Sunken cities: Egypt’s lost worlds

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Top half of a carved stela with a royal decree
A stela containing a royal decree by Nectanebo I, from Thonis-Heracleion. Photo by NeferTiyi (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr). Click on the photo to go to the original.

Exciting news! The British Museum have just announced a new exhibition for next year. Entitled Sunken cities: Egypt's lost worlds, the exhibition will feature pieces from the two cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus (origin of the term 'Canopic jar') – both of which are now underwater – as well as artefacts from the BM's own collection. Over 200 pieces will be included in the exhibition.


The two cities lie east of Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. They thrived during the Late Period, particularly under the reign of Nectanebo I, as vital ports; however, they were later superseded by Alexandria.


The submerged parts of the cities were discovered in 2000 by French archaeologist Frank Goddio, who has since dedicated his time to excavating the sites. His work is of great archaeological importance, as we have very little else remaining of the cities other than the textual record.


The exhibition opens on 19 May 2016, and runs until 27 November 2016. Tickets are required (as usual with BM special exhibitions), which can be bought from their website here (I'll be getting mine booked very soon).


Further reading

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