A temple to the goddess Aphrodite and a large number of precious finds have been revealed recently during the ongoing underwater excavations in the sunken city of Thonis Heraklion in Abu Qir Bay in Alexandria by the Franco-Egyptian mission of the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology.

According to Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the mission has excavated the remains of buildings supported by wooden beams dating back to the 5th century BC, as well as bronze and ceramic finds imported from Greece.

Frank Goddio, head of the European Institute of Marine Archaeology, noted that the mission excavated a number of precious artifacts in the storage area of the temple of Amun, which had been found in 2019. The group includes a collection of golden jewelry, including earrings in the shape of a lion’s head, a wajit eye, a pendant, alabaster utensils that were used to store perfumes and cosmetic ointments, a set of silver ritual dishes, a votive handle made of limestone, and a duck-shaped jug made of bronze.

Dr. Islam Selim, Director General of the Department of Underwater Antiquities, said that the sunken city of Thonis Heraklion, located 7 km from the coast of Abu Qir, was considered the largest port of Egypt on the Mediterranean coast before Alexander the Great founded Alexandria in 331 BC. Earthquakes that struck the country caused Thonis Heraklion to sink completely under the sea. It was rediscovered in 2000.