Antiquities recovered from seabed

Date: 1/8/2000

Pharaonic statues and sphinxes as well as Byzantine coins have been found in the undersea remains of ancient cities off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast. The artefacts were found in the underwater vestiges of Herakleum and Menouthis, off the town of Canopus, just east of Alexandria in the Nile delta.

A team of divers led by French undersea explorer Frank Goddio discovered the treasures during two years of exploration and excavation. The finds included statues, sphinxes and columns from ancient Egypt, some dating from the 26th dynasty (7BC), and the 30th dynasty (4BC). The diving team also found coins from the Byzantine and Islamic eras. Monouthis and Herakleum were submerged more than 1000 years ago, and their ruins lay in five to 10 metres of water, 6 km off Alexandria. The cities were legendary for their wealth and arts as well as their many temples dedicated to the gods Serapis, Isis and Osiris.

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