Thônis-Heracleion was destroyed and sunk along with much of the Nile Delta by several earthquakes and tidal waves, and was rediscovered in 2001 in Abu Qir Bay near Alexandria, now Egypt’s second largest city.
The military ship, discovered by an Egyptian-French mission led by the European Institute of Underwater Archeology (IEASM), sank when the famous Temple of Amun where it docked next to collapsed in the second century BC.
A preliminary study shows that the hull of the 25-meter flat-bottomed vessel, with oars and a large sail, was built in classical tradition and also had features of ancient Egyptian construction, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said.
In another part of the city, the mission uncovered the remains of a large Greek burial area dating back to the early 4th century BC, it said.
“This discovery beautifully illustrates the presence of the Greek merchants who lived in that city,” the ministry said, adding that the Greeks were allowed to settle there during the late Pharaonic dynasties.
“They built their own shrines close to the huge temple of Amun. They were destroyed at the same time and their remains are found mixed with those of the Egyptian temple.”