You’ve probably heard the legends of the lost city of Atlantis, but until now, the cities that comprise “The Atlantis of Egypt” have gone undiscovered, laying submerged deep in the water for thousands of years.
The cities are Heracleion and Canopus, which were originally built on the rapidly shifting ground of the Nile Delta. Over the centuries, the cities have been buried beneath tons of silt and water. The ruins were discovered in what is now Aboukir Bay, Egypt, and what divers have found is absolutely breathtaking. See the photos of these lost cities’ treasures below.
From a distance, these treasures resemble rocks and other sea formations, but on closer inspection, they reveal themselves to be treasures from the past.
As these items are thousands of years old, the divers’ work is incredibly cautious and time consuming. In fact, this excavation has been going on for the better part of two decades.
Diver Franck Goddio with an inscribed tablet he found in the ruins of Heracleion in Aboukir Bay, Egypt. The slab is massive, and describes an ancient tax levy on imports from Greece.
Amongst the other discoveries were huge statues and gold jewelry, thought to be lost forever.
What is perhaps most surprising about these sunken treasures is the immaculate condition they are in after all these years.
Here, the buried art and ruins are being carefully extracted from the water.
Here’s what the treasures look like once out of the briny deep: They will be on display at the British Museum in the coming year.
The exhibition will be Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost World, will run from May to November next year. Around 300 items from under the water will be put on display, giving visitors a chance to examine artifacts that haven’t been seen in thousands of years.