The ancient city of Heraklion - 1200 years under water
Ancient Heraklion was hidden from the ground by an earthquake a few millennia. His discovery has surprised scientists. Although not Atlantis Heraklion (the legend of Atlantis is much older), their stories are very similar.
The Lost City was discovered under water after 1,200 years. The main seaport at the mouth of the Nile, Heraklion was small but thriving city. Its inhabitants through contact with foreign merchants and sailors who frequented the town on the road to Egypt, were educated people with a broad outlook. City's main temple was dedicated to the god Amun.
But in the blink of an eye she disappeared Heraklion. In the first century BC. e. there was a strong earthquake that flattened homes, sank ships in the harbor, killed most of the inhabitants of the city, forcing the rest to flee, leaving valuable property.
For two thousand years the ruins of the city, hidden from prying eyes silt and ten meters of water, lay 3 kilometers from the coast of Alexandria in the Bay of Aboukir.
But last summer a French archaeologist Franck Godo announced that he had discovered the city remains, which, in his view, relate to Heraklion: a black granite slab, or stela, on which is written the word "Heraklion", the remains of ten ships in the former harbor, and and thousands of other items, including jewelry, coins, vases and personal items.
Although modern scholars about this city, little is known, it knew all the ancient world. The Greek historian Diodorus wrote that Hercules, son of Zeus, was blocked for the Nile, and thus saved the lives of people who were on the banks of the river.
In gratitude, the people erected a temple in his name, and was named in his honor the city. According to another Greek historian, Herodotus, Elena the Fair and her lover Paris fled to Heraklion, fleeing from the wrath of the husband of Helen, Menelaus, but they are forced to return Tonis, guardian of the gates of the Nile.
Several different talks about these events the Greek historian VI. Stesichorus. He says that the Greeks have been misled by the gods about the whereabouts of Helen to using war to reduce the population of Troy. In fact, according to Stesichorus, during the Trojan War, Helen was in Heraklion.
The inscription on the basis of the stele confirms that this plate had to be erected in "Heracleon-Tronise (Herakleion-Thonis)". This is the first clear evidence that the observed semi-mythical city is still Heraklion.
The archaeologist Franck Godo did not find evidence of being here Helen, but it seems a fantastic discovery. One of the first great temple was found in Heraklion.
The remains of the thick stone walls indicate its border territory. Near the ruined walls, archaeologists found three huge statues of pink granite, which presumably were defeated during the earthquake. Two statues depict still unknown pharaoh and his wife. The third statue - Hapi, the Egyptian god of the Nile.
Inside the temple there is a monumental tomb of pink granite covered with hieroglyphics. Its upper part is still difficult to read, but a preliminary translation of the texts placed at the lower part shows that this is, of course, Heraklion temple. A number of scientists, including Manfred Klauss from Frankfurt University, believes that the ultimate deciphering the inscriptions on the tomb will give even more.
Even more impressive is the two-meter black granite stele - an almost complete copy of the stele found in 1899 in Nokratzhe. This is the first stelae duplication of Egyptology. Stela of Nokratzha, which is now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, bears the text of the decree of Pharaoh Noktanebusa First, the founder of the 30th dynasty, which came to the throne in November of 380 g BC. e. This decree introduced a 10 percent tax on the Greek artisans and products in Nokratzhe and Tonis, who was supposed to be directed to the construction of the temple to the goddess Neith.
The text ends with the words: "And he said to his Majesty:" Let it be carved on the stele erected in Nokratzhe, on the banks of Anu channel. " Found stela does not differ from the first nothing, except the last sentence, which reads: "And he said to his Majesty:" Let it be carved on the stele, installed at the entrance to the Greek sea in Heraklion-Tonis ".
Godo group also found the place where the harbor of Heraklion, in which fragments of at least 10 vehicles piled in a heap are now. This suggests that they were killed by the tidal wave that followed the earthquake.
Whenever the researchers examined the underwater city, they found a variety of items. They all date back to the period from the first century BC. e. and earlier. Most of them - in good condition, despite being under water for two thousand years.
Among the findings - gold earrings, bracelets, pins, rings, ridges, beautiful Greek cup, glazed, kuritelnitsa aromatic substances, hundreds of coins. All of them only slightly scratched the surface. And this is just the beginning - the main excavation (if that term can be applied to archaeological work under water) - to come.