The major city and trade port in Ancient Egypt disappeared from the historical record 2,000 years ago. Archeologist Franck Goddio searches for it in the Mediterranean Sea.
Bay of Abu Qir (06:47)
In 1996, Goddio narrows the possible location of the Heracleion to the bay. He basis his theory on ancient stories about a metropolis in the Nile Delta with a large port and a temple to Hercules. The team finds limestone pieces.
Stones in Bay of Abu Qir (02:22)
The team finds limestone and black granite pieces at the possible Heracleion site. They believe the granite Sphinxes were part of the rumored temple to Hercules.
Temple Site (05:11)
Goddio and his team try to determine whether the ruins are the Heracleion temple. The site has the largest number of statues found in the Nile Delta. Egyptologist Bob Bianchi hopes to identify the people they portray and undercover the temple's age.
Temple Identification (04:02)
Goddio's team uncovers a red granite pyramid at the heart of the temple in the Bay of Abu Qir. Hieroglyphs reveal the temple was for Hercules. The temple proves the site was that of Heracleion.
Heracleion Ship (06:16)
Goddio's team hopes to find the rest of Heracleion but the other buildings would have been made of mud bricks. The team uncovers wooden timbers from a ship with the help of sonar. Lab tests reveal the ship was local and sailed in rivers.
Heracleion Mapping (05:02)
Experts find numerous shipwrecks and anchors near the temple, enabling Goddio's team to map the city. A large, active port surrounded the temple. The team finds everyday objects that reveal international trading.
Ritual Barge (07:26)
The research team tries to understand what life was like in Heracleion. They discover a shipwreck made of sycamore wood that could be a processional barge. Miniature iron barges show the barge was for Osiris, the god of the underworld.
Heracleion's Downfall (07:35)
Heracleion was once an important trade and religious hub for Egypt. No historical texts say what happened to it. Goddio and his team find evidence that an earthquake destroyed the city.
Credits: Episode 4: Egypt's Sunken City (Drain the Oceans) (00:02)
Credits: Episode 4: Egypt's Sunken City (Drain the Oceans)
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