A colossal statue of red granite representing the god Hapi, which decorated the temple of Heracleion. The god of the flooding of the Nile, symbol of abundance and fertility, has never before been discovered at such a large scale, which points to his importance for the Canopic region. A lost city and vital port known as Heracleion to the ancient Greeks and Thonis to ancient Egyptians was thought to be nothing but a memory until a team from the European Institute for Underwater Archeology (IEASM) discovered the mystical city submerged in the Mediterranean Sea. Traces of Thonis-Heracleion were found four miles off the coast of Egypt, 30 feet below the Aboukir Bay in 2000. The team, under French underwater archaeologist Dr. Frank Goddio’s direction, discovered many ruins, among them a monolithic chapel, a giant red granite statue of the god Hapi and the largest known concentration of ancient ships. It was the chapel that tipped off Goddio that it was in fact the lost city.
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