Boat described by Herodotus 2,500 years ago found in Alexandria

A group of researchers have discovered a sunken boat of a type first described by ancient Greek historian Herodotus almost 2,500 years ago, off the coast of Alexandria among 70 other shipwrecks found while investigating the sunken ruins of ancient port city Thonis-Heracleion, LIVE SCIENCE reported.

This port city was flooded and sank into the Mediterranean near the end of the second century BC.  The city was rediscovered by maritime archaeologist Franck Goddio alongside his team in 2000.

They have since unearthed the remains of an ancient temple, statues, golden coins, and some 70 sunken ships.

Herodotus visited Egypt 450 BC, recorded a detailed description for an unusual boat type called “Baris”. He wrote that it contained a single wheel, papyrus sails and wooden boards made of acacia trees.

“Herodotus describes the boats as having long internal ribs. Nobody really knew what that meant,” Damian Robinson, director of the Oxford Center for Maritime Archaeology, told The Guardian.

“That structure’s never been seen archaeologically before. Then we discovered this form of construction on this particular boat and it absolutely is what Herodotus has been saying.”

Photo credit: Christoph Gerigk/Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation

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