Until a decade ago, no one knew if Heracleion, believed to be an ancient harbor city, was fiction or real. Now, reports the Telegraph, the researchers who found it—150 feet beneath the surface of Egypt's Bay of Aboukir—are sharing some of the amazing historical artifacts preserved there. The finds include 64 ships, 16-foot-tall statues, 700 anchors and countless gold coins and smaller artifacts. According to underwater archeologist Franck Goddio, credited with having discovered the site, the city was probably built sometime around the 8th century B.C., which makes it older than the famed city of Alexandria. Over the years, it fell victim to a number of natural disasters before being swallowed by the sea, probably around A.D. 700. “We are just at the beginning of our research. We will probably have to continue working for the next 200 years for it to be fully revealed and understood,” said Goddio. “We are getting a rich picture of things like the trade that was going on there and the nature of the maritime economy in the Egyptian late period,” said Damian Robinson, director of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Oxford.
The city is also believed to have had a rich cultural history. Helen was said to have visited it with her lover Paris shortly before the onset of the Trojan War.
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