Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Under Da Sea

I don’t know why so many of my dreams (both the REM kind and the daydream kind) revolve around underwater cities.  You know, lost cities. 
Maybe it is the historian in me combined with the Indiana-Jones-freak-romantic that thrives on the ocean, but these types of things have always appealed to me.
It is a major reason why I am so fascinated by the Titanic.
So you can imagine I am over the moon about the continued discovery underwater in Egypt

An Ancient Egyptian port city near Alexandria well-known for its monolithic chapel.

The city is called Thonis-Heracleion, named after the supposed temple that was built where Herakles first arrived in Egypt.
Herakles was the last mortal son of Zeus, the strongest of all humans. You may know him as Hercules.


Anyhow, this underwater discovery that has been excavated for the last 13 years has proved to be a historical goldmine; they even recovered an invaluable stele from this underwater treasure in 2001, that provides extensive information on the city and its time.

They have discovered an honest-to-goodness ship graveyard here.

Doesn’t this just sound like a thrilling book or some movie about Atlantis?


I suppose what really intrigues me about these mythical places that end up being real is how the peak of civilization can end up in the pit of the ocean.
This city was the port of entry for all ships coming into Egypt.  It was a major center or worship.  It was glorious and successful, estimated to have been founded in approximately 800 B.C., and completely submerged by 800 A.D.

Only via ancient texts and a few hieroglyphics found on land in nearby cities preserved the memory of this lost city.

Can you imagine going for a dive a couple miles out from shore and seeing gold sparkling up through the depths, and swimming up for a closer look to find a giant statue of a pharaoh?

<<< This ancient bronze oil lamp makes me think of Aladdin.

Places like this really do something for my imagination.  All that I’ve read about the downfall of this city says that several natural disasters are to blame for it ending up deep under the water.  But how??? I want specifics here.  Did the Nile flood?  Did the polar ice caps melt back then?  Was there a hurricane?
It makes you wonder what else is lurking in the ocean's depths, and 
makes me think about America’s coastal cities being discovered submerged by generations far into the future and what they will think of us.

Which modern cities could end up under the sea:

Sea Level Change This Century:

And because I am a nerd...

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