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Ancient Cities and Megalithic Sites Underwater

A wealth of human history lies submerged in ancient cities at the bottoms of lakes, seas and oceans of the world.

Some of these urban centers were sent into the water via earthquakes, tsunamis or other disasters thousands of years ago.

Many ruins have just recently been rediscovered, by accident or through emergent technological innovations. Some have even caused scientists to question the history of human civilization.

Unlike the fabled cities of Atlantis and Lemuria, the underwater ruins of the ancient Greek city of Helike were rediscovered in 2001. Buried underneath the remnants of a primordial lagoon, it is no longer a tantalizing mystery for writers, historians and enterprising explorers. A multitude of ancient cities and buildings have been found underneath the waters of our oceans. In the past couple of years, discovery claims surfaced of ancient underwater sites the size of Pompeii. As convincing as these claims are, no real proof has ever been found for the supposed Japan, Cambay and Cuba anomalies and these sites remain highly controversial. The following ruins serve as a reminder of Mother Nature’s might and of our glorious archaeological ancestry.

Seahenge Norfolk, England

Seahenge, also known as Holme 1, consisted of a ring of fifty-five oak trunks that formed a circular enclosure with a large inverted oak stump in the centre. The trunks were placed in a trench and not in individual holes with their bark facing outwards and split sides facing inwards. Placed about 3 ft into the ground, we will never know how tall the trunks actually were. It was built around the 21st century BC. After its discovery in 1998, the site was excavated despite protests from Neo-pagan groups and the timbers were cleaned and placed in permanent storage. A recreated Seahenge was placed at the original site and a museum opened to the public in 2008.

Seahenge

Sunken ruins of Cleopatra’s palace, Alexandria, Egypt

Off the shores of Alexandria, the city of Alexander the Great, lie what are believed to be the ruins of the royal quarters of Cleopatra. It is believed that earthquakes over 1,500 years ago were responsible for casting this into the sea, along with artifacts, statues and other parts of Cleopatra’s palace. The city of Alexandria even plans to offer underwater tours of this wonder.

Alexandria

Lost more than 1600 ago, Cleopatra’s palace as well as the temple of Isis was discovered in the archaeological waters of Alexandria. Legend holds that Cleopatra and Marc Anthony committed suicide to avoid capture by the Romans, who in turn destroyed and dispersed their belongings. Up to date, archaeologists have found three areas where they believe their tomb to be. More than 140 artifacts have been excavated so far, and excavation work continues to this day at the submerged royal quarters. Archaeologists are also researching the possibility of an underwater museum at the site.

CleopatraPalace

Links: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Raising-Alexandria.html

Herakleion and Canopus, Abu Qir Bay, Egypt

Herakleion and Canopus were the twin cities guarding the gateway to Egypt. Herakleion was also home to Menelaus, king of Sparta, during his famous 10-year war against Troy. More than 1200 years ago, the cities abruptly collapsed when a flood turned the ground on which they were built into silt. Until their discovery in 1999, the only proof of their existence came from the texts of a few venerable historians and Greek mythology. The ancient ruins were discovered at depths of 20 – 23 feet (7 m), frozen in time, with its many temples, statues and other dwellings still demonstrating its former glory.

Link: http://blog.world-mysteries.com/strange-artifacts/thonis-heracleion-legendary-sunken-city-discovered/

Baiae,Bay of Naples, Italy

Baiae was the home port of the Western Imperial fleet of Rome. Playground of the filthy rich and infamous for its corruption and decadence the site has delivered numerous Roman sculptures. As a stockpile of casts were discovered, some believe a workshop probably mass-produced copies of original bronze sculptures for the Roman market. Baiae was annihilated by Muslim invaders in the 8th century AD and completely abandoned by 1500. Due to the volcanic activity of the area, the structure ultimately collapsed into the ocean.

 

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Baiae

Pavlopetri Peloponnese, Greece

Pavlopetri is unique as it is the earliest submerged archaeological city to have been discovered. It had a layout of streets, courtyards, tombs and various buildings that has largely remained as it was millennia ago. Accurately mapped for the first time in 2009, archaeologists were amazed to discover the site sprawled more then 30,000 square meters. The town was engulfed around 1000 BC by an earthquake. A protected underwater cultural heritage site as listed by UNESCO, it remains in danger of being damaged by thieves, tourists and boat anchors.

Pavlopetri2

The complex mix of expert archaeology, underwater robotics and state of the art graphics allowed the team to piece together the secrets of Pavlopetri, producing spectacular results.

 

Pavlopetri

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00kvv96

Atlit-Yam Haifa, Israel

Dating from around 7000 BC, this is one of the oldest and largest submerged human dwellings ever discovered. In fact, for 9000 years the granular ocean floor preserved the site so well, that bugs can still be found in the grain stores and the skeletons are still lying peacefully in their graves. The ruins were discovered in 1984 and immediately gave rise to different theories as to how the well-developed ancient village met its ultimate demise. From a tsunami to the gradual rise of the ocean due to the systematic melting of the glaciers, the events leading to its ultimate fate will forever be shrouded in mystery.

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 Atlit_yam2
Atlit_Yam

Link: http://www.antiquities.org.il/article_Item_eng.asp?sec_id=14&subj_id=139

Port Royal, Kingston Harbor, Jamaica

Home to prostitutes and pirates, Port Royal used to be the “Wickedest City on Earth”. Founded in 1518, it was a notorious port city and popular abode for English and Dutch privateers until their governments cancelled their commissions to confiscate Spain’s ships. As the privateers became pirates, the port became the hotspot for pirates from as far away as Madagascar. Destroyed and sunk in part after an earthquake in 1692, excavations have yielded historical documents, various buildings, thoroughfares and actual preserved food. Various plans are in the pipeline to redevelop the town into a main tourist destination.

PortRoyal2
PortRoyal

The Shore Temple Mahabalipuram, India

The famous Mahabalipuram temple has always been encased in folklore. The legends spoke of seven temples that were so dazzling; the gods grew envious and sent a flood that submerged all but one of them, leaving the Shore Temple companionless. After the Tsunami of December 2004, a collapsed temple as well as several other structures and primordial rock sculptures used in the same era to decorate walls and religious shrines were exposed. It revived theories that Mahabalipuram formed part of the Seven Pagodas the first Europeans wrote about.

shore-temple

Bay of Cambay, India

A few years back discovered the remains of a vast 9,500 year old city. This submerged ruin has intact architecture and human remains. More significantly, this find predates all finds in the area by over 5,000 years, forcing historians to reevaluate their understanding of the history of civilazation in the region. The find has been termed Dwarka, or the ‘Golden City,’ after an ancient city-in-the sea said to belong to the Hindu god Krishna.

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1768109.stm

Bimini Road

The Bimini Road, sometimes called the Bimini Wall, is an underwater rock formation near North Bimini island in the Bahamas. The Road consists of a 0.8 km (0.50 mi)-long northeast-southwest linear feature composed of roughly rectangular to subrectangular limestone blocks.

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Bimini_road1

Although it is generally considered to be a naturally occurring geological feature, as a result of the unusual arrangement and shape of the stones some believe that the formation is the remains of an ancient road, wall, or some other deliberately constructed feature. For example articles published in Argosy (an American pulp magazine) and either authored or coauthored by Robert F. Marx, a professional diver and visitor to the Bimini Road, argued that the Bimini Road is an artificial structure.

Yonaguni-Jima, Japan

A mysterious undersea structure off the coast of Japan causes controversy – is this a natural geological phenomena or a man-made structure which changes the history books as we know them?

In 1986, a diver near the island of Yonaguni Jima, off the southern tip of Japan (around Okinawa) came across some strange structures about 25 metres below sea level. They appeared to be stepped structures with terraces and ramps. One of the largest pyramid structures is 600 feet wide and 90 feet high –with five separate levels of stone blocks with what appears to be road surrounding the structure.

These structures seem to have been carved right out of bedrock in a teraforming process using tools previously thought unavailable to ancient cultures of the region.

Yonaguni

MEGALITHIC RUINS near Yucatan Channel, Cuba

A team of scientists continues to explore megalithic ruins found in the Yucatan Channel near Cuba. They have found evidence of an extensive urban environment stretching for miles along the ocean shore. Some believe that the civilization that inhabited these predates all known ancient American cultures. So far, only computer models of this mysterious underwater city exist.

YucatanChannel_Ruins

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Samabaj Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

Discovered in 1996, researchers have concluded that the ruins were originally an island until volcanic activity or a landslide sunk it 1700 years ago.

LakeAtitlan

 

The buildings were drowned before the era of Mayan rule and artifacts discovered have left the impression that the area was abandoned in a hurry. Several ceremonial monuments have been uncovered as well as altars, incense burners, ceramics and other artifacts. Excavations are extremely demanding as the visibility is close to none and everything is covered with a very thick layer of silt.

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Ancient

The Janibekov effect and other indirect evidence of the existence of antediluvian civilization

Recently, in the northeast of Siberia, archaeologists have discovered the sites of ancient people thirty thousand years old. Before that, it was believed that the first people appeared there fourteen, fifteen millennia ago, that is, approximately when mammoths, cave lions and woolly rhinos disappeared. 

People were still considered to be responsible for the disappearance of these animals. Allegedly, the ancient people, who lived by hunting and gathering, mercilessly exterminated these animals for several centuries until they completely destroyed their population.

The decline in the number of rhinos and other animals does not coincide with the appearance of humans in this region, said the professor of evolutionary genetics at the Center for Paleogenetics Love Dalen.

New archaeological data refute this theory and testify in favor of some kind of global catastrophe that happened about 13 thousand years ago.

According to one of the versions, regular global cataclysms on Earth occur due to a regular change of poles (the Janibekov effect).

The Janibekov effect is the intermediate axis theorem, or the tennis racket theorem in classical mechanics – a statement about the instability of the rotation of a rigid body about the second principal axis of inertia. (Wikipedia)

The Janibekov effect and other indirect evidence of the existence of antediluvian civilization
The Janibekov effect and other indirect evidence of the existence of antediluvian civilization

It is believed that periodically, in the interval from 600 to 650 thousand years, the earth’s poles change, which is accompanied by global catastrophes. This is usually accompanied by powerful volcanic eruptions, intensified seething of mud springs, increased degassing, earthquakes and tsunamis, which ultimately leads to fatal changes in the climate and topography of the planet’s surface.

These practically proven facts about the global catastrophe that happened on Earth 13 thousand years ago also indirectly confirm the possible existence of an ancient (antediluvian) civilization in the northern part of the planet.

There is almost no intelligible evidence of the high development of antediluvian civilizations. There are controversial and unrecognized by science artifacts, legends, myths, traditions, strange anomalous areas, the poorly explored bottom of the ocean, probable places for mining stone and other minerals. 

All of this is either poorly researched or deliberately rejected and declared falsification. There are unique ancient structures made of stone, and their design features, construction methods and quality of stone processing are so high that sometimes they even surpass the capabilities of modern civilization.

The Janibekov effect and other indirect evidence of the existence of antediluvian civilization
The Janibekov effect and other indirect evidence of the existence of antediluvian civilization

According to the testimony of some enthusiastic researchers, namely, they are trying to unravel the mysteries of history and return historical science itself to the mainstream of truth, traces of some ancient civilization have been preserved on the Kola Peninsula. 

Most likely – Atlantis, (or Hyperborea), because somewhere in this area supposedly was the legendary island of Atlantis.

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Ancient

A fierce embodiment of Earth: The Mayan structure used for direct dialogue with the gods

Scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) working in Guatemala have found evidence of the ritual significance of the classic Maya pairings. They found a structure the likes of which had never been found in Mesoamerica.

According to EurekAlert, archaeologists visited the city of Ksultun, where an ancient bathhouse was found earlier. She received the name Los Sapos. Scientists have long known that the Maya built a kind of steam room – their baths, according to their principle of operation, were designed for profuse sweating.

These baths were believed to have religious significance. They also sent here for treatment, brought women in labor. However, new research showed that the importance of such structures was even more important. The fact is that the Los Sapos bath, dating from the early classical period (250-550 AD), turned out to be unlike any other ancient Mesoamerican bath.

The researchers concluded that this was not just a place for direct dialogue with the gods. The Maya considered this bath itself an amphibian goddess. Outside, near the entrance to it, scientists found an image of this little-known deity. The goddess is depicted squatting with legs on which iguanas and reed toads sit.

“No other structure in Mesoamerica – a bathhouse or anything else – is like this building,” says STRI archaeologist Ashley Sharp. the amphibian that personified this bath.”

According to lead author of the study, Mary Clarke, the name of this goddess remains undeciphered, although it is written next to the image. Preliminary analysis of the inscription led scientists to speculate that this goddess was responsible for the cycles of pregnancy. The connection between the ideas of the birth of children and the figures of reptiles is often traced in the Maya of the classical period.

She also noted that the Los Sapos baths have been actively used by the Sultun community for about 300 years. But then something important and frightening happened. The fact is that in the “doorway” archaeologists unearthed the remains of an adult man who was buried there around 600 AD.

The analysis showed that after that no one used the bath for another 300 years. Only three centuries after the funeral, someone re-entered this structure. It is interesting that this person or several people had a strictly defined goal – they dug out a burial place and took with them part of the remains.

The rest of them they put in another place, and in the vacated grave they lit a fire. Subsequently, they repeatedly put various offerings to the gods in this grave. Dogs, birds, reed toads and iguanas were sacrificed. Archaeologists found the remains of a child in this pit, as well as numerous stone tools and ceramic shards.

“Archaeologists often find clusters of artifacts that were probably dedicated to places of worship, but rarely is there such an obvious connection between artifacts and objects,” Sharpe says. “From the image on the outer wall of Los Zapos, we know it was a ‘steam room’ “It was a rare occasion for us to associate offerings with the role that this structure played in the life of the community.”

According to the authors of the work, the offerings were probably an attempt to seek help from the goddess who personified Los Sapos. Moreover, it could even be the last attempt to please a supernatural being and prevent the loss of their lands, which were abandoned shortly after the Mayan collapse in 900 AD.

“This supernatural figure is the fierce embodiment of Earth,” Clarke concludes. “When she is unhappy, she can take revenge or deny people the things they need to survive. they negotiated with this goddess for their survival. “

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Ancient

Secrets of the Forbidden City are being solved by modern archaeologists

If we compare the millennia during which palaces were built and restored in China with an epic novel, then the Forbidden City in Beijing is its last impressive chapter.

An exhibition celebrating the 600th anniversary of the completion of the Forbidden City opened in Beijing on September 10.  Photo: Jiang Dong / CHINA DAILYAn exhibition celebrating the 600th anniversary of the completion of the Forbidden City opened in Beijing on September 10. Photo: Jiang Dong / CHINA DAILY

The previous pages of this story, although no less amazing, were partially or even almost completely lost during the rise and fall of dynasties and turned into ruins, similar to archaeological puzzles. Experts are still solving them. However, in the heart of Beijing, there is a 720,000-square-meter palace complex built of wood and clay bricks – the last surviving structure of its kind in the world. This area, which served as an imperial palace from 1420 to 1911 and where 24 emperors once lived, celebrates 600 years since the completion of construction this year.

In honor of this event, the Umen Gate galleries at the entrance to the Imperial Palace Museum became a kind of lobby, where visitors to the exhibition “Eternal Splendor: Six Centuries in the Forbidden City” enter. It will run until November 15th.

“There is so much that has happened in 600 years that can be said,” says Zhao Peng, director of the museum’s architectural heritage department and chief curator of the exhibition. “It is best to focus on the ‘city’ itself, that is, on architecture: to understand how this place was formed and modified … This is the crystallized wisdom and talent of the ancient Chinese. “

Yet it is not easy to select just 450 items, including structural elements and imperial relics, to reveal a panorama of such architectural splendor. In order to chronologically show how the complex originated, expanded and developed with the help of the exhibits, 18 significant years were selected from the entire centuries-old history. 

“These time periods help to see a fuller historical picture,” Zhao says.

In 1406, Zhu Di, the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), proposed to move the capital from Nanjing (today it is the administrative center of Jiangsu Province) to Beijing in order to better guard the northern borders. Zhu Di himself lived in Beijing as a prince.The Forbidden City was built according to rules derived from centuries of Chinese history.

The construction was completed in 1420, after almost ten years of preparation and three years of active work. The following year, the capital was officially moved to Beijing.

“A striking feature of the Forbidden City is how, despite the changing eras, certain architectural forms are strictly adhered to,” Zhao says. “This reflects traditional Chinese thought that emphasizes the importance of ritual and harmony between people and the sky.”

The Forbidden City was built according to rules derived from centuries of Chinese history. The exhibition presents “Notes on the Study of Crafts” (Kaogongji) – a treatise that spells out the basics of building a palace. It was published during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and is part of the classic Chinese work Zhou Rituals (Zhouli) on rituals and notions of order.

“Notes on the Study of Crafts” regulate the symmetrical layouts of the capital cities, in the center of which on the north-south axis should be a palace. The historic districts of modern Beijing, including the Forbidden City, fully comply with this rule.

“Finally, this ideal layout, which has been guided for nearly 2,000 years, has been faithfully embodied in Beijing,” Zhao says.

Following the rituals is reflected in the architectural details.

For example, only the roof of the Hall of Higher Harmony – the most prestigious structure in the palace, where the most important ceremonies took place – can be decorated with ten figures of deified beings. The simpler the roof is decorated, the lower the status of the building.

The Hall of Supreme Harmony also has 11 rooms – more than any other building in the complex. (In ancient Chinese architecture, a room was a square space between four columns.)

Roof shape is another important indicator by which you can determine the status of a building. For example, the roof of the Hall of Higher Harmony is four-pitched and two-tier, its ends protrude and bend upwards. Only buildings of the highest status can have such a roof.

In 1734, Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) issued an official guide to the construction of palaces. The book, which is over 2,700 pages, spells out all the architectural criteria, including the size of the columns and the decoration of the roofs. According to Zhao, this is an important milestone in the history of the fusion of rituals with Chinese architecture.

The Forbidden City in Beijing has two older brothers. When Zhu Yuanzhang founded the Ming Dynasty and became emperor, he made the capital of his hometown, which is today in Fengyang County, Anhui Province. However, the construction of a huge palace complex for unknown reasons suddenly stopped, and Zhu Yuanzhang decided to build an imperial city in Nanjing.

The Gate of Supreme Harmony is one of the most visited attractions of the palace complex. Photo: Courtesy of CHINA DAILY

Both imperial cities fell into ruins, but some important details have survived to this day, such as stone fences and tiles in the galleries of the Umen Gate. They help to imagine what the early architecture of the Forbidden City might have looked like.

“The original appearance of buildings can often be seen in the paintings,” says the deputy director of the architectural heritage department of the museum, Di Yajing.

No matter how the new emperors followed the precepts of their ancestors, it is clear that they wanted to decorate their new home. “The Ming emperors preferred simple yet stately architecture, and therefore large buildings were built during their reign,” Di says. “However, the Qing emperors tended to be more sophisticated.”To understand whether the pictures correspond to historical reality, you need to conduct additional checks

Sometimes this was a forced decision, since it was difficult to find giant pieces of valuable timber to renovate the palace. However, the Qing emperors demonstrated their wealth and status with handicrafts of the most skillful work. Thanks to Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799), who adored fine arts, this trend reached its peak. In 1766, he ordered the construction of the Palace of Serenity and Longevity in the Forbidden City, where he planned to live after leaving the throne. The garden of this palace has become a real treasure trove of exceptional decorative objects.

The lacquered gauze fabric, which used to be placed on the window, allows visitors to appreciate its uniqueness, because the garden has never been opened to the public before. The decor of this silk combines techniques such as paper cutting, gilding, dyeing and varnishing. This means that several artisans worked on its creation at once. 12-ply fabric is paper thin.

“We tried to replicate this decor, but even modern manufacturing techniques did not help us,” Dee says. “This lost technique reminds us that cultural heritage must be carefully preserved.”

Complex renovation of the main buildings of the complex has been going on since 2002. Although it was originally planned to be completed by a round date this year, in the end the architects decided not to rush to complete the work with full responsibility and respect for history.

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