Ancient Cities

7 Incredible Underwater Ancient Cities That Will Blow Your Mind!

Our oceans are incredibly mysterious. More than 95% of the world’s oceans are unexplored. There could be many ancient artifacts lost in the depths that still need to be discovered. One of the most astonishing of these artifacts that underwater explorers have been able to discover are the ancient ruins of long-forgotten ancient kingdoms. Here is a list of some of the most incredible ancient cities and discoveries that have been lost to the sea.

1. Ancient Underwater city of Pavlopetri
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The city of Pavlopetri is said to be one of the oldest underwater ancient cities. It was discovered in 1967 by Nicholas Flemming and mapped in 1968 by a team of archaeologists from Cambridge. It is found off the coast of Southern Laconia, in Peloponnese, Greece. The city is about 5000-6000 years old. They don’t know how the city was submerged.

The site is about 50,000 square meters. It is an entire town, including streets, buildings, courtyards, and tombs. It has at least 15 buildings submerged in 3-4 meters of water. The walls of the buildings are made of uncut aeolianite, sandstone, and limestone.

Pavlopetri was once a thriving harbor town where the inhabitants conducted local and long distance trade throughout the Mediterranean. This site offers major new insights into the workings of Mycenaean society.

2. The City of Thonis-Heracleion (The lost Kingdom of Cleopatra)
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The city of Thonis-Heracleion, known in modern times as the lost kingdom of Cleopatra was used as a gateway to Egypt. Among the most amazing of ancient cities, The lost Kingdom of Cleopatra is submerged in Egypt’s Aboukir Bay, near Alexandria. How it sank is still a mystery but it was submerged by the Mediterranean Sea and has been buried in sand and mud for more than 1,200 years.

A few of the artifacts remained largely intact. Some of the discoveries were the foundations of the palace, shipwrecks, red granite columns, and statues of the goddess Isis and a sphinx. The entire city was completely submerged, along with all the artifacts, statues, columns and other beauties of the palace of Cleopatra.

3. The Pyramids of Yonaguni-Jima Japan
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The Pyramids of Yonaguni-Jima are found off the coast of Japan. These mysterious pyramids rise up a massive 250 feet starting from the sea floor. If the structure is man-made, some scientists suggest that it was built around 10,000 BCE around the ice age.

Scientists around the world don’t know if the Yonaguni Monument is a man-made creation or not. Usually, in nature, we don’t find perfectly cut squares and triangles but these pyramids could still have been by mother nature.

4. Ancient Underwater “Lion City”
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The Lion City or “Shi Cheng” In Mandarin is a city that was built in the Later Han dynasty in 208 AD. It is hidden 130 feet underwater beneath the Qiandao lake between the Five Lion Mountain in the eastern province of Zhejiang. This ancient city vanished without a trace 53 years ago. The city went underwater because the Chinese government decided they needed a new hydro-electric power station. The city was directly in the firing line and was flooded when its valley was turned into a man-made lake.

Many of the intricate stone carvings and guardian lions that were scattered around the city are still perfectly intact. It remains undisturbed from the surface at a depth of 26-40m and has provided scientists and archaeologists a glimpse into what life in ancient China was really like.

5. Sunken Ancient City of Baiae
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The city of Baiae was named after Baios, Odysseus’ helmsman. It was of the most important cities of Ancient Rome and Roman seaside resort, overlooking the Bay of Naples. Baiae was Naples Bay city, even more famous than Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Capri. It was connected to the Roman Empire’s biggest naval base, Portus Julius, home port of the western Imperial Fleet of ancient Rome.

Due to high amounts of volcanic activities around Baiae, over a course of 2000 years, the ground level of Baiae kept rising and falling, which ultimately led Baiae and its port to collapse into the ocean. Over several centuries, Baiae lies submerged in just a few feet of water, with all streets, imperial luxury villas, and statues.

6. Dwaraka, Krishna’s Lost City
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Krishna’s legendary city of Dwaraka was considered to be a myth but not that long ago a group of scientists discovered the City of Dwaraka. It is submerged off the northwestern coast of India near the Gulf of Cambay

This is one of the oldest of ancient cities at about 12,000 years old and is certainly not a myth any longer. It isn’t too clear on how the city was submerged but it was said the sea water flooded the city and covered everything until it was submerged.

7. Port Royal
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In 1692, there was an earthquake that hit Port Royal and caused two-thirds of the city to sink below sea level. It is perfectly preserved underwater.

The investigation of Port Royal found a lot of perishable, organic artifacts that were preserved in the oxygen-depleted underwater environment. Using historical document and doing underwater excavations they have found out a lot about the everyday life in the English colonial port city.

Additional Resources:
The Ankh – What it Means and Why it’s Still Important Today



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