7 Most Fascinating Underwater Ruins
Tags: underwater cities, cleopatra palace
1Cleopatra's Palace in Alexandria (Egypt)
The excavations concentrated on the submerged island of Antirhodus. Cleopatra is said to have had a palace there. Other discoveries include a well-preserved shipwreck and red granite columns with Greek inscriptions. Two statues were also found and were lifted out of the harbour. One was a priest of the goddess Isis; the other a sphinx whose face is said to represent Cleopatra's father, King Ptolemy XII. The artifacts were returned to their silent, because the Egyptian Government says it wants to leave most of them in place to create an underwater museum.
2World's Wickedest City, Port Royal (Jamaica)
Port Royal began its watery journey to the Academy Awards of nautical archeology on the morning of June 7, 1692, when, in a matter of minutes, a massive earthquake sent nearly 33 acres of the city -- buildings, streets, houses, and their contents and occupants -- careening into Kingston Harbor. Today, that underwater metropolis encompasses roughly 13 acres, at depths ranging from a few inches to 40 feet.
In 1981, the Nautical Archaeology Program of Texas A&M University, in cooperation with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), began underwater archaeological investigations of the submerged portion of the 17th-century town of Port Royal, Jamaica. Present evidence indicates that while the areas of Port Royal that lay along the edge of the harbor slid and jumbled as they sank, destroying most of the archaeological context, the area investigated by TAMU / INA, located some distance from the harbor, sank vertically, with minimal horizontal disturbance.
In contrast to many archaeological sites, the investigation of Port Royal yielded much more than simply trash and discarded items. An unusually large amount of perishable, organic artifacts were recovered, preserved in the oxygen-depleted underwater environment. Together with the vast treasury of complimentary historical documents, the underwater excavations of Port Royal have allowed for a detailed reconstruction of everyday life in an English colonial port city of the late 17th century.
3The submerged temples of Mahabalipuram (India)
Based on what at first sight appears to be a lion figure at location four, the ruins were inferred to be part of a temple complex. The Pallava dynasty, which ruled the region during the 7th century AD, was known to have constructed many such rock-cut, structural temples in Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram.
The reasons for the submergence of the ruins are remain unclear.
48000-year-old Yonaguni-Jima (Japan)
While some say these ruins are the remnants of the missing Continent of Mu, other archeologists attribute them to be the outcome of unexplained geological processes, although, when you see the finely designed hallways and staircases, this ‘natural phenomenon' idea will appear sheer out of place.
The megalith was discovered quite accidentally by a sport diver in 1995 when he had strayed beyond the permissible limit off the Okinawa shore. The interesting thing about this massive stone building is that it had arches made of beautifully fitted stone blocks bearing resemblance with the building architectural style of the Inca civilization. Debates were rife about the ruins being associated with the prehistoric Motherland of Civilization. Surveying the ruins minutely takes time and skill because of the rough oceanic currents.
Although Mycenaean power was largely based on their control of the sea, little is known about the workings of the harbour towns of the period as archaeology to date has focused on the better known inland palaces and citadels. Pavlopetri was presumably once a thriving harbour town where the inhabitants conducted local and long distance trade throughout the Mediterranean — its sandy and well-protected bay would have been ideal for beaching Bronze Age ships. As such the site offers major new insights into the workings of Mycenaean society.
Underwater archaeologist Dr Jon Henderson, from The University of Nottingham, is the first archaeologist to have official access to the site in 40 years. Despite its potential international importance no work has been carried out at the site since it was first mapped in 1968 and Dr Henderson has had to get special permission from the Greek government to examine the submerged town. According to him, this site is of rare international archaeological importance. It is imperative that the fragile remains of this town are accurately recorded and preserved before they are lost forever.
6Dwarka Port (India)
Rated as one of the seven most ancient cities in the country, the legendary city of Dvaraka was the dwelling place of Lord Krishna. It is believed that due to damage and destruction by the sea, Dvaraka has submerged six times and modern day Dwarka is the 7th such city to be built in the area.
Archaeologists were keen to find out whether there were any older remains off the coast at these places.
7The Lost Villages (Canada)
The flooding was expected and planned for. In the weeks and months leading up to the inundation, families and businesses in the affected communities were moved to the new planned communities of Long Sault and Ingleside. These negotiations were controversial, however, as many residents of the communities felt that market value compensation was insufficient since the Seaway plan had already depressed property values in the region.
The town of Iroquois was also flooded, but was relocated 1.5 kilometres north rather than abandoned. Another community, Morrisburg, was partially submerged as well, but the area to be flooded was moved to higher ground within the same townsite. A portion of the provincial Highway 2 in the area was flooded; the highway was rebuilt along a Canadian National Railway right-of-way in the area.
At 8 a.m. on July 1, 1958, a large cofferdam was demolished, allowing the flooding to begin. Four days later, all of the former townsites were fully underwater. Parts of the New York shoreline were flooded by the project as well, but no communities were lost on the American side of the river.
In some locations, a few remnants of sidewalks and building foundations can still be seen under the water, or even on the shoreline when water levels are sufficiently low. Some high points of land in the flooded area remained above water as islands, and are connected by the Long Sault Parkway. Lock 21 of the former Cornwall Canal (since replaced by the Saint Lawrence Seaway) is a popular scuba diving site, a few feet from the shore along the Parkway.
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