What other ancient cities have been lost to the ocean?
An international team of archaeologists and geophysicists has rediscovered the lost City of Kane — the site where the Athenians beat the Spartans during the Peloponnesian War in 406 BCE. The location of Kane has long been a mystery to archaeologists, but they knew it existed because Kane has been referred to in many ancient writings.
The team began their research on the islands that form Garip, believed to be formerly Arginus, in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey. If these islands truly were Arginus, then an island was missing. Where did it go? Researchers drilled into the ground and used this geological evidence, along with pieces of pottery and architecture in order to determine that what is now a peninsula used to be an island hosting the City of Kane.
Scientists plan to determine the age of the layers of rock using radiocarbon dating to understand when and how the island became submerged.
The rediscovery of the City of Kane had me wondering how many other ancient cities have been lost to the vast ocean… and why. The answer may surprise you. We all know about the lost city of Atlantis, and there is still debate about whether it is real or a myth. Either way, ancient cities lost to the sea are undeniably fascinating.
The palace of Cleopatra, an ancient Egyptian queen, is believed to lie off the shores of Alexandria. An earthquake 1,500 years ago is responsible for sinking the palace. Over 140 artifacts have been collected from the ruins, and Alexandria hopes to open the sunken remains to tourists and divers in the future.
Bay of Cambay, India
The city ruins are located 131 feet below the ocean surface near the city of Dwarka, one of the oldest cities in India. The ruins of this ancient city were found in the year 2000, with one artifact dating back to 7,500 BCE, which has predated previous artifacts by 5,000 years.
Kwan Phayao, Thailand
A 500-year-old Thai temple sits at the bottom of Lake Phayao, a lake intentionally made about 70 years ago. Thailand has discussed restoring the temple, but as it has now become part of the ocean landscape, it is an important habitat for many fish species.
There is some disagreement about whether the underwater pyramids found off the coast of Japan over 20 years ago were natural or man-made, but the structure dates back to 10,000 BCE. The pyramids are enormous, with the largest one sitting 250 feet above the ocean floor. It is a very popular location for scuba-diving.
Scientists discovered huge ruins in the Yucatan Channel near Cuba, where there appears to be an urban environment that stretches across the sea floor. Currently, only computer models of the structure exist, but the ruins may predate all known Ancient American cultures.
North Sea, Europe
A lost natural landscape containing rivers, lakes and oceans, occupied by human hunter-gatherers over 10,000 years ago, was found at the bottom of the North Sea. It is thought to have been an ancient European civilization.
Port Royal, Jamaica
Port Royal used to be known as the most sinful city in the world. In June 1692, a 7.5 earthquake struck Jamaica, dropping Port Royal into the ocean and killing over 2,000 of the inhabitants. This city has continued to sink since the earthquake and is now 40 feet below the surface.
Lion City of Quiandao Lake, China
Lion City is known as the most spectacular underwater city in the world. It was built around 25 – 200 BCE, is the size of about 62 football fields, and sits 85 – 131 feet below the ocean surface. It was intentionally flooded in 1950 to create a dam, and is now one of China’s most popular tourist destinations.
Would you want to visit any of these underwater ancient cities?