September 9, 2015

Thonis-Heracleion in Context

New publication by the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology

9 September 2015 – Oxford University’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology (OCMA) has published a new book on Thonis- Heracleion and the archaeology in the Canopic region in Egypt. The volume “Thonis-Heracleion in Context”, edited by Damian Robinson and Franck Goddio, presents 16 papers that explore the port-city from the Late through the Ptolemaic Periods and place it within the wider context of the economic and religious life of the northwestern Nile Delta in the first millennium BC.

Thonis-Heracleion was the gateway to Egypt, the obligatory port of entry and customs point, and a vital node in the trading network of the eastern Mediterranean through which goods flowed into and out of Egypt. The port and its harbour basins contain a remarkable collection of evidence for the maritime trading economy, including customs decrees, trading weights, coin production as well as the remains of over sixty ancient shipwrecks. These are set within a detailed understanding of the topography of city, which has been investigated by the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) under the overall direction of Franck Goddio in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and with support of the Hilti Foundation since 2000.

The book concentrates upon presenting new research on a range of material culture from the on-going excavations of Thonis-Heracleion. This research is put into its local context through a number of additional papers that deal with Naukratis, the trading settlement and port upriver from Thonis-Heracleion, and others that seek to place both port-cities into the development of the wider landscape of the northwestern Delta.

Finds from the excavations of Thonis-Heracleion are on display in the exhibition “Osiris. Egypt’s Sunken Mysteries” at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris from September 8, 2015 – January 31, 2016 (

Thonis-Heracleion in context by the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology is the eighth volume in the Canopic region series (Oxford 2015, ISBN: 9781905905331, international distributor: Oxbow Books, Hardback A4, Price 45 £, Order here).

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