Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Nile flooding sank two ancient cities

Sediment failure caused these riverbank sites to drown over 1,200 years ago.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Sediment failure induced destruction of ancient sites and their submergence to below 6 m in waters off Egypt.


  1. Goddio, F. EOS, Trans. Am. Geophys. Union 81, F20 (2000).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Toussoun, O. Bull. Soc. R. Archéol. Alexandrie 29, 342–352 (1934).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Warne, A. G. & Stanley, D. J. J. Coastal Res. 9, 26–64 (1993).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Nur, A. M. EOS, Trans. Am. Geophys. Union 81, F21 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Jones, H. L. (transl.) The Geography of Strabo (Heinemann, London, 1917).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bernand, A. Le Delta Egyptien d'Après les Textes Grecs, 1. Les Confins Libyques (Inst. Franç. Arch. Orientale, Cairo, 1970).

    Google Scholar 

  7. Toussoun, O. Mém. Inst. Egypte 4, 1–212 (1922).

    Google Scholar 

  8. Popper, W. The Cairo Nilometer (Univ. California Press, Berkeley, 1951).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Saloviev, S. L. et al. Tsunamis in the Mediterranean Sea 2000 bc–2000 ad (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 2000).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  10. Guidoboni, E. Catalogue of Ancient Earthquakes in the Mediterranean Area Up to the 10th Century (Ist. Naz. Geof., Bologna, 1994).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Coleman, J. M. Deltas: Processes of Deposition and Models for Exploration (Int. Hum. Res. Dev. Corp., Boston, 1982).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jean-Daniel Stanley.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Stanley, JD., Goddio, F. & Schnepp, G. Nile flooding sank two ancient cities. Nature 412, 293–294 (2001).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing