The wreckage of the once prosperous city, which the Egyptians called Tonis and the Greeks Heraklion, are located in the Mediterranean Sea near Alexandria. Underwater archaeologists discovered them in 2000 six kilometers offshore in the Gulf of Abu Kir. Recently, scientists made new discoveries: at the bottom were found the wreckage of an ancient Egyptian ship, which is at least 2,200 years old, reports LiveScience.
This is a galley, typical of Ancient Egypt, with a large sail, 25 meters long, on which a team of rowers could develop high speed. The ship sank after the giant blocks of the temple complex dedicated to Amun fell on it, which in turn was destroyed during a catastrophe that happened in the 2nd century AD. Scientists believe that it was most likely an earthquake that caused a tsunami. Now the ship's galley lies under a layer of clay and rubble five meters from the temple complex. They managed to find it after the appearance of a new type of sonar. The ship was built using the thorn-and-groove technology, in which wooden parts with tongue-and-groove protrusions are pushed onto the grooved parts, so that the sections are joined together like a puzzle.
At the site of the sunken city, archaeologists also discovered a burial site that was used 2400 years ago. Skilfully decorated ceramics and a gold amulet depicting Bes, a dwarf god who patronized childbirth and fertility, were found at the excavation site. The ancient Egyptians used images of this deity to protect young children and women in labor. The burial ground is covered with a mound, a pile of stones that was commonly used in the ancient world to mark burial sites.
The ancient city, which its Egyptians called Tonis, and the Greeks Heraklion, went under water after a series of earthquakes about 1000 years ago. Before Alexander the Great conquered in 332 BC. Egypt and a year later founded Alexandria, Heraklion was the most important port of the country.