Skip to comments.Research Sheds Light On Ancient Egyptian Port And Ship Graveyard
Posted on 03/29/2013 9:49:41 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
New research into Thonis-Heracleion, a sunken port-city that served as the gateway to Egypt in the first millennium BC, was examined at a recent international conference at the University of Oxford. The port city, situated 6.5 kilometres off todays coastline, was one of the biggest commercial hubs in the Mediterranean before the founding of Alexandria...
This obligatory port of entry, known as Thonis by the Egyptians and Heracleion by the Greeks, was where seagoing ships are thought to have unloaded their cargoes to have them assessed by temple officials and taxes extracted before transferring them to Egyptian ships that went upriver. In the ports of the city, divers and researchers are currently examining 64 Egyptian ships, dating between the eighth and second centuries BC, many of which appear to have been deliberately sunk. Researchers say the ships were found beautifully preserved, in the mud of the sea-bed. With 700 examples of different types of ancient anchor, the researchers believe this represents the largest nautical collection from the ancient world...
One of the key questions is why several ship graveyards were created about one mile from the mouth of the River Nile. Ship 43 appears to be part of a large cluster of at least ten other vessels in a large ship graveyard, explained Dr Robinson. This might not have been simple abandonment, but a means of blocking enemy ships from gaining entrance to the port-city. Seductive as this interpretation is, however, we must also consider whether these boats were sunk simply to use them for land reclamation purposes.
(Excerpt) Read more at pasthorizonspr.com ...
The stele of Thonis-Heracleion (1.90m) had been ordered by Pharaoh Nectanebo I (378-362 BC) and is almost identical to the stele of Naukratis in the Egyptian Museum of Cairo. The place where it was supposed to be erected is explicitly mentioned: Thonis-Heracleion. ©Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation, photo: Christoph Gerigk
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Hi, just a test ping to see if the doubling/tripling problem has been solved.
“The port city, situated 6.5 kilometres off todays coastline”
So has the sea risen or did the port sink? That stele is in remarkable condition. Good post.
This got me thinking about if they ever found chariots in the Red Sea. Appears they found wheels, if true.
Thank you. It’s great to see one of these again!
Yes, they found them, along with pillars on both sides of the crossing to commemorate the event: anchorstone.com
Now this really IS a sunken civ...great post...thanks!
-——One of the key questions-——
After the inspection by the insurers and the vessel was declared to be un seaworthy, the vessels were placed in the grave yard for salvage of hardware and other items of use.
Wow, awesome stele. You’ve got to love soft mud!
Wow, seeing the GGG logo again is like the rediscovery of an ancient civilization. It fills me with awe and delight.
It’s not known for sure, but the best guess is, a big quake in the Middle Ages (the one that knocked down the Pharos) caused the soil under some of those coastal towns slide north, taking the whole works into the drink.
Thanks! Maybe the pings can resume.
This port is in the Mediterranean, not the Red Sea. And no, wheels have not been found. One of the crockumentary makers had a brass wheel made to take some footage of a chariot wheel on the bottom; there’s also some modern machinery from 19th- and 20- century wrecks and things. No chariots.
That many ships, I would guess that they got swamped by the backsplash after the liquefaction slide of the towns. The dating of the vessels will tell one way or the other.
It’s in great shape!
My pleasure, maybe it’s time to resume the pings. Not sure I’ll resume the Digest, but might in an abbreviated different form.
I saw a site that showed what looked like wheels.
As I said, there’s some machinery from modern (100-150 years) wrecks. Wood submerged in shallow seawater, even if buried, would not survive 3450 years, and yet a web search will turn up all kinds of claims that even the axles are intact.