CAIRO, July 19 (Reuters) – Divers have discovered the rare remains of a military ship in the ancient sunken city of Thônis-Heracleion – once Egypt’s largest port on the Mediterranean – and a burial complex illustrating the presence of Greek merchants, the country reported on Monday.
The city, which controlled entry into Egypt at the mouth of a western arm of the Nile, dominated the region for centuries before the founding of nearby Alexandria by Alexander the Great in 331 BC.
Destroyed and sunk along with a large part of the Nile Delta by several earthquakes and tidal waves, Thônis-Heracleion was rediscovered in 2001 in the bay of Abu Qir near Alexandria, today the second largest city of Egypt.
The military ship, discovered by a Franco-Egyptian mission led by the European Institute of Underwater Archeology (IEASM), sank when the famous temple of Amun next to which it was moored collapsed in the 2nd century BC. JC.
A preliminary study shows that the hull of the 25-meter flat-bottomed ship, with oars and a mainsail, was built in the classical tradition and also had features of ancient Egyptian construction, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Tourism said. Antiques.
In another part of the city, the mission revealed the remains of a large Greek burial area dating from the early years of the 4th century BC.
“This find beautifully illustrates the presence of Greek merchants who lived in this city,” the ministry said, adding that the Greeks were allowed to settle there at the end of the Pharaonic dynasties.
“They built their own shrines near the huge temple of Amun. These were simultaneously destroyed and their remains are found mixed with those of the Egyptian temple.”
Reporting by Sameh Elkhatib; written by Mahmoud Mourad; edited by Philippa Fletcher
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