Category Archives: EGYPT

A rare tumor with teeth discovered in Egyptian burial from 3,000 years ago

A rare tumor with teeth discovered in Egyptian burial from 3,000 years ago

A rare tumor with teeth discovered in Egyptian burial from 3,000 years ago
Teratoma with Tooth A (lower) in situ and Tooth B (upper) retrofitted in crypt.

While excavating an ancient Egyptian cemetery, archaeologists made a rare discovery: an ovarian tumor nestled in the pelvis of a woman who died more than three millennia ago. The tumor, a bony mass with two teeth, is the oldest known example of a teratoma, a rare type of tumor that typically occurs in ovaries or testicles.

A teratoma can be benign or malignant, according to the Cleveland Clinic, and it is usually made up of various tissues, such as muscle, hair, teeth or bone. Teratomas can cause pain and swelling and, if they rupture, can lead to infection. In the present day, removal of the mass is the typical treatment.

Tomb 3 of the North Desert Cemetery at Amarna, Egypt. Right: Shaft with the north chamber in the background. Bottom left: Individual 3051 on the far left. Top left: Illustration of the pelvic area of Individual 3051, showing the positions of the teratoma and finger rings.

Only four archaeological examples of teratomas had previously been found — three in Europe and one in Peru. The recent discovery of a teratoma in the New Kingdom period cemetery in Amarna, Egypt, both founded around 1345 B.C., is only the fifth archaeological case published, making it the oldest known example of a teratoma and the first ancient case found in Africa.

Amarna was a short-lived city on the eastern bank of the Nile River, about halfway between the cities of Cairo and Luxor (ancient Thebes). It functioned as the center of pharaoh Akhenaten’s worship of the sun god Aten and was home to his royal court.

Although the city included temples, palaces, and other buildings that supported a population of around 20,000 to 50,000, it was abandoned within a decade after Akhenaten died in 1336 B.C., the study reported.

Teratoma in situ in left sciatic notch.

Four large cemeteries associated with Amarna have been investigated by archaeologists. In one tomb in the North Desert Cemetery that consisted of a shaft and a burial chamber, researchers found the skeleton of an 18- to 21-year-old woman wrapped in a plant fiber mat.

She was buried with a number of grave goods, including a ring decorated with the figure of Bes, a deity often associated with childbirth, fertility and protection.

During excavation, archaeologists noticed something unusual in the woman’s pelvis: a bony mass, about the size of a large grape, with two depressions that contained deformed teeth.

Gretchen Dabbs, a bioarchaeologist at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and colleagues published the discovery of this tumor online Oct. 30 in the International Journal of Paleopathology. Ruling out other diagnoses, they suggested that the presence of teeth and the location within the woman’s pelvic region indicated it was an ovarian teratoma.

Teratoma in situ, showing Tooth B near top of the left thigh bone.

The Bes ring may hint that the teratoma was symptomatic, as the possible “magico-medical” object was placed on the woman’s left hand, which was folded across her lap above the teratoma. This may mean the woman “was attempting to invoke Bes to protect her from pain or other symptoms, or aid in her attempts to conceive and birth a child,” they wrote in their study.

“By 18-21 years, this individual probably would have been someone’s wife,” Dabbs told Live Science in an email, but there is also “little doubt she was working in some fashion.”

Previous research at Amarna has suggested that women this age were engaging in a range of trades, which might have included working on state-level building projects, brewing beer, or tending to household gardens and livestock.

Bes ring illustration

Allison Foley, a bioarchaeologist at the College of Charleston in South Carolina who was not involved in the study, told Live Science in an email that this discovery is important because “teratomas are very rarely identified archaeologically.”

The Amarna example demonstrates how researchers can learn more about what living in ancient Egypt was like, Foley said, and the “presence, location, and possible symbolic importance of the Bes ring as a token of protection and fertility is particularly fascinating and evocative.”

Dabbs is still working on the full analysis of the hundreds of skeletons excavated last year from the North Desert Cemetery at Amarna. But future plans include looking into biological relationships among the people buried there, as well as further investigating other Egyptian burials with potential “magico-medical” objects.

A 2000-Year-Old Sarcophagus Found in Egypt and Its Contents Are Still a Mystery

A 2000-Year-Old Sarcophagus Found in Egypt and Its Contents Are Still a Mystery

Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered what is believed to be the world’s largest granite sarcophagus in Alexandria, measuring nearly nine feet long.

The enormous stone casket was buried alongside a massive alabaster head—most likely belonging to the tomb’s owner—more than 16 feet beneath the surface.

A 2000-Year-Old Sarcophagus Found in Egypt and Its Contents Are Still a Mystery
The massive stone casket was buried more than 16 feet beneath the surface alongside a huge alabaster head, likely belonging to the man who owned the tomb

The ancient coffin has reportedly remained untouched since its burial thousands of years ago during the Ptolemaic period, according to experts.

Researchers working under the Supreme Council of Antiquities discovered the ancient tomb during an excavation in the Sidi Gaber district of Alexandria.

The team was inspecting a resident’s land ahead of digs planned for the foundation of his building at Al-Karmili Street when they stumbled upon the remarkable Ptolemaic burial, 5 meters deep.

The Ptolemaic period lasted roughly 300 years, from 332 to 30 BCE, making this particular site more than 2,000 years old.

According to the archaeologists who led the dig, the black granite sarcophagus stands at 185 centimeters tall (6 feet), 265cm long (8.6 ft), and 165 cm wide (5.4 ft).

A layer of mortar identified between the lid and body of the stone coffin indicates it has not been opened since it was sealed off, says Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector.

However, just who is buried inside—and the identity of the man in the alabaster carving—remains a mystery. Back in May, the Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery of yet another Ptolemaic find.

The team unearthed the ruins of a huge Roman bath at the San El-Hagar archaeological site.

The massive stone casket was buried more than 16 feet beneath the surface alongside a huge alabaster head – likely belonging to the man who owned the tomb. Experts say the ancient coffin has remained untouched since its burial thousands of years ago

Alongside the 52-foot-long red brick structure, archaeologists also found pottery vessels, terracotta statues, bronze tools, a chunk of engraved stone, and a statue of a ram.

The most remarkable artifact, however, is among the smallest.

A gold coin depicting the face of King Ptolemy III, a 3rd-century BCE ruler said to be an ancestor of Cleopatra, was also discovered at the site.

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, the coin was made during the reign of King Ptolemy IV, in memory of his father.

It measures 2.6 centimeters across and weighs roughly 28 grams. On the side opposite the portrait, letters translating to ‘Land of Prosperity’ were engraved, along with the name of the king.

The huge red brick building was likely part of a Greco-Roman era bath, says Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities.

It is roughly 16 meters long and 3.5 meters wide.

As work continues at the archaeological site, the researchers hope to uncover more details about the building and its function many centuries ago.

Excavations over the last few years have unearthed countless remarkable artifacts from ancient Egypt, which the country hopes will spur tourism to the area.

5,000-Year-Old Wine Jars Unearthed at Abydos

5,000-Year-Old Wine Jars Unearthed at Abydos

Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered hundreds of 5,000-year-old wine jars—some of which are still intact and contain traces of ancient wine—in the tomb of Meret-Neith, a princess, a queen, a royal mother, and a regent who was undoubtedly one of the most enigmatic and most charismatic characters of the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt.

5,000-Year-Old Wine Jars Unearthed at Abydos
The 5,000-year-old wine jars at Abydos, Egypt.

Meret-Neith, ‘the One for whom Neith feels merout, love,’ ‘the One who is beloved by Neith’, was one of the most influential women at the royal court during the First Egyptian Dynasty around 3000 BCE.

Based on the archaeological and inscriptional sources, scholars have suggested that she may have been a daughter of Djer (third pharaoh of the First Dynasty), chief wife of Wadj (fourth pharaoh of the First Dynasty), and mother of Den.

But Meret-Neith was not only a woman of royal descent — thereby simply securing the continuity of the royal blood line — but rather, her influence went even further. She was the only woman to receive her own proper tomb in the royal ancestral cemetery at Abydos.

Since her tomb’s discovery by British Egyptologist Sir Flinders Petrie in 1899-1900, the historical significance of Meret-Neith has been a matter of debate.

Opinions range in scope from her having been a regent queen in charge of government until her young son and heir to the throne had come of age to being a fully-fledged ruler in her own right.

This debate remains unsettled, which is mainly due to the scarcity of the inscriptional evidence, as well as the many questions still surrounding her precise lineage and political significance at the time.

Although the royal necropolis at Umm el-Qaab, Abydos, has been under intensive investigation by the German Archaeological Institute since 1978, Meret-Neith’s tomb, her reign and her persona as one of the most important historical women during the formation of the early Pharaonic state have never received due attention.

“Queen Meret-Neith was probably the most powerful woman of her time,” said University of Vienna archaeologist Christiana Köhler and her colleagues from Austria and Germany.

“Today’s researchers speculate that she may have been the first female pharaoh in ancient Egypt and thus the predecessor of the later Queen Hatshepsut from the 18th dynasty. Her true identity remains a mystery.”

“We recently began archaeological excavations in the tomb of Meret-Neith at Abydos and discovered significant new information about this important historical woman.”

The excellently-preserved grape seeds are found in sealed wine jars at Abydos, Egypt.

Among the huge amount of goods unearthed by the archaeologists were hundreds of large wine jars.

Many of the jars were in a good state of preservation and contained organic residue that they interpreted as the remains of ancient wine.

“Some of the jars were very well preserved and even still sealed in their original state,” the researchers said.

“In addition, inscriptions testify that Queen Meret-Neith was responsible for central government offices such as the treasury, which supports the idea of her special historical significance.”

“Meret-Neith’s monumental tomb complex in the Abydos desert, which includes the tombs of 41 courtiers and servants in addition to her own burial chamber, was built of unbaked mud bricks, clay and wood,” they said.

“Thanks to careful excavation methods and various new archaeological technologies, we were able to show that the tombs were built in several construction phases and over a relatively long period of time.”

Archaeologists Have Unearthed The Remains of a 7,000-year-old City in Egypt

Archaeologists Have Unearthed The Remains of a 7,000-year-old City in Egypt

Egypt has announced the discovery of the remains of a lost city thought to be more than 7,000 years old, located in the Upper Egypt province of Sohag.

The ancient residential city, found alongside a nearby cemetery, dates back to 5,316 BC, and is being heralded as a major archaeological discovery that pre-dates ancient Egypt’s Early Dynastic Period that began about 5 millennia ago.

A team of archaeologists from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities found the remains of ancient huts and graves during a dig 400 metres to the south of the mortuary temple of Seti I, a pharaoh who ruled thousands of years later from 1290 to 1279 BC.

Seti I’s temple is located in Abydos – one of the oldest known cities of ancient Egypt and the historic capital of Upper Egypt – and the newly found dwellings and graves could be parts of the long-gone capital now resurfaced, or a separate village that was swallowed by it.

“This discovery can shed light on a lot of information on the history of Abydos,” antiquities minister Mahmoud Afifi said in a press statement.

The recently unearthed structures are thought to have been home to high-ranking officials and grave builders.

In addition to the foundations of ancient huts, the archaeologists found iron tools and pottery, plus 15 giant tombs – the capacious size of which means their intended inhabitants must have been well-established individuals.

“The size of the graves discovered in the cemetery is larger in some instances than royal graves in Abydos dating back to the first dynasty, which proves the importance of the people buried there and their high social standing during this early era of ancient Egyptian history,” the ministry said.

It’s possible that these officials oversaw the construction of royal tombs in nearby Abydos, but the size of their own resting places outside the capital suggests they didn’t want to slum it in eternity either.

“About a mile behind where this material is said to be we have the necropolis with royal tombs going from before history to the period where we start getting royal names, we start getting identifiable kings,” Egyptologist Chris Eyre from the University of Liverpool in the UK, who wasn’t involved with the excavation, told the BBC.

“So, this appears to be the town, the capital at the very beginning of Egyptian history.”

According to the researchers, the ancient tools and pottery are the leftover traces of a once giant labour force that was engaged in the considerable feat of constructing these royal tombs – and if you’ve seen the kinds of structures we’re talking about, you’ll understand they had a pretty epic responsibility:

Gérard Ducher

The nearby cemetery is made up of 15 mastabas, an ancient Egyptian tomb that takes a rectangular shape, made with sloping walls and a flat roof.

According to lead researcher Yasser Mahmoud Hussein, these mastabas are now the oldest such tombs we know about, pre-dating the previous record holders in Saqqara, which served as the necropolis for another ancient Egyptian city, Memphis.

We’ll have to wait for these new findings to be verified by other scientists, but we’re excited to see what new insights further excavations will bring.

Hundreds Of Ancient Sealed Wine Jars Found In Mysterious Tomb Of Meret-Neith In Abydos

Hundreds Of Ancient Sealed Wine Jars Found In Mysterious Tomb Of Meret-Neith In Abydos

Archaeologists excavating in Um Al-Qaab archaeological site in Abydos in Sohag Governorate, Egypt, have discovered hundreds of 5,000-year-old well-preserved wine jars and grave goods in a tomb belonging to an enigmatic woman known as Meret-Neith.

Hundreds Of Ancient Sealed Wine Jars Found In Mysterious Tomb Of Meret-Neith In Abydos

Scientists hope the find can shed new light on the identity of Meret-Neith of Dynasty 1.

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said ancient inscriptions indicate that Meret-Neith had been in charge of central government offices, like the Treasury, which lends credence to the theory that she played a historically significant role. Still, so little is known about her life and reign.

According to Dietrich Raue, Director of the German Archaeological Institute, “Meret-Neith had been the only woman with her own monumental tomb in Egypt’s first royal cemetery at Abydos and was probably the most powerful woman of her era.

Raue added that recent excavations have provided new information about this “unique woman and her era” and given rise to the speculation that Meret-Neith may have been the first female Queen in Ancient Egypt, thus predating Queen Hatshepsut of the 18th dynasty,” Ahram Online reports.

Her true identity, however, remains a mystery, he concluded.

E. Christiana Köhler, head of the mission, said that Meret-Neith’s monumental tomb complex in the desert of Abydos, which includes her own tomb as well as those of 41 courtiers and servants, was built of unfired mudbricks, mud, and timber.

Köhler added that through meticulous excavation methods and new archaeological technologies, the team demonstrated that the graves had been built in phases over a relatively long period.

“This observation, together with other evidence, radically challenges the oft-proposed but unproven idea of ritual human sacrifice in the 1st Dynasty,” she noted.

Several of the unearthed large wine jars had intact stoppers and contained the well-preserved remains of 5,000-year-old wine.

Dr. Waziry added that “well-preserved jars offer a unique glimpse into the past, providing a window into the culinary and cultural practices of a bygone era,” the Luxor Times reports.

As the excavations continue, archaeologists may eventually learn more about the enigmatic history and identity of Queen Meret-Neith, who may stand alone as the sole woman from the First Dynasty to have a royal tomb discovered in Abydos.

Archaeologists Find Hidden Rooms in Pyramid of Egyptian Pharaoh Sahure

Archaeologists Find Hidden Rooms in Pyramid of Egyptian Pharaoh Sahure

Archaeologists Find Hidden Rooms in Pyramid of Egyptian Pharaoh Sahure
The pyramid of Sahure at Abusir, Egypt.

The pyramid complex of Sahure was built in the 26th to 25th century BCE for the Egyptian pharaoh Sahure. It introduced a period of pyramid building by Sahure’s successors at Abusir, on a location earlier used by Userkaf, founder of the Fifth Dynasty, for his Sun temple.

The pyramid of Sahure was first investigated by the British Egyptologist John Perring, who was the only one who was able to break off and clean the entrance as well as the descending access passage.

The burial chamber was very badly damaged by the stonecutters, and it is not even clear if it was comprised of one or two rooms.

From left to right: Exterior view of the pyramid. A passage secured with steel beams. One of the discovered storage rooms.

Perring found a single fragment of basalt, thinking that it belonged to the king’s sarcophagus.

Interestingly, in the northeastern part of the eastern wall of the burial chamber, Perring discovered a low passageway.

He suggested that this could lead to a magazine area, however, the corridor was full of rubble or waste and he did not attempt to enter it.

Due to the bad state of preservation in the interior compartment of the pyramid, precise reconstruction of the substructure’s plan was impossible.

“The conservation and restoration project inside Sahure’s pyramid, initiated in 2019 and supported by the Antiquities Endowment Fund (AEF) of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), aimed to safeguard the substructure of Sahure’s pyramid,” said Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg egyptologist Mohamed Ismail Khaled and his colleagues.

“Our efforts focused on cleaning the interior rooms, stabilizing the pyramid from inside, and preventing further collapse.”

“In the process, we succeeded in securing the pyramid’s burial chambers, which had previously been inaccessible.”

One of the newly-discovered storage rooms in the pyramid of Sahure at Abusir, Egypt.

During the restoration work, they identified the original dimensions and were able to uncover the floor plan of the antechamber, which had deteriorated over time. Consequently, the destroyed walls were replaced with new retaining walls.

“The eastern wall of the antechamber was badly damaged, and only the northeast corner and about 30 cm of the eastern wall were still visible,” the archaeologists said.

“Traces of a low passageway that Perring had already noticed during an excavation in 1836 continued to be excavated.”

“Perring had mentioned that this passage had been full of debris and rubbish and had been impassable due to decay.”

“He suspected that it might have led to storage rooms. However, during further exploration of the pyramid by Ludwig Borchardt in 1907, these assumptions were called into question — other experts joined his opinion.”

“All the more surprising was our discovery of the traces of a passage. Thereby proving that the observations made during Perring’s exploration were correct,” they said.

“The work was continued, and the passage was uncovered. Thus, eight storerooms have been discovered so far.”

“Although the northern and southern parts of these magazines, especially the ceiling and the original floor, are badly damaged, remnants of the original walls and parts of the floor can still be seen.”

The mystery of ‘The Screaming Mummy’ is finally revealed, and it’s chilling

The mystery of ‘The Screaming Mummy’ is finally revealed, and it’s chilling

He’s back. Prince Pentawere, a man who tried (probably successfully) to murder his own father, Pharaoh Ramesses III, and later took his own life after he was put on trial, is now on public display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Pentawere’s mummy, popularly known as the “screaming mummy,” was not properly mummified. No embalming fluid was used, and his body was allowed to naturally mummify with his mouth agape and his facial muscles strained in order to make it appear as if the mummy were screaming.

Whether he died screaming or whether he was made to look like that after death is unclear.

The “screaming mummy,” likely that of Prince Pentawere, a man who tried (likely successfully) to kill his own father pharaoh Ramesses III, is now on public display at the Egyptian Museum.

Those burying him then wrapped his body in sheepskin, a material the ancient Egyptians considered to be ritually impure.

Eventually, someone placed Pentawere’s mummy in a cache of other mummies in a tomb at Deir el-Bahari.

The prince can take solace in the fact that his assassination attempt appears to have been successful. In 2012, a team of scientists studying the mummy of Ramesses III (reign 1184-1155 B.C.) found that Ramesses III died after his throat was slashed, likely in the assassination attempt that Pentawere helped to orchestrate.

The scientists also performed genetic analysis, which confirmed that the “screaming mummy” was a son of Ramesses III. And, based on the mummy’s unusual burial treatment, the researchers confirmed that it is likely Pentawere’s mummy. 

To kill a pharaoh

The Judicial Papyrus of Turin, as modern-day scholars call it, is a manuscript that documents the trials that occurred after Pentawere’s apparently successful attempt at killing his father in 1155 B.C.

A group of butlers who remained loyal to Ramesses III — and his successor, Ramesses IV — oversaw the trial of a vast number of people who had allegedly aided Pentawere, condemning them to death or mutilation.

These conspirators included military and civil officials, women in the royal harem (where the murder of Ramesses III may have happened), and a number of men who were in charge of the royal harem.

Prince Pentawere was allegedly assisted by his mother, a woman named Tiye (no relation to King Tutankhamun), who was one of Ramesses III’s wives.

The judicial papyrus says that Prince Pentawere “was brought in because he had been in collusion with Tiye, his mother, when she had plotted the matters with the women of the harem” (translation by A. de Buck).

Pentawere “was placed before the butlers in order to be examined; they found him guilty; they left him where he was; he took his own life,” the papyrus says.

How exactly Pentawere killed himself is a matter of debate among scholars, with poisoning and hanging (or a combination of the two) generally regarded as being the most likely methods.

While the dead Pharaoh Ramesses III was initially buried in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings, his mummy was moved after the robbery of his tomb. Interestingly, his mummy was dumped in the same mummy cache at Deir el-Bahari as Pentawere’s.

The mummies of the murdered father and his killer son rested together until the family of a man named Abd el-Rassul found the cache in the 19th century.

The screaming mummy is only being displayed temporarily. The display of the mummy has received widespread media attention and it is not clear how long it will be displayed.

Amazing Ancient Underwater Treasures And Temples Discovered At Thonis-Heracleion

Amazing Ancient Underwater Treasures And Temples Discovered At Thonis-Heracleion

A marvelous submerged ancient world can be found in the ancient port city of Thonis-Heracleion in the Bay of Aboukir off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.

Beneath the waters lies the legendary lost kingdom of Cleopatra. The 5th-century BC historian Herodotus had mentioned the 1,600-year-old city. He described it as an impressive city of great wealth. Around 1,200 years ago, it vanished.

Lost Ancient Kingdom Of Cleopatra

Mysterious ancient figures are buried beneath the water.

It is commonly believed that an earthquake and tidal waves destroyed Cleopatra’s empire. Scientists think that the entire city was completely submerged, along with all the artifacts, statues, columns, and other beauties of the Palace of Cleopatra.

Underwater archaeologists exploring the ancient underwater city of Heracleion have revealed more of its many archaeological treasures, but there is still so much more awaiting discovery.

A team of marine archaeologists led by French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio began excavating the ancient city in 1998.

“It’s a unique site in the world,” said Goddio, who has made wonderful photographs capturing monuments, statues, ruins, and artifacts of a long-gone ancient kingdom.

Demonstrating the Greek presence in Ancient Egypt, a delicate bronze duck-shaped pourer was discovered among ceramics at the site of a newly discovered Greek sanctuary to Aphrodite in the submerged ruins of Thonis-Heracleion.

The European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) has now announced new amazing  “treasures and secrets” have been found at the site of a sunken temple off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.

The Underwater Temple Of God Amun

A team of underwater archaeologists led by Franck Goddio has found many valuable items while exploring the submerged temple of the god Amun in the ancient port city of Thonis-Heracleion.

The scientists were investigating the city’s south canal, where huge blocks of stone from the ancient temple collapsed “during a cataclysmic event dated to the mid-second century BC.”

IEASM informed the temple of the god Amun was visited by pharaohs who came “to receive the titles of their power as universal kings from the supreme god of the ancient Egyptian pantheon.”

The scientists were investigating the city’s south canal, where huge blocks of stone from the ancient temple collapsed “during a cataclysmic event dated to the mid-second century BC.”

As reported by CNN, “the archaeological excavations, conducted jointly by Goddio’s team and the Department of Underwater Archaeology of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt, revealed underground structures “supported by very well-preserved wooden posts and beams dating from the 5th century BC,” the institute said.

“It is extremely moving to discover such delicate objects, which survived intact despite the violence and magnitude of the cataclysm,” said Goddio, who is president of IEASM and director of excavations.”

Scientists were able to make these remarkable discoveries thanks to new advanced geophysical prospecting technologies that can detect cavities and objects “buried under layers of clay several meters thick,” the institute said.

Ancient Underwater Temple Dedicated To Goddess Aphrodite

Not far from the Amum temples, the underwater archaeologists found a Greek sanctuary devoted to Aphrodite, where they were able to retrieve bronze and ceramic objects.

“This illustrates that Greeks who were allowed to trade and settle in the city during the time of the Pharaohs of the Saïte dynasty (664 – 525 BC) had their sanctuaries to their own gods,” the institute said.

Gold objects, jewelry, and a Djed pilar, a symbol of stability made of lapis lazuli, were retrieved.

The discoveries of Greek weapons also reveal the presence of Greek mercenaries in the area, IEASM said. “They were defending the access to the Kingdom at the mouth of the Canopic Branch of the Nile.

This branch was the largest and the best navigable one in antiquity.”
The remains of Thonis-Heracleion are now located under the sea, 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) from the present coast of Egypt, IEASM said. The city was for centuries Egypt’s largest port on the Mediterranean before the founding of Alexandria by Alexander the Great in 331 BC.

Diving at Thonis-Hercleion to discover ancient treasures is a delicate task. A votive hand is shown emerging from the sediment during an excavation.

“Rising sea levels and earthquakes followed by tidal waves triggering land liquefaction events, caused a 110 square kilometer portion of the Nile delta to totally disappear under the sea, taking with it the city of Thonis-Heracleion,” the institute said.

The city was discovered by the IEASM in 2000. The research and discoveries conducted by IEASM  have led to valuable discoveries, adding greatly to our historical knowledge.