Lost Cities

BARRY IVERSON for TIME

A 2,000-year old sarcophagus is just one of the 8,741 artifacts that Goddio and his team have recovered so far

Strong Mediterranean currents can churn the water near the mouth of the Nile river into a sea of mud. But when divers led by French explorer Franck Goddio plunged overboard into the Bay of Abukir one morning last year, good visibility made their mission easier. As they removed centuries of silt from a jumble of limestone blocks on the sea bed 6.5 m below the surface, one of the divers noticed a large granite imbedded in the clay. The divers flipped it over to read Egyptian hieroglyphs on a stele that had been perfectly preserved for nearly 2,000 years. "We were...

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