Time shifts layers over many ancient mysteries, however some, preserved underwater, tempt us to unravel their secrets.
Volcanos, earthquakes, tsunamis and the sands of time have buried many ancient cities that contain mysteries we are yet to unravel. Some of these cities lay deep under the sea, giving marine archaeologists the opportunity to recover preserved artifacts that would not have survived had they not been submerged. The insights into our ancient history are profound.
Tourists may even view a few of these cities if they wish to dive down to explore them. They contain ancient artifacts and monumental structures that were dramatic wonders of the ancient world. Let’s take a look at some of the most mysterious underwater cities on earth:
Ancient legends have long spoken of an ancient submerged city in Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca. However, diving at such a high altitude has made it difficult for archaeologists to search for it beneath its surface, as they risk developing the notorious “bends.” Additionally, local people view the lake as sacred and discourage diving into its depths.
So far, archaeologists have not uncovered evidence of an entire city, but brave divers have discovered what appears to be an important ancient temple. Furthermore, they found a pre-Incan road, a terrace created for crops and a containing wall approximately 800 meters long. Additionally, many artifacts made of ceramic were on the lake floor.
Estimates suggest that the ruins are up to 1,500 years old. There could be more to uncover, but many obstacles stand in the way of bringing them to light.
The ancient port city of Thonis-Heracleion was a mere legend for over 1000 years until famed marine archaeologist Franck Goddio discovered it in 2000. During the 8th century BC, this city was the wealthy port gateway into Egypt. Not only an important trade city but also a sacred location.
Goddio found, amongst many priceless treasures, the remains of the Temple Amun. This temple revealed the importance this city held for Ancient Egypt. Pharoahs received their title of power in this location, and the Egyptians believed this gave them universal sovereignty.
Chinese archaeologists discovered an ancient pagan city deep within China’s deepest freshwater lake, Fuxian Lake. Additionally, they found around 30 buildings, roads made of cobblestone and around 42 stone artifacts.
Mysteries shroud just who the people were that lived in this city, as Chinese historical records make no mention of such a place. The members of this ancient society worshiped the sun and the moon and lived around 1,750 years ago.
Gulf of Khambhat
Experts estimate that the submerged city in the Gulf of Khambhat (also known as the Gulf of Cambay) is a mind-blowing 9,000 years old. Oceanographers discovered the site inadvertently when using sonars to complete a pollution survey.
Archaeologists estimate the city is around eight km long. Divers recovered numerous ancient artifacts including pottery, sculptures, beads and even human remains. The discovery of this site signifies that historians need to rewrite the ancient history of humanity.
Holy ancient Hindu scriptures describe the golden city of Dwarka, which was once the home of their deity, Krishna. Archaeologists became curious when excavating for the removal of a modern building obscuring a sacred temple. 100 feet down, he discovered artefacts which appeared to derive from a city that the sea had long submerged.
The same ancient texts described how ancient Dwarka had sunk into the sea. Marine archaeologists immediately began a search. Ultimately, the archaeologists’ hunch proved correct. Underneath the sea, they discovered numerous stone structures, anchors, and artifacts that include a 3-headed animal depicted on a seal, described in the sacred texts. The ancient submerged city he uncovered had once been home to around 100,000 people.
Marine archaeologist Ehud Galili has made many profound and history-changing discoveries since he first found Atlit-Yam in 1984. The Neolithic submerged city dates back to around 6,900 BCE. Experts suggest it became submerged following a volcano that triggered a tsunami.
Discoveries at the site unraveled the mysteries surrounding life for humans when they evolved from hunter-gatherer lifestyles to becoming agriculture based. Galili and his team found houses and evidence of farming. Additionally, termed as the Israeli Stonehenge, was a set of 7 megaliths arranged around a freshwater spring. Furthermore, the archaeologists uncovered wells, as well as graves. One grave contained the body of a woman and child who showed evidence of having died from tuberculosis.
The 5000-year-old submerged ancient city of Pavlopetri is one of the most studied and analyzed underwater sites. Located off the coast of Greece; experts suggest the city may have become submerged following a series of earthquakes in 1000 BC.
The whole town covers around 24 acres and the shows evidence of rather advanced technologies such as flushing toilets, drainage systems, and evidence of writing. Inhabitants dwelled in large 2-storey homes, in communities similar to the ones we live in today.
The port city of Dunwich rivaled London in importance and size, however during the year 1286, a storm submerged much of it under the sea. What was left of a once vital international port ultimately became a quaint seaside village on the British coast.
Archaeologists haven’t had the easiest time digging to uncover the mysteries in the murky black waters. Nevertheless, many residents and tourists claim anecdotally to hear church bells ringing under the sea at low tide. Thanks to the use of sonography, archaeologists estimate that 74 potential archaeological sites exist on the seabed, including many buildings as well as eight churches.