Archaeologists have mapped the lost city of Rungholt for the first time. It is also nicknamed “Atlantis of the North” because, according to legends, they are similar.
Legend has it that the once-thriving city, now off the coast of northern Germany, was swallowed up by the North Sea in one night after a violent storm as punishment for the sins of its inhabitants. According to folklore, these sins include things like drunkenness, impiety and flaunting wealth, according to The Times.
At least that’s what the stories say, the abundant life led to the immoral life, and the end came around Christmas. So while some historians have questioned whether the city ever existed outside of this myth, new research has uncovered the remains of this “Atlantis of the North” in the Wadden Sea, according to a report by archaeologists.
The lost city of Rungholt has been found
So archaeologists from the Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel discovered about 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) of medieval mounds around an island, now known as the Südfall, after mapping the site with a geophysical survey.
“The remains hidden under the bogs are first located and mapped over a wide area using different geophysical methods, such as magnetic gradiometry, electromagnetic induction and seismic,” Dennis Wilken, a geophysicist at Kiel University, says of the research in a statement from the press.
The new discoveries included a harbour, the foundations of a large church and drainage systems, according to new research.
The press release says that investigations of the intertidal areas have continued to “bring significant new discoveries to light” and have provided unparalleled insights into the lives of the North Frisian people. But researchers are working against the clock as conditions continue to degrade the remains.
“The remains of medieval settlements are already heavily eroded and often only detectable as negative imprints,” says Hanna Hadler, who works at the Institute of Geography at the University of Mainz.
“So we urgently need to step up research,” she adds.