Subscribe to Archaeology

Ancient Fruit Baskets Recovered from Underwater Egyptian City

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Egypt Fruit BasketALEXANDRIA, EGYPT—The Guardian reports that a team of archaeologists from the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) uncovered funerary offerings, including wicker baskets filled with fruit, from a tumulus at the site of Thonis-Heracleion, a now-submerged ancient city that was once Egypt's largest port on the Mediterranean coast. Dating to the early fourth century B.C., the baskets still contained grape seeds and preserved doum fruit from the African palm tree. Underneath and around the tumulus, which is 197 feet long and 26 feet wide, the researchers found other artifacts, such as imported Greek black- and red-figure pottery, terracotta figurines, amphoras, and bronze mirrors and statuettes, that all date to around this same period, when Greek merchants and mercenaries settled in the city. IEASM archaeologist Franck Goddio said that burned material found at the the site suggests that the offerings were sealed after ceremonies that took place there. “There’s something very strange here,” he said. “That site has been used maybe one time, never touched before, never touched after, for a reason that we cannot understand for the time being. It’s a big mystery.” For more on Thonis-Heracleion, go to "Egypt's Temple Town."

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement