This 1,200-Year-Old Secret Was Just...

This 1,200-Year-Old Secret Was Just Right There On The Ocean Floor The Whole Time

For centuries, scientists have been making discoveries that have changed the way we do things today. When it comes to the environment, there have been a handful of cases of undiscovered land and ancient relics. This is where we find Franck Goddio, who is a former economic adviser for the UN. While he gained his degrees in mathematics and statistics from France’s École nationale de la statistique et de l’administration économique, he wanted something more out of life. With the help of several individuals, he made a massive discovery that changed one of the most beautiful countries in Africa forever.

10. Early Beginnings


Since the early 1980s, Franck Goddio has been involved with underwater archaeology, and his main inspiration was his grandfather Eric de Bisschop, who invented the modern catamaran. With the formation of the Institut Européen d’archéologie Sous-Marine in 1987, the French native decided working on discoveries of lost cities and shipwrecks.
9. A Whole New World


In 1999, Goddio went out to Aboukir Bay near the Nile on a quest to discover new land. Three years prior to this search, the man did a plethora of research about this untapped area. Feeling somewhat in a jam, Goddio decided to give his search a bit more power.
8. Help Is On The Way


Goddio brought 40 other people to aid him in unearthing this new piece of land called Canopus. He aspired to find this specific city on the journey, but that fell short. With a small taste of what could have been, he plotted to return to the area the following year, and that’s when things got interesting.

7. A New Find


Goddio returned to the scene of his last failed attempt, but this time, he wandered a few miles away and started surveying the region. During this excavation, he discovered part of a wall, which was made out of limestone blocks. Further investigation led to him finding out it was part of something bigger.
6. A Key To A City


A 330 ft wall was uncovered, which gave Goddio hope in his journey. After some more careful examination, he realized that he found the Serapeum of Canopus, which was dedicated to the goddess Isis and her consort Serapis. It didn’t just end there for the underwater archaeologist, who made another discovery.

5. Another Discovery


A few miles from the Serapeum of Canopus, Goddio stumbled upon Thonis-Heracleion, which is where Egypt handled trades and taxes in the Late Period. Until Goddio’s discovery, many people didn’t know if Thonis and Heracleion was actually the same city; Thonis was the original Egyptian name until the Greeks renamed it Heracleion after Hercules.

4. Getting The Remains


In order to grab the remaining artifacts from the ocean, Goddio and his team were very careful to not create a mess. Using water-dredges to make room, the team used spatulas to move the delicate objects to the surface. What exactly does an archaeologist do with a plethora of new artifacts in their possession?

3. Public Display


Several artifacts have been on display at various exhibitions, including Cleopatra, The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt and Osiris, Mystères engloutis d’Égypte. New York City, Berlin, London, and Los Angeles are some of the cities Goddio has traveled to discuss his adventures. Aside from public events, he also offered a more detailed look into his journeys through written words.

2. Reading Is Fundamental


Goddio wrote a handful of books about his discoveries, including 2007’s Underwater Archaeology in the Canopic Region – The Topography and Excavation of Heracleion–Thonis and East Canopus and 2010’s Cleopatra – The Search for the last Queen of Egypt. With so many adventures in his life, you’d think he’d be settled down somewhere, but that’s not the case.

1. The Journey Continues


Goddio is still in the region discovering new bits and pieces about the Bay of Aboukir. He hopes to expand on his collection of artifacts, which means more touring the world to display some historic finds to inquiring minds. With a French National Order of the Legion of Honour in his name, it will be interesting to see how much he unearth over the next few years.

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