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A 2,000-year-old lost city found off the

Coast of Africa

Thanks to extremely low tides, a diver spotted a 4-kilometer

wall which belonged to the 2,000-year-old lost city.
According to archaeologists, the discovery of the 2,000-yearold lost city could completely alter our understanding of

After an unusually low tide revealed what appeared to be the remnants of a 4-kilometer-long
wall, a diver discovered what could be one of the most important archaeological underwater
discoveries in the last century. According to researchers, Allen Sutten a local scuba diver
could have found the remains of Rhapta, an ancient city dating back some 2,000 years.
Rhapta was a prominent marketplace said to have existed somewhere on the southeastern
coast of the African Continent. It rose to prominence during the 1st century CE.
Before the low tides revealed the giant wall off the coast of Africa, there were a couple of
theories where the city was located. However never before has conclusive evidence been
found proving that the lost city had actually existed
Based on the ancient Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, Rhapta was the last marketplace of
Azania located two days travel south from the Menouthias islands. However, Claudius
Ptolemy, a prosperous merchant said Rhapta was located where the river of the same name
enters the Indian Ocean opposite the Island of Menouthias.
The lost city of Rhapta was documented in Ptolemys Geography as Africas first
metropolis. According to Ptolemy, it was one of the wealthiest cities of its time and was
considered among merchants as a trading hub for metal weapons and tortoiseshell.
Since the city disappeared some 2,000 years ago, little evidence had been found to support
its existence.
According to George Wynn Brereton Huntingford a linguist, anthropologist and historian,
Rhapta could have been located: at the mouth of the Mkulumuzi and Sigi Rivers, at the
mouth of the Ruvu river, tree miles north of Dar es Salaam, Somewhere in the Rufiji
River delta, opposite Mafia Island. However since there was no conclusive evidence the
theories could not be proven.
Before discovering the ruins of Rhapta, the remains were spotted from a helicopter. Sutten
decided to work out what he had seen from the air and decided to go for a dive. It took Allan
nearly three years to pinpoint the exact location of the lost city that according to many, could
change African history forever.

Interestingly, the ruins are only visible when the spring tides in the region are extremely low.
According to Prof. Felix Chami an archaeologist from Tanzania the discover could
completely alter our understanding of history. Prof. Chami found a number of artifacts on the
island of Mafia and Juani revealing that Eastern Africa was an integral part of the Indian
Ocean trade.
Researchers hope that future diving expeditions will reveal the numerous treasures the
ancient city took when it disappeared two millennia ago.
The discovery proves that there are countless cities around the globe which disappeared
thousands of years ago due to various catastrophic phenomena like floods.