Rapid Gaul may have sank during an earthquake in the 100th century BC. Twenty-four years ago, Heraklion was the largest port in ancient Egypt on the Mediterranean. Today, this ancient city is submerged under Abu Qir Bay, a few kilometers off the coast of Alexandria. Archaeologists recently discovered the wreck of a city warship from the city's last years, buried at the seabed under five meters of mud and fragments of an ancient temple to the Egyptian god Amun. p>
Fast but unlucky warship
Even after 2,100 years of burial at the sea floor, the wreck's overall design still shows speed. Its body is 25 meters long and about six times as wide - a tall, glossy bowl built to pass water. Obviously, this ship was not a cargo ship. Ships designed to carry goods or passengers are wider and have greater capacity and agility. A team of archaeologists from the European Institute of Underwater Archeology, who discovered the wreck, said it may have been a warship and that its captain chose an unlucky day to block the canals that run along the south side of the Temple of Amun in Heraklion.
Some locals called this place Heraklion. Others call it Tunisia, and archaeologists have found stone artifacts with both names. Coins and pottery fragments found among the city's underwater ruins indicate that Thonis Heraklion flourished from 500 to 300 BC. When Alexander the Great founded Alexandria, 32 kilometers southeast, in 331 B.C., the new city replaced Tunisia's Heraklion as Egypt's largest Mediterranean port, and the old city began to decline.Advertising
In the last century BC, a series of earthquakes and tsunamis swept through a once-large city. A particularly strong earthquake caused the solid mud under Tunis-Heraklion to act like a liquid, and buildings all over the city collapsed. At the entrance to the canal, a group of Greek temples dating back to the 1930s were destroyed. According to Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, the Great Temple of Amun fell into the canal and rained huge blocks of cut stones onto a tall, shiny warship that was locked at a nearby pier. Archaeologists recently discovered a sunken ship using a sonar device to search for things buried under the sea floor, similar to the acoustic version of a port radar. Five meters below were the mud and remains of the ruined Temple of Amun, at the end of what was once a deep canal that ran through the ancient city. The canal is now just a muddy area deeper at the bottom of Abu Qir Bay, but the mud has helped preserve the remains of an ancient warship. Obviously some of the techniques used in the construction of a Greek warship, such as: Taton fixtures (those in which the tongue of a piece of wood is cut into a slit in an adjacent piece) which glues a lot of wood together. But other aspects of ship design and construction are quite ancient Egyptian. These clues, along with some timber apparently salvaged from ancient ships and reused, indicate that the warship was built somewhere in Egypt.
The warship was apparently built for the Nile and the shallow canals of the river delta. Its flat bottom and nut (the heavy wood that runs the length of the ship) is suitable for shallow waters.
Other details of the shipwreck reinforce this concept built for speed. Archaeologists have discovered the ship's staircase - a wooden structure that holds the base of a ship's mast - at the top of the opening, and they say it was clearly built for a large excavator that could support a large sail. Slowly when the wind isn't cooperating, the rover quickly moves the ship through the water. A sunken city h2>
Archaeologists are examining the sunken ruins of Heraklion Tunisia, relying on ancient and distinctive coins. Types of Pottery for information on the age of the strata they excavate. Most of these coins and ceramics date from 500 to 300 BC, but archaeologists have never found anything new about the 100th century. Very soon, as if life after the earthquake had just stopped. Historical records show that many people hung over the following centuries, even though Thonis-Heraklion achieved nothing like his previous life. But in the 1970s, rising sea levels and subsidence of the land submerged the ruins of the old city and replaced it with an urban shadow. Thonis-Heraklion was forgotten under Abu Qir Bay until 1933, when an RAF pilot looked down over the bay and saw underwater ruins and debris. In 1999, Gaddio and his team removed the ruins and began exploring them. So far, archaeologists have discovered less than five percent of the ancient city. p>
Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Egyptian warship that sank near Alexandria
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