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Sunken Ship, Ancient Greek Graves Found at Underwater Ruins in Egypt
By Staff, Agencies
The remains of a military vessel were discovered by divers amid ruins of the ancient sunken city of Thonis-Heracleion that once stood on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, near Alexandria.
The 25-metre flat-bottomed ship – which apparently sank in the second century BC when the temple of Amun, which it was moored next to, collapsed – was found by an Egyptian-French mission led by the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology, according to Reuters.
Referring to an early study, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said that the hull of the ship was "built in the classical tradition and also had features of Ancient Egyptian construction", as the media outlet put it.
The mission also managed to uncover a large Greek funerary area in another part of the sunken city, which apparently dates back to the first years of the fourth century BC.
"This discovery beautifully illustrates the presence of the Greek merchants who lived in that city," the ministry said. "They built their own sanctuaries close to the huge temple of Amun. Those were destroyed, simultaneously and their remains are found mixed with those of the Egyptian temple."
The ministry also noted that Greeks were allowed to settle in the area in question during the late Pharaonic dynasties.
Destroyed by earthquakes and tidal waves centuries ago, Thonis-Heracleion was rediscovered in 2001 in Abu Qir bay.
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