The discovery of Thonis-Heracleion in the mouth of a branch of the Nile in the Mediterranean, provides information that opens new avenues of research: the role of the site amongst the indigenous coastal communities, the patterns of occupation and management of coastal fringes, and its relation to the history of trade, etc.
Such an overview in which the maritime area, the river basin and land space are understood as places of transit and travel permits the full consideration of the site in its technological and economic dimensions. It is at the heart of the interrogation of the role of Thonis-Heracleion as customs station and emporium (emporion or emporium?), in the organization and regulation of the exchanges, and the complex politics which imbricated Egypt with the other Mediterranean countries. Thonis-Heracleion "was immersed" in a nautical space that was as much a physical as a cultural environment, animated by networks of communication, an inter-regional and Eastern Mediterranean trade, of which we are beginning to perceive the extent and complexity.