It might be difficult to believe that an entire city that stood still and strong would suddenly vanish and would never be seen again. Though the idea sounds like a fantasy story, it has in fact happened. This was revealed by a discovery of archaeologist Dr. Frank Goddio and his team in 2000. The team’s discovery of an Egyptian City lost 1,200 years ago not only proved that this story actually happened, but it has also revealed several more secrets from the past. In fact, this discovery is considered as the most important discovery of the century.
The discovered city was branded a mythical city prior to its discovery. However, when it was found, the city was figured out as Hearcleion, originally built by the Greeks and later on named Thonis by the Egyptian dwellers. The team unearthed thousands of big and small artifacts that were pieced together before they came up with the conclusion that they have indeed discovered Thonis.
How did they successfully make the discovery?
There was a very extensive and unique technique applied by Dr. Goddio and his team to unearth the artifacts over several years. They mapped out the ocean so they could trim down the location of the artifacts. They have started excavating certain portions of the ocean when they found significant artifacts. Eventually, they found major artifacts at 6.5 kilometers away from the coastline. They were also seen in areas as deep as 150 feet underwater. The entire research area covered around 11 to 15 kilometers where most of the essential discoveries were found.
What was revealed in the discovery?
Since the time the research team started unearthing the city, they found a lot of essential evidence that point out to the fact that the lost city indeed existed. In the area, several gold coins and weights were discovered. Most of them were made from stone and bronze. However, the Egyptian statues of minor gods were among the most significant discoveries, some even as tall as 16 feet. The number of shipwrecks that were buried is also significant – 64 with over 700 ancient anchors. Based on the discoveries, there are theories that the city used to be the port of Alexandria. The place was the center for commerce and industry due to the number of gold coins that were found and other materials that were supposed to be used for construction.
Why was the city lost?
The discovery of this lost city gave several answers to mysteries that were left unanswered over the years. However, it also gave birth to more questions. Among the most significant questions is why the city was lost in the first place. There are a lot of theories as to why it was lost. There is a theory that there was one doomsday phenomenon that engulfed the entire city and drowned it in water. It could be a tidal wave or an earthquake that destroyed the integrity of all structures in the city and were carried away in the ocean.
Another theory is that the soil liquefied as it was too close to the sea. Since the sea level continued rising eventually and the soil was too weak, the structures began to fall apart. Add to that the fact that they were mostly built from heavy stones.
Though this discovery became successful in 2000, there are still a lot more studies being conducted until now. There are also a lot of theories growing each year in regards to why the city was lost and other mysteries behind it.