Thursday, April 25, 2013

Commerce Rich in Lost Egyptian Port

Image is archaeological conception of Heracleion.

A lost ancient Egyptian city submerged beneath the sea 1,200 years ago is starting to reveal what life was like in the legendary port of Thonis-Heracleion.
The city disappeared beneath the Mediterranean around 1,200 years ago and was found during a survey of the Egyptian shore at the beginning of the last decade. Now researchers are forming the view that the city was the main customs hub through which all trade from Greece and elsewhere in the Mediterranean entered Egypt.
According to The Telegraph, Dr. Damian Robinson, director of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Oxford, has said:
 “It is a major city we are excavating. The site has amazing preservation. We are now starting to look at some of the more interesting areas within it to try to understand life there. We are getting a rich picture of things like the trade that was going on there and the nature of the maritime economy in the Egyptian late period.”
They’ve discovered the remains of more than 60 ships buried in the seabed. 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. Dozens of small limestone sarcophagi were also recently uncovered by divers and are believed to have once contained mummified animals, put there to appease the gods.

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