, look for the remains of a lost Egyptian city. Egypt has some of the most remarkable mysteries and monuments that many can still not explain, from lost cities to the construction of the pyramids. There are so many stories that do not sit well with the reality of today. The same goes for the lost city of Heracleion – the remains of the city like a few feet under water. Let’s try to understand the history and the mystery of Heracleion.

Heracleion: The Mysterious Underwater City Of Ancient Egypt
Christoph Gerigk ©Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation

Heracleion: The lost city 

Mentions of Heracleion have mostly appeared in inscriptions and texts from the past. It was a port city near the Canopic mouth of the Nile. Another thing that makes this city popular and mystical is the fact that it was visited by Paris and the beautiful Helen of Troy before the Trojan war took place. Poets and writers from the ancient past have mentioned Heracleion every now and then. 

Heracleion: The Mysterious Underwater City Of Ancient Egypt
Christoph Gerigk ©Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation

 According to stories, this city ‘drowned’ in water because of earthquakes, tsunamis and rising sea levels and floods. As soon as it was submerged, it was lost. The ground was a victim to soil liquidation; the buildings collapsed. 

Heracleion: The Mysterious Underwater City Of Ancient Egypt
Christoph Gerigk ©Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation

The texts mention the incident taking place thousands of years back. Many tried to find the submerged, lost city of Heracleion. After many attempts, Franck Goddio, a French archaeologist and his team found a colossal face submerged in the ocean bed. According to the findings, the granite and diorite artifacts were well preserved. The city was believed to be one of the greatest port cities in the world, and the proof of its existence had finally been found.

Where was the city rediscovered? 

The search took long enough but was worth the wait. The city was found submerged 6.5 kilometers off Alexandria’s coast. The team also discovered the submerged remains that were rumored. The ruins included everything from 64 ships to gold coin treasure, from the 700 anchors and 16 feet statues, to ruins of the stunning god Amun-Gereb temple. The finding shocked and excited the entire world.

However, sadly enough, anyone still does not have a clue about what happened or how a massive city surrounding a temple completely submerged into the water!

Want more? Check out these submerged cities.


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