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Divers Find Remains of Ancient Temple in Sunken Egyptian City (livescience.com)
114 points by diodorus 69 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 31 comments

Visiting Egypt, particularly as an American, is an amazing experience. I tend to think of the American Revolution as “a long time ago”. After all, that’s when the country began.

Egypt, on the other hand, is a whole different ball game. It’s easy to recognize this on an intellectual level by reading on Wikipedia. But to see the history laid out like geological stratum is something else: layers on layers of civilization after civilization. Sometimes quite literally, like cases of hieroglyphics covered in multiple layers of graffiti, each layer in a different language.

It’s also enjoyable to see how enthusiastic Egyptians are about this history, and about new discoveries like this one. If you ever get the chance to go, go.

The old town of Split, Croatia, is built inside a third century Roman palace. When I visited, I was confused by all the Egyptian artefacts and artwork there. Until I realized that the Romans of course also enjoyed historical stuff from thousands of years ago.

My go to reminder of how old civilization is is the fact that the time between Great Pyramid and Jesus is longer than the time between Jesus and today. And this ignores even that we know of rather large settlements (hundreds) even twice the age of the Great Pyramid.

A similar comparison: Cleopatra lived closer in time to the moon landings than to the building of the Great Pyramid. (And not just by a small amount of time but about 500 years or so)

this is old news, even the article is from 29th July there is actually more photos in this article about it by the sun of all newspapers! actual real factual news in the sun! (for those of you that are unfamiliar the sun is a tabloid paper in the uk that basically does boobs on page 3 and sports that's about it)


American news sites haven't figured out these articles told via big pictures with captions the UK sites always use. It's a great format for low-density information and low cognitive effort reading.

Fascianting chan that catalogs old structures. No commentary: https://www.youtube.com/user/vlad9vt

Vlad's videos are amazing. I think he's explored quite a bit that is difficult to find much on.

Thanks for that link - fascinating videos, I've already lost a couple of hours browsing through them.

45m is well within range of recreational diving, I wonder if this will become a diving destination.

Personally I would love to dive ruins like this, bit the cynic in me knows that tourists would strip the location and ruin it.

Some sensitive areas have had good results with requiring tourists to dive with licensed local guides. But 45m is a little deeper than most recreational divers can safely go. To do it safely and get a reasonable bottom time takes some basic technical dive training plus double tanks with normoxic trimix, and a decompression stage. (I know many divers have gone deeper using a single tank with compressed air but if anything goes wrong it can turn deadly in seconds.)

My deepest dive on a single tank was 57m, and I wouldn't recommend that or try to repeat it. Down currents can be terrifying.

You're right that 45m puts of out of range of most divers, but it is definitely still a doable dive with decent divers on twins and a deco stage.

The visibility in the photo looks decent for a silty bottom, I wonder what the current is like since it is in the Nile.

I am also curious about what caused it to become submerged in 45m of water 1500 years ago.

57m on a single tank would just be so short too; air goes quick at that depth, and the longer you stay down the longer you have to take getting up.

it was definitely not the plan.

I remember being hooked on the wall and seeing my bubbles descending behind me. That dive felt more like mountain climbing than diving.

Some walls have vicious down currents, but if you just swim away from the wall a few meters the current will decline and you can establish positive buoyancy.

You're right, but I wasn't willing to take that risk.

One of the divers in my group was already in a mild state of panic and I didn't want to chance them letting go of the wall and descending another 10m.

I had a plan to deal with the current, but oxygen toxicity is another thing entirely.

Oxygen toxicity isn't really a factor at that depth; you'd run out of air on a single tank before experiencing any toxicity symptoms. The immediate concerns would be narcosis and hypercapnia.

Climate change?

45m is well below the range of recreational diving, which has a limit of about 40m. Below that you're looking at needing multiple air cylinders, special breathing gas mixtures, and decompression stops on the way up.

On the other hand, 45m is totally fair game for technical divers, who are trained in deeper, longer, decompression style diving. Divers who pursue this training need to be tip-top recreational divers first.

Depends on where you train. French Federation goes to 60 on air, which is nuts in my opinion.

45 m is well within the range of decompression diving but is beyond the reach of 99% of recreational divers.

Ancient Egypt reminds me of Ozymandias and the humility and perspective we could learn from time or within our lifetimes we'll be able to dive to see remains of soon-to-be lost cities like Miami.

They would find the remains of ancient basketball arenas

Highly recommend visiting the touring exhibit of artifacts from Thonis-Heracleion if you get a chance.

I am curious about what flooded it. Surely the sea level didn't increase by 45m in that short amount of time.

It looks like the sea level for the northern side of the Mediterranean increased by about 1.5 meters since Roman times, due to isostatic rebound: http://people.rses.anu.edu.au/lambeck_k/pdf/242.pdf

The wikipedia page for Heracleion attributes it to "soil liquefaction", i.e. the whole city's underlying soft soil/sand became fluid enough to wash away. It must have been eroded to other parts of the sea, leaving the inerodible stoneworks lying there.

It even increased by 2500m in the last 6 million years. The Nile cut at Cairo into a huge canyon. This area is constantly sinking. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messinian_salinity_crisis

I wonder who is doing these expeditions, is it the Egyptian government?

Define "doing". Funding? Performing the exploration/excavation of these sites?

treasures from the wreck of the unbelievable!

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