Temple of Aphrodite discovered in the submerged city of Thonis-Heracleion

In a press statement by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, an archaeological mission has discovered a temple dedicated to Aphrodite in the submerged city of Thonis-Heracleion.

Thonis-Heracleion, was an ancient Egyptian port city located near the Canopic Mouth of the Nile northeast of Alexandria, Egypt. The city was originally built on adjoining islands in the Nile Delta, serving as a major centre for international trade.

Thonis-Heracleion is referenced in the writings of several ancient Greek historians, including Strabo, Diodorus, and Herodotus, as well as the twin steles of the Decree of Nectanebo I and in the Decree of Canopus honouring Pharaoh Ptolemy III.

The city became submerged near the end of the 2nd century BC due to a combination of earthquakes, soil liquefaction, tsunamis, and rising sea levels. Underwater archaeologists rediscovered the city in 2000, with ongoing excavations uncovering numerous monuments, statues, temples, and the largest deposit of ships ever discovered in the ancient world.

- Advertisement -
Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

In a recent archaeological mission by the European Institute of Underwater Archaeology (IEASM), working in collaboration with the Hilti Foundation, the Department of Underwater Archaeology in Alexandria, and the Ministry of Tourism and Egyptian Antiquities, underwater archaeologists led by Franck Goddio have uncovered a temple dedicated to Aphrodite from the 5th century BC.

Aphrodite was an Ancient Greek goddess associated with love, lust, beauty, pleasure, passion, and procreation. Along with Athena and Hera, she was one of the three goddesses whose feud resulted in the Trojan War, and she plays a major role throughout the story of Homer’s Iliad.

In addition to the temple discovery, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, said: “bronze and ceramic objects imported from Greece, as well as remains of buildings supported with wooden beams have also been documented from the 5th century BC.”

A recent study of the submerged Temple of Amun has also led to the discovery of various artefacts, including earrings shaped like a lion’s head, a Wadjet made from gold, silver plates, and alabaster vessels.

Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

- Advertisement -
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is an award winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,000 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education and the BCA Medal of Honour.

Mobile Application


Related Articles

Clusters of ancient qanats discovered in Diyala

An archaeological survey has identified three clusters of ancient qanats in the Diyala Province of Iraq.

16,800-year-old Palaeolithic dwelling found in La Garma cave

Archaeologists have discovered a 16,800-year-old Palaeolithic dwelling in the La Garma cave complex, located in the municipality of Ribamontán al Monte in Spain’s Cantabria province.

Burials found in Maya chultun

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have uncovered burials within a chultun storage chamber at the Maya city of Ek' Balam.

Archaeologists analyse medieval benefits system

Archaeologists from the University of Leicester have conducted a study in the main cemetery of the hospital of St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge, to provide new insights into the medieval benefits system.

Major archaeological discoveries in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

In an announcement by the State Office for Culture and Monument Preservation (LAKD), archaeologists excavating in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have uncovered seven Bronze Age swords, 6,000 silver coins, and two Christian reliquary containers.

Early humans hunted beavers 400,000-years-ago

Researchers suggests that early humans were hunting, skinning, and eating beavers around 400,000-years-ago.

Archaeologists find burial bundles with carved masks

A team of archaeologists from the PUCP Archaeology Program “Valley of Pachacámac” have uncovered over 70 intact burial bundles with carved masks.

Should the Elgin Marbles be returned?

The Elgin marbles are a collection of decorative marble sculptures taken from the temple of Athena (the Parthenon) on the Acropolis in Athens.