Mystery History - Pt1. - The Underwater Cities.
In my recent series 'When does a myth become truth' I brought to you a number of historical mysteries and anomolies that force us to question everything we've been told about our history. In the first post of the series I wrote about The Lost City of Dwarka, a city believed to be a mythical creation but proved to be a real place when discovered more than a hundred feet under the ocean off the NW coast of India.
It turns out there are many and they cover the entire globe, some submerged by man, others indicate that the history of mankind's development told to us by academia has a missing or deliberately hidden epoch. Proving when sea levels rose is relatively easy and indisputable so there can be no argument from scholars regarding the dating of some of these sites.
So why isn't it a bigger subject? Why aren't we hearing this in the news? Surely decoding the riddle that is our lost history is more newsworthy than the latest utterance of a criminal politician or a vapid celebrity?
The Underwater Cities.
The myth of Atlantis is one that has stood the test of time and captured the imaginations of people since first told by Plato in his works Timaeus and Critias in the 4th century BC.
The idea that such a bountiful land could disappear overnight into the ocean and forgotten to time is a powerful one which gives people pause for thought.
If the story is true could it happen to us? It is this question that I think is what goes through the minds of many people when looking at the subject. What could happen that is so catastrophic that a whole island and it inhabitants should disappear in the blink of an eye?
There are many reasons why a village, town or city would end up underwater and not all of the events happened in antiquity. Let's take a look at some of the more interesting sites that are dotted around the globe, and see how and when they became submerged.
The Yonaguni Monument. - Japan.
The Yonaguni Monument or Pyramid as some call it is found off the coast of Yonaguni which is the southern most of the Ryukyu Islands in Japan just 100km east of Taiwan.
The site has been hotly debated in recent years as you have many scholars who believe it is a man made site and other who believe it is a quirk of nature. The top of the monument sits just 16ft below sea level however it rises approximately 90ft from the seabed.
There are some respectable scholars that believe this is a natural formation although I find the acute angles and apparent pathways and steps at the site extremely interesting, and although I'm not a geologist I'm not sure I believe everything about this place could be from natural occurrences. Others are convinced it is a man made edifice and evidence found at the site suggests that is the case. Below is a picture of how the monument looks in entirety.
To my admittedly untrained eye this does appear to resemble a man made structure. Whether or not it was a naturally occurring edifice that has been altered by man or completely carved by man is a question that came to my mind when I first saw it. Not once did I think it was a product of natural forces, so let's take a look at what the academic world have said regarding this intriguing site.
This article from collective-evolution.com gives opinion from both sides of the argument.....
A City From The Past?
Amid controversy the Yonaguni monument is a submerged rock formation that is thought to be the remnants of a 10,000 year old Japanese civilization. It was discovered by Dive Tour operator Kihachiro Aratake in 1985. Masaaki Kimura a marine geologist at the university of RyuKyus in Japan has spent fifteen years diving amid the Yonaguni anomaly. Kimura over these years has come to the conclusion that this monument is most definitely human made.
According to Kimura, “The largest structure (Yonaguni monument) looks like a complicated, monolithic, stepped pyramid that rises from a depth of 25 meters [82 feet]”.
The structure itself looks a lot like a ziggurat, a type of structure found throughout the world in Latin American pyramids and Middle Eastern cities such as Ur. However this construction is not alone.
Alongside the monument ten other structures have been found on Yonaguni, including a castle, five temple-like structures, and what seems to be a huge stadium. What is more interesting is that all of these structures are connected by roads and water lines.
The Yonaguni monument itself has had the most research undertaken upon it. The monument is made of sandstone, and is derived from the same singular rock formation, a staggering rectangle 150m by 40m and reaching 27m in height. On the peak of the monument a figure thought to be a Turtle has been worked into the stone, with straight edges and incredibly precise corners. Nearby are what seem to be stairs, cut into the sandstone. But how could this structure be created by humans if it is underwater? A marine geologist by the name of Robert M. Schoch accompanied Kimura and Hancock on a dive in 1997 and to the bewilderment of the rest of the crew deduced that the monument was just a natural formation. Schoch believes that the whole monument would have been created by wave erosion over millions of years, and even claimed that the precisely cut corners and stairwells were all produced by random wave erosion. While Schoch had previously been open minded in regard to structures such as the Sphinx being 10,000 years old, he was not convinced at Yonaguni. This seems to be another case of mainstream science refusing to identify anomalies that do not fit into their crafted version of human history. In response to Schoch, Kimura identified several different areas on the monument where it is clear that humans have depicted drawings of animals, disproving the theory that the monument is just a natural formation.
However there still seems to be a huge problem with the Yonaguni monument. How was it built if its underwater, and by whom? Kimura claims that Yonaguni was built over 10,000 years ago, when sea levels where much lower than they are now. During this time, Yonaguni Island would have connected to main land Taiwan, possibly an important trade route for their civilization. In the recent decades, findings have found many settlements on the seabed along this land bridge. Interestingly, this fits into the picture, as it is becoming more and more accepted that there was some sort of advanced ancient civilization living around that period. Kimura, backed by Hancock, also believe that it was built by an advanced civilization that may be linked to the lost continent of Mu, but this is still unproven. Yet how did this supposedly advanced civilization disappear? According to Kimura either rising sea levels eventually led to the abandonment of the city, or a earthquake displaced the island, letting the Yonaguni platform sink into the sea. Either of these scenarios are stark warnings for our modern and seemingly advanced civilization. We are just as vulnerable to earthquakes, and our own actions through our irresponsible use of Earth’s resources are contributing to the changing sea levels. Regardless, Yonaguni stands as a testament to the power of nature.
The Yonaguni monument is surrounded in mystery. It has been swept under the carpet of mainstream human history and in the process could wipe out a key period in Asia’s ancient history. Masaaki Kimura and people like Graham Hancock continue to show the world the unhidden mysteries that it still holds for us and lead the charge in rewriting our history on Earth.
Its an interesting statement the author makes at the end. 'Swept under the carpet' is a phrase I've heard numerous times in recent years from frustrated historians and archaeologists who are literally digging into our lost history, coming up against a wall of silence or carefully crafted narratives when dealing with colleagues in the mainstream history camp. Physical evidence is slowly being collected at the site linking it to people in antiquity so I'm hopeful as the investigation into this fascinating site continues its true history will be revealed. For more information on this site click here and for a deeper look at the physical evidence found at the site as well as an interesting perspective of its story click here.
The City of Shi Cheng, Qiandao Lake - China.
I have picked this site for a number of reasons. The first being that this city was deliberately submerged by the Chinese government when they created Qiandao lake in 1959 when completing the Xin'an hydroelectric power station.
The second reason being we have the unique opportunity for before and after pictures of this city that was founded over 1300 years ago. The city of Shi Cheng is also called Lion City and now resides between 85ft and 130ft below this idllylic looking man made lake. Let's dig a little deeper into the story and take look a some of the incredible underwater pictures of the city as it looks now.
This article from China-underground.com has the best images I've found of the city before and after it was flooded.
Recently Chinese National Geographic magazine published a series of great pictures about Shicheng City (literally, Lion City), Zhejiang. On the Chinese net, we found some interesting views of the city before it was flooded.
At the foot of Wu Shi Mountain (or "Five Lion" Mountain) lies an ancient city known as Shi Cheng ("Lion City"). It was built during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25 - 200) and was first set up as a county in AD 208. At present Shi Cheng remains undisturbed at a depth of 26-40m.
The city was once the center of politics, economics and culture of Sui'an County in that area.
According to the restored map of Shicheng, there were five city gates in all directions. You can find one city gate tower on each city gate and all together there are five towers.
Six streets in Shicheng City were used to connect every corner of the city as a whole. The typical roads in Shicheng City were stone roads, tidily paved by flagstone and pebbles.
It does make you wonder what abilities the ancients had to manipulate the landscape this way, this is by no means the only city/settlement found at the bottom of an inland water course. Did this type of thing go on in the distant past?
There is no mystery to this site however I find its deliberate flooding intriguing. What I find most fascinating about this site is that it was almost forgotten after 50 years! How would we view this in a thousand years if we had no idea of the deliberate flooding of the area? The wooden structures will disappear over time however the stone and brick edifices are better preserved underwater than exposed to the elements above water so future generations will no doubt rediscover this city at some point in the distant future.
Thonis-Heracleion. - Egypt.
Thonis-Heracleion was a city named twice, first by the Greeks and again by the Romans. Founded around 2700 years ago on the site of present day Abu Qir bay it sits 15miles NE of Alexandria. Lying over 4 miles from the current coastline and 30ft underwater the city has an over all search area 6.8 X 9.32 miles!
The city was said by Herodotus to have been visited by Paris and Helen of Troy and that they were possibly stranded there prior to the Trojan wars. This is of course unverified however considering Troy itself was a myth until proven to be a real place in relatively recent times, I'm not surprised evidence is thin on the ground. The pictures from this site are amazing in the amount and quality so let's take a look.
Lets start with this article from atlasobsura.com .....
It was barely more than a legend. Appearing in a few rare inscriptions and ancient texts, the city of Thonis-Heracleion was hidden away for thousands of years, submerged deep under the sea.
After searching for years by screening the vast area of the Abu Qir Bay off the coast of Egypt, French archaeologist Franck Goddio and his team saw a colossal face emerge from the watery shadows. Goddio had finally encountered Thonis-Heracleion, completely submerged 6.5 kilometres off Alexandria’s coast. Among the underwater ruins were 64 ships, 700 anchors, a treasure trove of gold coins, statues standing at 16 feet, and most notably the remains of a massive temple to the god Amun-Gereb, and the tiny sarcophagi for the animals that were brought there as offerings.
The ruins and artifacts made from granite and diorite are remarkably preserved, and give a glimpse into what was, 2300 years ago, one of the great port cities of the world. The harbor of Thonis-Heracleion (the Egyptian and Greek names of the city) controlled all the trade into Egypt.
Built around its grand temple, the city was criss-crossed with a network of canals, a kind of ancient Egyptian Venice, and its islands were home to small sanctuaries and homes. Once a grand city, today its history is largely obscured and no one is quite sure how it ended up entirely underwater.
The quality of the stonework is astounding, no surprise from the Greeks and Romans as their sculptures and architecture are littered throughout Europe and North Africa for all to see, however to find a once great city preserved under the ocean is a real treat.
It was roughly 1200 years ago this once great city finally slipped under the waves never to be seen again by those on land. Why? Volcanic activity? Earthquake? Cosmic event? No one seems to have a definitive answer to that all importantly question.
The man who discovered the city and who is leading the excavation Dr Frank Goddio was quoted in 2013 saying.....
"We are just beginning our research. We will probably have to continue working for the next 200 years for Thonis-Heracleion to be revealed and understood." Source
I hope you enjoyed this brief look at some of the cities that now reside underwater. As stated at the beginning there are many worldwide with many more I'm sure waiting for discovery. Atlantis hunters will no doubt find many of them as they search for that elusive link to an unknown past, treasure hunters seeking fortune will stumble upon them whilst scouring the ocean beds for lost bounty and maybe new ground and ocean penetrating technologies fitted to our satellites will help uncover them. I for one can't wait to see which ancient city or civilisation is rediscovered next