Plato’s lost city of Atlantis has captured literary imaginations for centuries. An entire urban centre lost beneath the waves and waiting to be rediscovered seemed like a fantastical phenomenon. But maritime archaeological expeditions of the last century and the current have revealed that it is not an impossibility; water bodies have swallowed up entire cities. Here are ten ancient cities from around the world, which were submerged at various times due to reasons washed away with them. One of them is even in the vicinity of Greece.
This important Meditarranean port city was the official point-of-entry to ancient Egypt. It was called Thonis. The ‘aquapolis’ was a leading trade centre between 664 and 332 B.C; massive sculptures have been found, which may have adorned its temples. The temples and buildings are astonishingly intact, along with its everyday objects. Like in other submerged cities, underwater conditions have preserved them very well.
They have also found coins from countries across the sea and tablets inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs as well as Greek. At least 60 shipwrecks have been found in the vicinity along with hundreds of anchors. It is not known what caused the city to drown but it is known that Thonis was built on a series of deltas reaching out to the sea. This made for weak foundations, and the city probably could not withstand the force of an earthquake, which caused the sea to swallow it.
The existence of the city had been known for centuries but it was only in 2000 that French marine archaeologists located it.