EGYPT – 2,500-year-old warship found in submerged city

Remains of a warship from the Ptolemaic period and the ruins of a funeral from the early 4th century BC have been found in the submerged city of Heraklion, near Alexandria, Egypt.

Egypt Today quoted General Secretary of the Ancient Council Mustafa Waziri as saying that the ship was about to pass through the channel that flows above the Amun Temple, but the temple collapsed. Massive volcanic eruptions occurred in the 2nd century BC as a result of a devastating earthquake. The fall of those stone blocks kept the ship in a deep ditch, now scattered by the remains of the temples.

Ayman Ashmawi, head of the Egyptian Archaeological Survey, explained that the remains of the ship were found about five meters below the surface of the sea, mixed with the remains of the temple.

Frank Codio, chief executive of the European Underwater Archaeological Survey of India (IEASM), confirmed that it was very rare to find speedboats from that time onwards, and that this type was completely unknown until Greek ships discovered the Punic. Marsala (235 BC), this is the only example we have.

Preliminary studies indicate that the ship was more than 25 meters long, he said. The helmet is built according to the classical style, which is based on push and follicle technique, although it has the characteristics of the ancient Egyptian style, which becomes a mixed construction.

The boat has a flat bottom and a flat hinge, making it a very effective model for navigating the Nile and Delta.

Before the city of Alexandria was founded in 331 BC, the city of Heraklion was Egypt’s largest port in the Mediterranean. Several earthquakes following the tidal wave caused the weakening of the landscape and the collapse of about 110 square kilometers of the Nile Delta, with the cities of Heraklion and Canobus collapsing under the sea.

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Between 1999 and 2001, both cities of the European Underwater Archaeological Institute (IEASM) were rediscovered in collaboration with the Federal Department of Underwater Archeology of the Ministry of Tourism and Archeology.

Esmond Harmon

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