A group of archaeologists from the University of Kiel has discovered an ancient submerged settlement that has long been considered mythical. We are talking about the once Danish city of Rungholt, which sank under water in the middle of the 14th century, i.e. 600 years ago.
As it turned out, the ancient settlement is located under a layer of North Sea silt. On the territory of the ancient settlement, archaeologists managed to discover an ancient church 40 meters long and 15 meters wide.
According to The Times, this church could have been the center of a medieval city. Now only the foundation remains. Some other buildings were also discovered.
Rungholt was once a port city in North Frisia, an area of modern Germany that in the Middle Ages belonged to the Duchy of Schleswig. Until recently, the exact location of Rungholt was unknown, and for a long time it was believed that the city was a legend, similar to Atlantis. Recently, however, scientists have begun to find documents confirming its existence. In particular, some facts about the city's life have even come to light.
According to archaeologists, Rungholt was an important city with a port. The settlement could have included about 500 houses. The population was about 3000 people. On the bustling streets of Rungholt, agricultural products, fish, oysters, fishing nets, and amber were traded.
Rungholt had inns, hotels, churches, and brothels. Ships left and arrived daily. The city also hosted tired travelers and street musicians.
Scientists say that according to legend, the city was flooded from January 15 to 16, 1362, when a severe storm hit the coasts of modern Germany, England, the Netherlands, and Denmark. In Germany, the storm was called the Grote Mandrenke, which means "great drowning of people."
The city was destroyed by a powerful storm surge. According to scientists, this event led to the deaths of a total of about 10 thousand people who lived not only in Rungholt but also in other coastal towns. Legends said that the storm swallowed up the city as punishment for the sins of its inhabitants - drunkenness, godlessness, and boasting of wealth.
One monk from England wrote in the Chronicles of the Anonymous of Canterbury that around one in the morning a storm and whirlwind began in England, which had never been seen or heard before. Many houses were completely destroyed or left without roofs due to strong winds.
Archaeologists from the University of Kiel reported that the ruins of the city are located in Wadden. This is a bay of the North Sea between the West Frisian Islands and the northern part of the Netherlands. The Wadden Sea is the largest system of continuous littoral sand and mudflats on Earth, meaning that this area is underwater only at high tide, except for some channels that always have water.
To locate the city, the researchers used various modern geophysical imaging methods and in May this year they discovered a chain of about two kilometers long, consisting of many artificial medieval embankments that once protected the settlement from waves and tides.
As a reminder, a tomb with mummies of children was found in Peru.
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