Into the deep: Egypt’s At­lantis

The National - News - The Review - - The Exhibitions -

or more than 1,000 years, two lost cities lay undis­turbed be­neath the wa­ters of the Mediter­ranean. Tho­nis-Her­a­cleion was a cen­tre of trade, while Cano­pus was an im­por­tant place of wor­ship for Egyp­tians. It is thought both were founded around the 7th cen­tury BC and flour­ished un­der Egyp­tian and then Greek rule. But around the 8th cen­tury AD, the seas re­claimed the cities and they lay sub­merged at the mouth of the River Nile. Over the past 20 years, a team led by French ar­chae­ol­o­gist Franck God­dio has ex­ca­vated the sites. Hun­dreds of ob­jects are now on dis­play in Lon­don, and high­lights in­clude: a mar­ble statue of the Egyp­tian god Osiris, dat­ing from the 1st to 2nd cen­tury AD; a colos­sal red gran­ite statue of the god Hapy; and a hi­ero­glyphic tablet (stela) from Tho­nis-Her­a­cleion dat­ing to 380 BC.


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