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6 of the best Mediterranean underwater ruins to dive

6 of the best Mediterranean underwater ruins to dive

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ALEXANDRIA’S ROYAL QUARTERS — EGYPT

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Sunken Antirhodos Island, in Alexandria’s murky eastern harbour, holds ancient treasures such as palace columns and black granite sphinxes that once stared at Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Temples, buildings, palaces, statues, ceramics, coins, jewellery and every day objects lay untouched on the seabed covered by thick layers of sand and sediment for more than 1,200 years. Unfortunately for divers, all the well-preserved pieces have now been taken out of the water to be placed in museums. However, you still get the feel of the underwater civilisation and there are some artefacts to be seen.

A version of this article orignally appeared in the June issue of ShowBoats

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BAIAE, ITALY

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A first century BC aristocratic villa, Emperor Claudius’ Nymphaeum and ancient pillars among fumaroles are but a few highlights within this underwater archeological park, which once was a Roman resort west of current Naples. For years these ruins were only enjoyed by a few intrepid archaeologists, but now tourists can visit the park to see some of its preserved underwater mosaics, statues and Roman ruins. If you are not into diving it is also possible to view the ruins by taking a tour in a glass-bottomed boat.

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THONIS-HERACLEION, EGYPT

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Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Helen and her lover, Paris, visited this ancient Egyptian port city before the Trojan War. The city was believed to be a legend by many until it was re-discovered in 2000. The underwater civilization was found during a survey of the north coast of Egypt and ever since researchers have been discovering more about the city through which trade from Greece and the Mediterranean entered Egypt. During their research archaeologists have discovered the wreckages of more than 64 ships, gold coins and giant 16-foot statues.

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