The History of Thonis Heracleion
An Egyptian city sank Myths and legends about cities that sank to the bottom of the sea after natural disasters accompany countless cultures. It was an ancient Egyptian city located near Alexandria whose ruins are located in Abu Qir Bay, currently 2.5 kilometers offshore and approximately 10 meters underwater. Let's go on a unique Egypt tours to discover the history of this city. Ever since Plato described Atlantis, the idea that great empires perished swallowed by the ocean has shaped stories that accompany popular culture that you will discover during Egypt day tours.Experience during Egypt travel packages the Egyptian city of Heracleion, however, the story was different.
In about the 12th century BC, the ancient Egyptians founded the port of Heracleion, a town that stood on small islets in the Nile delta. Like ancient Tenochtitlan, the city was connected by canals, to which all kinds of goods from the then-known world were transported.
Thanks to its strategic location at the mouth of the Nile in the Mediterranean, trade, and commerce in the port, Heracleion became the gateway to Egypt. Tributes for passing goods upriver contributed to the wealth of the region considered the most important city at the time.
However, after the founding of neighboring Alexandria and its rise as the cultural capital of the ancient world, Heracleion lost importance during Hellenistic Egypt. All this historical information will be relevant during Egypt Family tours.
Then the unthinkable happened: approximately in the second century BC, the constant earthquakes in the area caused the cracking of the portions of land that kept it standing and Heracleion sank to the bottom of the Mediterranean. Alexandria is one of the most important destinations in our Egypt luxury tours, so I suggest booking our Alexandria day tours, There are many important attractions in Alexandria you can enjoy such as taking a private day tour in Alexandria.
Forgotten for two millennia, only a few Greek references have survived of the sunken city, especially that of Homer in 'The Odyssey', which locates it as the place to which Paris and Helen fled before the Trojan War.
In the following centuries, the story of the city became a myth and remained so for millennia, until in 2000, an expedition led by French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio found remains of what appeared to be walls at the mouth of the Nile.
Since then, archaeologists have not ceased to find remains that give evidence of what was once Egypt's most important city:
More than 300 statuettes, 60 sunken ships (most of them on purpose) that you will discover during Egypt Classic tours , all kinds of anchors, and countless temples, living spaces, jewelry, coins, and various sculptures have been found in the bay of Abu Qir, 30 kilometers east of Alexandria; however, experts consider that the archaeological work is just beginning, all since the city extends over an area of approximately 2 square kilometers at the bottom of the Mediterranean.
Among all the discoveries that you will explore during Egypt budget tours in the aquatic ruins of Heracleion, the first evidence of the Egyptian boats known as Paris is one of the most spectacular: depicted in various paintings and described by the Greek historian Herodotus, it is a narrow vessel about 25 meters long, with the ideal characteristics for navigating the Nile.
There is also The Roman Amphitheater in Alexandria and you can visit it through Alexandria Shore Excursions.