Three shipwrecks dating back to ancient Roman times have been discovered by experts during archaeological excavation work carried out in the eastern port of Alexandria, Egypt. It is believed that more shipwrecks will be found as excavations continue in 2018.
Ancient Egypt’s gateway to the Mediterranean – submerged and buried under layers of sand – is an important reminder of the great numbers of sunken treasures that remain hidden from modern history.
Now, experts have made another sensational discovery in the bay of Abu Qir in Alexandria.
Three ancient shipwrecks dating back to Roman times have been discovered during archaeological excavation work carried out in the eastern port of Alexandria, Egypt.
The discovery, made by an Egyptian mission in collaboration with the European Institute of Underwater Archeology, includes a head carved in glass dating from Roman times and probably belongs to the commander of the Roman armies «Antonio», in addition to three golden coins dating from the Emperor “Octavio”, in the bay of Abu Qir in Alexandria.
Mostafa Waziri, the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, confirmed the find in a statement posted on the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities Facebook page.
The archaeological mission has also discovered a votive boat of the god Osiris in the sunken city of Heraklion.
According to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, Osama Alnahas, head of the Central Department of Underwater Antiquities in Egypt, the discovery of the three shipwrecks may point the archaeological mission to other treasures still hidden underwater.
Excavation work indicates that a fourth wreck would be discovered during the next season, as the mission discovered several large wooden planks, as well as archaeological remains of ceramic vessels that may represent the cargo of the ship.
The discovery of the three shipwrecks was made after archeologists dived down to the sunken city of Heraclion, located underneath Abu Qir Bay.
The underwater city of Heraclion is one of the sunken jewels of Ancient Egypt.
Heraclion was an ancient Egyptian city located near the Canopic Mouth of the Nile, about 32 km northeast of Alexandria.
Its ruins are located in Abu Qir Bay, currently 2.5 km off the coast, under 10 m (30 ft) of water.
Its legendary beginnings go back to as early as the 12th century BC, and it is mentioned by ancient Greek historians.
Its importance grew particularly during the waning days of the Pharaohs.
In the Late Period, it was Egypt’s main port for international trade and collection of taxes.
The submerged ruins of the city were located by French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio in 1999.
Until then, scholars were not sure if Heraclion and Thonis were in fact one and the same city. Goddio’s finds have included incomplete statues of the god Serapis and the queen Arsinoe II.
Experts believe that a treasure-trove of ancient artifacts still remain to be found in the Abu Qir Bay, where the three ancient Roman shipwrecks were just found.
Source: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.