Anyway, I'm doing my best to not do the whole "my New Year's resolution" thing where I promise to start up again in January. Feel free to wet noodle me if I fail at this.
Sunken Treasure, and the unreliability of anything you find on the Internet.
And because of those declining standards we're going to start a conversation today totally out of left field. Because the place that led me to today's post doesn't deserve the link. I have a real issue with click-baiting with scientific data, when your data is made up of a Yahoo article I'm guessing you didn't even read.
If you'd like an actual, decent article you can check it out here.
So basically Heracleion, or Thonis, or Thonis-Heracleion--depending on how picky you are--was a coastal-delta city in Egypt beginning somewhere around 800 bce (Wikipedia says 1200, but it doesn't say why it thinks this, so I'll go with the guy who started digging it up). Listed as a pretty serious port city for the Pharaohs, regulating access to the Nile for trade with Greece, it sunk into the sea around a millennium ago (probably because of an earth-quake) forever lost to history.
Alright, I call bullshit on that last bit. Things forever lost to history don't have names with actual, accurate naming conventions. The boat they found off the coast of Italy was lost to history. Nobody knew it existed until they found it. Something with a selection--even if it's only a couple--of footnotes in the written historical record wasn't forever lost to history.
Also, maybe this is just me reading between the lines, but I have a feeling this is one of those things we were relatively sure about it's location, we just needed technology to catch up with our hopes enough to get us there.
Underwater Archaeology is still fairly new, on the whole. The Nautical Archaeological Society has only been around since 1972. I could get into a discussion of how much Archaeology has changed in the last fifty years, but I'd bore us all to death.
Also, Thonis-Heracleion has made it to the top of the 'news-worthy' heap on like three separate occasions since Franck Goddio rediscovered it in 2000. I'm not sure where the cut off for 'new' is, but I feel like we've for sure passed it at the fourteen year mark.
All of this is to say that while I'm glad I stumbled on Thonis-Heracleion today, that doesn't make me any less upset with the shoddy standard of the reporting that got me there. Here's a novel idea, for the future. Let's all try and click-bait with things that are actually half-way decently researched and marginally fact-checked.
Come back Wednesday when we'll talk about...I don't know. Probably television. If you've got an alternate suggestion leave it in the comments. I'm always up for a challenge.