Egypt raises real-life Atlantis' sunken treasures

29th Apr 2013

Egypt, never a land short of myths and legends for inquisitive holidaymakers, could now boast one of the most intriguing of all - after unearthing a real-life Atlantis.

Heracleion was one of the Mediterranean's most important trading centres before it sunk into what is now the Bay of Aboukir around 1,200 years ago.

For centuries, Heracleion was believed to exist only in legend.

Now, thanks to 3D technology, the city has re-surfaced.

Researchers have created a map depicting life in the ancient city after more than a decade's excavation.

Underwater archaeologist Dr Franck Goddio was trawling the Egyptian coastline for French warships from the 18th century Battle of the Nile, when he stumbled across the treasures of the lost city.

Divers found evidence of incredible riches in the seabed four miles off the coast of Egypt after removing layers of sand and mud.

They found:

- more than 64 ships

- 700 anchors and gold coins and weights made from bronze and stone

- remnants of the legendary temple of supreme Egyptian god Amun-Gereb, where Cleopatra was invested with the power to rule Egypt

- giant 16ft statues

- hundreds of smaller statues of Egyptian gods

- mummified animals offered as sacrifices to Amun-Gereb

Dr Goddio told the Telegraph the research would probably take another 200 years.

It is believed Heracleion was sunk when the unstable sediments the city was built on collapsed in the face of rising sea levels.

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