It is fairly common knowledge that there are lots of sunken cities. Coastlines have raised rather significantly in the last 10,000 years or so. Then there are natural disasters; earthquakes sink cities, volcanoes bury cities and then sink them, tsunamis overtake them and wash them out to sea. It happens.
I’ve been reading a book on the Mediterranean Sea and early civilizations that flourished along its coastlines. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of villages under the waves. One immediately jumps to mind; Alexandria, Egypt. Because it is actually 1 a.m. and I am scheduling this post for in the future at a more reasonable hour, I will admit that my brain cannot think of the Egyptian name for Alexandria at the moment and it is too tired to take the time to look it up. So, we’ll have to live with Alexandria.
What was I talking about? Oh yes, sunken cities. I’m reading this book and randomly, there was a line about “humans have never had a reason to build cities under water.” Um, what? It didn’t really go with the paragraph it was in, it had randomly been shoved into a section about how the Egyptians weren’t really fond of travelling across the Mediterranean. Weird, but whatever.
Later, I’m reading another chapter and suddenly there is this big theory introduced about why humans would build cities underwater. What?!? The simplified version of the theory is this: They built them underwater to honor water gods. Seriously? That’s why you think we have underwater cities? I’m pretty sure I read somewhere else in this book that “humans never had a need to build cities under water,” what gives? And what sort of technology is required to build a city underwater? Does that mean rivers like the Nile have cities built in the middle of them? After all, the Egyptians really weren’t that interested in traveling around the open waters of the Mediterranean…
The entire book is logical except this wild idea that the ancients were building cities underwater on purpose to honor water gods. Now that this theory has been tossed out to me, I can’t take the rest of the book seriously. I know huge chunks of it are factual, but this one bizarre idea has completely ruined it. The theory contradicts facts presented in the book. At one point, it talks about how Alexandria sank after an earthquake. Later, it says that Alexandria was built underwater. – It should be noted here and now, that only part of Alexandria sank beneath the water and an earthquake was not the only problem the city faced. It has been the site of dozens of wars and invasions, and at one point, it was actually ravaged by a massive tsunami. The tsunami made such an impact, that the anniversary eventually become a “festival day.” – So, it sank because of an earthquake, but was built underwater? I’m confused. How did both of these things happen?
I probably won’t finish the book. I’m too hung up on trying to figure out how cities like Alexandria both sank and were built underwater.