Underwater archaeologists have unearthed a submerged ancient Egyptian temple, teeming with treasures, off Egypt’s Mediterranean shoreline. As reported by Live Science, this underwater sanctuary housed a wealth of golden relics and jewelry.
Believed to have been dedicated to the Egyptian deity Amun, the temple dates back millennia. Currently, the site is situated 4.3 miles from Egypt’s coast. Scholars speculate it was once a fragment of the ancient port city, Thonis-Heracleion. Its submersion is hypothesized to have occurred during a catastrophic mid-century B.C. event.
The European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) shared insights on this groundbreaking find. Their statement highlighted that pharaohs of the past would visit this temple, seeking recognition of their divine authority from Amun, the principal god of the Egyptian pantheon.
Leading the exploration was Franck Goddio, president of IEASM. He reflected on the discovery, “The unearthing of such pristine artifacts, having withstood cataclysmic forces, is profoundly moving.”
During their excavation of the temple, archaeologists discovered a trove of remarkable items such as silver ceremonial tools, golden ornaments, and alabaster vessels that once contained perfumes or unguents.
Divers also identified subterranean constructions at the site, reinforced by “exceptionally preserved wooden pillars and beams” from the fifth century B.C., as mentioned in their statement.
To the east of the temple, a Greek sanctuary devoted to Aphrodite, the deity of love, was discovered by the archaeologists. This sanctuary held a rich collection of artifacts, including foreign-made bronze and pottery items.
The statement from the archaeologists reads, “This evidence suggests that during the reign of the Pharaohs of the Saïte dynasty [688 B.C. to 525 B.C.], Greeks had the liberty to engage in trade, settle in the city, and establish places of worship dedicated to their deities.”
Furthermore, the sanctuary stored a collection of Greek weaponry. This suggests, as per the researchers’ statement, that Greek mercenaries might have been stationed in the vicinity at some point, safeguarding the entry point to the Kingdom located at the Nile’s westernmost Canopic branch.