10 Amazing Underwater Ruins Around the World! The legend of Atlantis may seem a little more possible after you've watched 10 amazing underwater ruins.
Music= Horns of Destiny by Tim Garland
Information about every site on the video:...
10. CLEOPATRAS' PALACE
Obscured by murky water for more than 1,500 years, remains of the ancient capital of the Ptolemies have been found in Egypt's Port of Alexandria.
Paved roads, jetties, columns, sphinxes, and amphorae litter one-half square mile of seabed within the eastern portion of the harbor.
Among the remnants found by French businessman-turned-archaeologist Franck Goddio and a French-Egyptian team is a small paved area they believe to be the island of Antirrhodos. According to the description of Alexandria by the Greek geographer Strabo, who was in Egypt ca. 25-19 B.C., the island was the site of Cleopatra's palace. "The remains of the ancient city closest to shore revealed both Greek and Roman remains," says Goddio. "However, those found on the island appear to be solely Ptolemaic, suggesting that the palace was abandoned shortly after Cleopatra's suicide in 31 B.C." The rest of the city seems to have remained in use until it was leveled by an earthquake in 365 A.D.
Because the water is shallow (12-21 feet) Goddio and his team were able to map the site by suspending a plumb bob over each artifact, its line attached to a buoy rigged with a GPS (global positioning system) receiver encased in waterproof housing. "We were lucky that the water is not only shallow but quite calm, enabling us to pinpoint the locations of each contour and archaeological feature." According to Goddio, "Egypt has embarked on a cleanup of the polluted harbor. We hope one day to open the site as an underwater archaeological park. We have a whole city here."
For centuries, ancient writers had praised the Egyptian cities of Canopus and Heracleion(No. 6...) as visions of splendor. Such descriptions had long sparked the interest of historians and archaeologists in the modern world, but the cities themselves were nowhere to be found.
Finally, in 1992, researchers from the Institut Européen d’Archéologie Sous Marine—European Institute of Underwater Archaeology (IEASM)—set out to search the Alexandrian waters. Literary texts, ancient inscriptions, papyrological documentation and archaeological information provided by Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), all indicated great promise in this region. Still, scientists had only a faint idea of the monuments and artifacts hidden in these shallow waters.
Their discoveries now reveal that Canopus and Heracleion formed a rich network with nearby Alexandria, a network that allowed the entire region to flourish. Today the sunken cities contain only remnants of this network, but artifact by artifact, excavations have brought us a few steps closer in the never ending search for Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic queen of Egypt.
9. MULIFANUA, SAMOA
Mulifanua is a village on the north-western tip of the island of Upolu, in Samoa. In the modern era, it is the capital of Aiga-i-le-Tai district. Mulifanua wharf is the main ferry terminal for inter-island vehicle and passenger travel across the Apolima Strait between Upolu and the island of Savai'i.
In 1973, archaeology in Samoa uncovered a Lapita site at Mulifanua where 4,288 pottery sherds and two Lapita type adzes have been recovered. The site has a true age of circa 3,000 BP based on C14 dating on a shell.
This is the only site in Samoa where decorated Lapita sherds have been found, although pieces of Polynesian plainware ceramics are commonly found throughout the Samoan islands. The submerged site was discovered during work carried out to expand the inter-island ferry berth at Mulifanua.
8. Port Royal, Jamaica
"The earth opened and swallowed many people, before my face, and the sea I saw came mounting in over the wall, upon which I concluded it impossible to escape."
Edmund Heath, survivor and eyewitness to the devastating 1692 earthquake wrote these words in a letter from the safety of a ship moored in the city's harbor, overlooking the ruins of his city. Port Royal, once called “the most wicked and sinful city in the world” was famous the world over for its booze - the blackout-inducing Kill Devil Rum - its pirates and its prostitutes. Needless to say, when the city was nearly destroyed, there were some parties that saw it as a convenient solution to an ugly problem.
The English and their pirate friends were relatively new to the area. Jamaica had been held by the Spanish since Columbus first declared it “the fairest island eyes have beheld” in 1494. Lacking gold or other obvious exploitable wealth, the Spanish held it but did not focus much energy there. It came under English power in 1655, after Cromwell sent English raiders to invade and capture the Spanish stronghold at Hispaniola (now Haiti and Dominican Republic, then the center of Spanish trade in the Caribbean). Cromwell's men failed spectacularly at taking Hispaniola, and turned to Jamaica as a second choice, better-than-nothing option.
Located on on the southeast coast of Jamaica, the natural harbor at Port Royal became the center of English life in Jamaica. By the late 1600s it had become one of the largest European cities in the new world, second only to Boston. It had also become infamous home of pirates, prostitutes, and Englishmen on the make. Far from home, they made their livings off of the slave trade, slave labor in plantations, and the money that the pirates brought in from their looting forays against the Spanish.
It may be seen as an indicator of the caliber of vice in Port Royal that in 1675 the notorious pirate Henry Morgan became the Lieutenant Governor. In fact, Morgan began to crack down on overt piracy as the grand era of privateering he had been part of began to to enter its waning phase. He died just four years before the earthquake struck, and was buried in the Palisadoes cemetery.
On the morning of June 7, 1692, a massive earthquake estimated at a 7.5 magnitude hit the island. The city, largely built over sand, suffered instantly from liquifaction, with buildings, roads, and citizens sucked into the ground. Geysers erupted from the earth, buildings collapsed, then finally the city was hit by tsunami waves, dragging what had not been destroyed out to sea. In the end, some 33 acres of the city disappeared under water, four of the five forts were destroyed or submerged, and 2000 people were killed. The cemetery where Captain Morgan was buried slipped into the sea, its bodies floating up to mix with the freshly dead.
Even before the earth stopped shaking, locals reported that the looting began, one writing: "Immediately upon the cessation of the extremity of the earthquake, your heart would abhorr to hear of the depredations, robberies and violences that were in an instant committed upon the place by the vilest and basest of the people; no man could call any thing his own, for they that were the strongest and most wicked seized what they pleased...."
As news spread of the destruction of Port Royal, it was picked up as a cautionary tale and a sure sign of divine retribution for the lewd behavior of the pirates and prostitutes, the pretensions and wealth of the gentry of the town, or the sins of slavery, depending on the city and the audience.
But the earthquake did not end Port Royal's wicked ways, nor its relationship with vice or with pirates who continued to stop by for another 50 years while they preyed on Spanish ships. In fact, in 1720 John "Calico Jack" Rackham was hung at at Gallows-Point in Port Royal by order of pirate hunter - and former privateer - Woodes Rogers (best known for his rescue of the castaway Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe).
Since then the city has been racked by fire, earthquake and hurricane several times. The English finally decided to close its naval station at Port Royal, effectively closing it for business, and most residents left. In 1951 what was left of Port Royal was hit by Hurricane Charlie, destroying more property, and leaving only a few of the original buildings standing.
Today most of the remains of the 17th century city lie under up to 40 feet of water. Up until the 1900s visitors reported on the city still visible below the waves, and the eerie sensation of floating over the rooftops. Since the 1950s divers have been exploring and cataloging the submerged city. In 1969 Edwin Link discovered the most famous artifact: a pocket watch dated 1686, stopped at exactly 11:43.
|The old Port-Royal|
7. MAHABALIPURAM, INDIA
"Seven Pagodas" has served as a nickname for the south Indian city of Mahabalipuram, also called Mamallapuram, since the first European explorers reached it. The phrase “Seven Pagodas” refers to a myth that has circulated in India, Europe, and other parts of the world for over eleven centuries.
Mahabalipuram’s Shore Temple, built in the 8th century CE under the reign of Narasimhavarman II, stands at the shore of the Bay of Bengal. Legend has it that six other temples once stood with it.
Before the December 2004 tsunami, evidence for the existence of the Seven Pagodas was largely anecdotal. The existence of the Shore Temple, smaller temples, and rathas supported the idea that the area had strong religious significance, but there was little contemporary evidence save one Pallava-era painting of the temple complex. Ramaswami wrote in his 1993 book Temples of South India that evidence of 2000 years of civilization, 40 currently visible monuments, including two “open air bas-reliefs,” and related legends spreading through both South Asia and Europe had caused people to build up Mahabalipuram’s mystery in their minds (Ramaswami, 204). He writes explicitly that “There is no sunk city in the waves off Mamallapuram. The European name, ‘The Seven Pagodas,’ is irrational and cannot be accounted for” (Ramaswami, 206).
Anecdotal evidence can be truthful though, and in 2002 scientists decided to explore the area off the shore of Mahabalipuram, where many modern Tamil fishermen claimed to have glimpsed ruins at the bottom of the sea. This project was a joint effort between the National Institute of Oceanography (India) and the Scientific Exploration Society, U.K. (Vora). The two teams found the remains of walls beneath 5 to 8 meters of water and sediment, 500 to 700 meters off the coast. The layout suggested that they belonged to several temples. Archaeologists dated them to the Pallava era, roughly when Mahendravarman I and Narasimharavarman I ruled the region (Vora). NIO scientist K.H. Vora noted after the 2002 exploration that the underwater site probably contained additional structures and artifacts, and merited future exploration (Vora).
One of the expedition team, Graham Hancock, said: "I have argued for many years that the world's flood myths deserve to be taken seriously, a view that most Western academics reject.
But here in Mahabalipuram, we have proved the myths right and the academics wrong."
Immediately before the 2004 tsunami struck the Indian Ocean, including the Bay of Bengal, the ocean water off Mahabalipuram’s coast pulled back approximately 500 meters. Tourists and residents who witnessed this event from the beach recalled seeing a long, straight row of large rocks emerge from the water (subramanian). As the tsunami rushed to shore, these stones were covered again by water. However, centuries’ worth of sediment that had covered them was gone. The tsunami also made some immediate, lasting changes to the coastline, which left a few previously covered statues and small structures uncovered on the shore.
After the tsunami.
Eyewitness accounts of tsunami relics stirred popular and scientific interest in the site. Perhaps the most famous archaeological finding after the tsunami was a large stone lion, which the changing shoreline left sitting uncovered on Mahabalipuram’s beach. Archaeologists have dated it to the 7th century CE (BBC Staff). Locals and tourists have flocked to see this statue since shortly after the tsunami.
In April 2005, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Indian Navy began searching the waters off the coast of Mahabalipuram by boat, using sonar technology (Das). They discovered that the row of large stones people had seen immediately before the tsunami were part of a 6-foot-high (Biswas), 70-meter-long wall (Subramanian). ASI and the Navy also discovered remains of two other submerged temples and one cave temple within 500 meters of the shore (Das). Although these findings do not necessarily correspond to the seven pagodas of myth, they do indicate that a large complex of temples was in Mahabalipuram. This draws the myth closer to reality—and there are likely many more discoveries waiting to be found.
ASI archaeologist Alok Tripathi told The Times of India that, as of his February 2005 interview, sonar exploration had mapped inner and outer walls of the two previously submerged temples. He explained that his team could not yet suggest the functions of these buildings (Das). A.K. Sharma of the Indian Navy could not provide further speculation as to function either, but told The Times of India that the layout of the submerged structures, in relation with the Shore Temple and other exposed structures, closely matched a Pallava-era painting of the Seven Pagodas complex (Das).
Archaeologist T. Satyamurthy of ASI also mentions the great significance of a large inscribed stone the waves uncovered. The inscription stated that King Krishna III had paid for the keeping of an eternal flame at a particular temple. Archaeologists began digging in the vicinity of the stone, and quickly found the structure of another Pallava temple. They also found many coins and items that would have been used in ancient Hindu religious ceremonies (Maguire). While excavating this Pallava-era temple, archaeologists also uncovered the foundations of a Tamil Sangam-period temple, dating back approximately 2000 years (Maguire). Most archaeologists working on the site believe that a tsunami struck sometime between the Tamil Sangam and Pallava periods, destroying the older temple. Widespread layers of seashells and other ocean debris support this theory (Maguire).
ASI also unexpectedly located a much older structure on the site. A small brick structure, formerly covered by sand, stood on the beach following the tsunami. Archaeologists examined the structure, and dated it to the Tamil Sangam period. Although this structure does not necessarily fit in with the traditional legend, it adds intrigue and the possibility of yet-unexplored history to the site.
The current opinion among archaeologists is that yet another tsunami destroyed the Pallava temples in the 13th century. ASI scientist G. Thirumoorthy told the BBC that physical evidence of a 13th-century tsunami can be found along nearly the entire length of India’s East Coast.
6. HERACLEION, EGYPT
Heracleion is also a spelling of Heraklion, Crete's (Greece) largest city and capital, named after the hero Heracles.
Heracleion (Greek: Ηράκλειον), also known as Thonis (Θώνις), was an ancient Egyptian city near Alexandria whose ruins are located in Abu Qir Bay, currently 2.5 km off the coast. Its legendary beginnings go back to as early as the 12th century BC, and it is mentioned by ancient Greek historians. Its importance grew especially during the waning days of the Pharaohs—the late period, when it was Egypt's main port.
Heracleion was originally built on some adjoining islands in the Nile Delta, and was intersected by canals. It possessed a number of anchorages.
It was believed that Paris and Helen of Troy were stranded there on their flight from the jealous Menelaus, before the Trojan war began. Also, it was believed that Heracles himself had visited the city, and that the city had gained its name from him.
Until very recently the site had been known only from a few literary and epigraphic sources, one of which interestingly mentions the site as an emporion, just like Naukratis.
The city was mentioned by the ancient historians Diodorus (1.9.4) and Strabo (17. 1.16). Also see Herodotus (2.113).
Heracleion is also mentioned in the Twin steles of Decree of Nectanebo I (originally known as the 'Stele of Naukratis'), which specify that one tenth of the taxes on imports passing through the town of Thonis/Herakleion were to be given to the sanctuary of Neith of Sais.
The city is also mentioned in the Decree of Canopus honoring Pharaoh Ptolemy III.
The city of Heracleion was also the site of the celebration of the ‘mysteries of Osiris' each year during the month of Khoiak. The god in his ceremonial boat was brought in procession from the temple of Amun in that city to his shrine in Canopus.
The city had a large temple of Khonsou, son of Amun, who was known to the Greeks as Herakles. Later, the worship of Amun became more prominent.
Heracleion flourished especially from the 6th to the 4th century BC, as revealed by numerous archaeological finds. Pharaoh Nectanebo I made many additions to the temple in the 4th century B.C.
The city sank in the 6th or 7th century A.D., probably due to major earthquakes and floods.
The ruins submerged in the sea were finally located and rediscovered by the French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio in 2000. Until then, the scholars were not sure if Heracleion and Thonis were in fact one and the same city.
5. RUNGHOLT, DENMARK
Rungholt was a wealthy city in Nordfriesland, in the Danish duchy of Schleswig.
It sank beneath the waves when a storm tide (the first "Grote Mandrenke") in the North Sea tore through the area on January 16, 1362.
Rungholt was situated on the island of Strand, which was rent asunder by another storm tide in 1634, and of which the islets of Pellworm, Nordstrand and Nordstrandischmoor are the only remaining fragments.
Relics of the city were being found in the Wadden Sea until the late 20th century, but shifting sediments have carried the last of these into the sea. In the 1920s and 1930s, some remains of the city were exposed; they suggested a population of at least 1,500 to 2,000, which is fairly large for that region and time, and it is likely that Rungholt was a major port. Legend has greatly exaggerated its size and wealth, however.
Impressed by the fate of the city, the relics, and not least legend's excessive descriptions, the German poet Detlev von Liliencron wrote a popular poem called "Trutz, Blanke Hans" about this lost city which starts with the words: "Heut bin ich über Rungholt gefahren, die Stadt ging unter vor sechshundert Jahren". ("Today I traveled over Rungholt; the city sank 600 years ago.")
Local myth has it that one can still hear the church bells of Rungholt ringing when sailing through the area on a stormy night.
4. HELIKI, GREECE
Helike (Greek: Ἑλίκη) was an ancient Greek city that disappeared at one night in the winter of 373 BC. It was located in Achaea, northern Peloponnesos, two kilometres (12 stadia) from the Corinthian Gulf and near the city of Boura, which, like Helike, was a member of the Achaean League.
Modern research attributes the catastrophe to an earthquake and accompanying tsunami which destroyed and submerged the city. In an effort to protect the site from destruction, the World Monuments Fund included Helike in its 2004 and 2006 List of 100 Most Endangered Sites.
Helike was founded in the Bronze Age, becoming the principal city of Achaea. The poet Homer states that the city of Eliki participated in the Trojan War with one ship. Later, following its fall to the Achaeans, Eliki led the Achaean League, an association that joined twelve neighboring cities in an area including today's town of Aigion. Eliki, also known as Dodekapolis (from the Greek words dodeka meaning twelve and polis meaning city), became a cultural and religious center with its own coinage. Finds from ancient Eliki are limited to two 5th century copper coins, now housed in the Staatliches Museum, Berlin(!!!). The obverse shows the head of Poseidon, the city's patron, and the reverse his trident. There was a temple dedicated to the Helikonian Poseidon.
Helike founded colonies including Priene in Asia Minor and Sybaris in South Italy. Its panhellenic temple and sanctuary of Helikonian Poseidon were known throughout the Classical world, and second only in religious importance to Delphi.
About 150 years after the disaster, the philosopher Eratosthenes visited the site and reported that a standing bronze statue of Poseidon was submerged in a "poros", "holding in one hand a hippocamp", where it posed a hazard to those who fished with nets.
Around 174 AD the traveler Pausanias visited a coastal site still called Helike, located 7 km southeast of Aigion, and reported that the walls of the ancient city were still visible under water, "but not so plainly now as they were once, because they are corroded by the salt water".
For centuries after, its submerged ruins could still be seen. Roman tourists frequently sailed over the site, admiring the city's statuary. Later the site silted over and the location was lost to memory.
On August 23 1817, a similar disaster, an earthquake followed by a tsunami, occurred on the same spot. The earthquake was preceded by a sudden explosion, like that produced by a battery of cannon. The aftershock was said to have lasted a minute and a half, during which the sea rose at the mouth of the Selinous River and extended to cover all the ground immediately below Vostitza (the ancient Aegium). After its retreat, not a trace was left of some artillery depots which had stood on the shore, and the beach was carried away completely. In Vostitza 65 people lost their lives and two thirds of its buildings were entirely ruined, as were five villages in the plain.
In 1988, the Greek archaeologist Dora Katsonopoulou, president of the Helike Society, and Steven Soter of the American Museum of Natural History, launched the Helike Project to locate the site of the lost city.
Ancient texts, telling the story of Helike, said that the city had sunk into a poros, which everyone interpreted as the Corinthian Gulf.
However, Katsonopoulou and Soter raised the possibility that poros could have meant an inland lagoon. If earthquake caused soil liquefaction on a large scale, the city would have been taken downward below the sea level. Also, if earthquake caused the sections of coastline to fall into the sea, this would have created tsunami, which in turn would have flooded the inland lagoon with the city in it. Later, over time, the river sediment coming down from the mountains would have filled in the lagoon hiding the city remains beneath the solid ground.
Before Helike was rediscovered, a few false starts came along the way.
In 1994, in collaboration with the University of Patras, a magnetometer survey carried out in the midplain of the delta revealed the outlines of a buried building. This target (now known as the Klonis site) was excavated and a large Roman building with standing walls was found. Also a well-preserved settlement of an early bronze age was uncovered.
Finally, in 2001, the city of Helike was rediscovered buried in an ancient lagoon near the village of Rizomylos. To further confirm that the discovered site belongs to Helike, the earthquake destruction layer consisting of cobblestones, clay roof tiles, and pottery was uncovered in 2012. This destruction layer is in good agreement with ancient texts on the location of Helike and earthquake effects to the city.
Excavations are being carried out in the Helike delta each summer and have brought to light significant archeological finds dating from prehistoric times when Helike was founded up until its revival in Hellenistic and Roman times.
3. BAIA, ITALY
In its heyday, the Classical Roman city of Baia was the hedonist Las Vegas of the time, but now its remains are partying beneath the waves.
A prominent resort city for centuries, Baia catered to the recreational whims of the rich and powerful among the Roman elite. The city, which was located over natural volcanic vents, was famous for its healing medicinal hot springs which occurred all around the city and were quite easy to build spas over some of antiquity's most powerful figures such as Nero, Cicero, and Caesar were known to have visited the city and a number of them actually built permanent vacation villas there.
Unfortunately, the good times were not to last and the city was sacked by Saracens in the 8th century. By 1500, the remains of the formerly luxurious town were abandoned. After the city remains were emptied, the water level slowly rose due to the same volcanic vents that were once a draw to the area, and most of the ancient ruins were drowned under the shallow waters of the bay.
Today the ancient remains of Baia can be visited in one of the world's few underwater archeological parks. Visitors can view the crumbled structures and amazingly preserved statuary of the city through glass-bottomed boats, snorkeling, or even scuba dives which allow people to actually swim amongst the copious ruins. While the city is no longer a resort, its waters still hold wonders.
2. YONAGUNI, JAPAN
The Yonaguni Monument (与那国島海底地形 Yonaguni-jima Kaitei Chikei?, lit. "Yonaguni Island Submarine Topography") is a massive underwater rock formation off the coast of Yonaguni, the southernmost of the Ryukyu Islands, in Japan. Discovery
The sea off Yonaguni is a popular diving location during the winter months owing to its large population of hammerhead sharks. In 1987, while looking for a good place to observe the sharks, Kihachiro Aratake, a director of the Yonaguni-Cho Tourism Association, noticed some singular seabed formations resembling architectonic structures. Shortly thereafter, a group of scientists directed by Masaaki Kimura of the University of the Ryūkyūs visited the formations.
The formation has since become a relatively popular attraction for divers despite the strong currents. In 1997, Japanese industrialist Yasuo Watanabe sponsored an informal expedition comprising writers John Anthony West and Graham Hancock, photographer Santha Faiia, geologist Robert Schoch, a few sport divers and instructors, and a shooting crew for Channel 4 and Discovery Channel. Another notable visitor was freediver Jacques Mayol, who wrote a book on his dives at Yonaguni.
The flat parallel faces, sharp edges, and mostly right angles of the formation have led many people, including many of the underwater photographers and divers who have visited the site and some scholars, to the opinion that those features are man-made. These people include Gary and Cecilia Hagland and Tom Holden, who went on underwater expeditions to study and photograph the site. These features include a trench that has two internal 90° angles as well as the twin megaliths that appear to have been placed there. These megaliths have straight edges and square corners.
However, sea currents have been known to move large rocks on a regular basis. Some of those who see the formations as being largely natural claim that they may have been modified by human hands. The semiregular terraces of the Monument have been compared to other examples of megalithic architecture, such as the rock-hewn terraces seen at Sacsayhuaman. The formations have also been compared to the Okinawa Tomb, a rock-hewn structure of uncertain age.
Other evidence presented by those who favor an artificial origin include the two round holes (about 2 feet wide, according to photographs) on the edge of the Triangle Pool feature and a straight row of smaller holes that have been interpreted as an abandoned attempt to split off a section of the rock by means of wedges, as in ancient quarries. Kimura believes that he has identified traces of drawings of animals and people engraved on the rocks, including a horselike sign that he believes resembles a character from the Kaida script. Some have also interpreted a formation on the side of one of the monuments as a crude moai-like "face".
Supporters of artificial origin, such as Graham Hancock, also argue that, while many of the features seen at Yonaguni are also seen in natural sandstone formations throughout the world, the concentration of so many peculiar formations in such a small area is highly unlikely. They also point to the relative absence of loose blocks on the flat areas of the formation, which would be expected if they were formed solely by natural erosion and fracturing. Robert Schoch has noted that the rocks are swept with strong currents.
Kimura first estimated that the monument must be at least 10,000 years old (8,000 BCE), dating it to a time when it would have been above water. In a report given to the 21st Pacific Science Congress in 2007, he revised this estimate and dated it to 2,000 to 3,000 years ago because the sea level then was close to current levels. He suggests that after construction tectonic activity caused it to be submerged below sea level. Archaeologist Richard J. Pearson believes this to be unlikely. Kimura believes he can identify a pyramid, castles, roads, monuments and a stadium, and has surmised that the site may be a remnant of the mythical lost continent of Mu.
The existence of an ancient stoneworking tradition at Yonaguni and other Ryukyu islands is demonstrated by some old tombs and several stone vessels of uncertain age. Small camps, pottery, stone tools and large fireplaces were found on Yonaguni possibly dating back to 2500 BCE; Pearson notes that these were small communities, adding "They are not likely to have had extra energy for building stone monuments."
Also see here: Yonaguni, Japan
1. ATLIT-YAM, ISRAEL
Atlit (Hebrew: עַתְלִית) is a coastal town located south of Haifa, Israel. Originally an outpost of the Crusaders, it fell in 1291. The modern village was founded in 1903 under the auspices of Baron Edmond de Rothschild. The population today is 5,797.
Atlit Yam is an ancient submerged Neolithic village off the coast of Atlit, Israel. Atlit-Yam provides the earliest known evidence for an agro-pastoral-marine subsistence system on the Levantine coast.
Atlit shows evidence of human habitation since the early Bronze Age. The Crusaders built Chateau Pelerin, one of the largest citadels in the Holy Land, and one of the last remaining Crusader outposts to withstand the assaults of Baibars. Atlit remained in Crusader hands until 1291.
The ruins of the citadel are still visible in modern times.
In 1880, the Survey of Western Palestine notes the existence of a small Arab village of mud huts with a population of 200. In 1903, Jewish settlers build a nearby village which they also called Atlit. During the British Mandate of Palestine, the Arab and Jewish villages were treated statistically as part of the same community. In 1938 there were 508 Arabs and 224 Jews. The Arab presence underwent a sharp decline in the 1940s due to land sales, so that by 1944/5 there were only 150 Arabs still living there (90 Muslims and 60 Christians) alongside about 2,000 Jews. The circumstances under which the remaining Arabs left in 1948 are unknown.
Atlit was declared a local council in 1950, but in 2004 was incorporated in the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council as one of a handful of Regional Committees.
Atlit detainee camp was used by the British authorities to detain Jewish immigrants to Palestine. It is now a museum of the Ha'apala. A base of Israel's naval commando is located nearby.
Former Knesset member Pesah Grupper lives in Atlit, and was head of its local council in 1959-1962, and 1969-1971.
Neighborhoods in Atlit are Neve Moshe, Yamit, Giv'at HaPrahim, Giv'at HaBrekhot, Giv'at Sharon, Shoshanat HaYam, HaGoren, Yafe Nof, Argaman, Hofit, Savyonei Atlit and Allon. Atlit is in immediate vicinity of the villages Neve Yam and Ein Carmel.