Hailed as the best film of the year on television in Turkey, this film explores one of the greatest finds in the maritime world.


Produced & Directed by Philip J Day
Edge West Productions
for National Geographic
Tunnel To A Lost World on National Geographic

When engineers started building the deepest submerged tunnel in the world, along the worst fault line on the planet, they knew this would be a tough project. But the greatest challenge facing them didn’t lie in the future – it lay in the past. The discovery of the biggest maritime harbor in the ancient world has set about a $3billion dollar battle between modernizers and archeologists.

Istanbul was the capital of four Empires for two and a half thousand years. Straddling Europe and Asia across the Bosporus channel, this ancient city was uniquely placed to control the passage of people and goods from all over Europe. And today it’s no different. The Bosporus remains one of the busiest commuter and cargo shipping lanes in the world. But passage across the narrow Strait is slow. The new tunnel and connecting rail-line is the 21st Century answer. But in building the future, the past has come back to haunt it.

During excavation a few yards below ground level engineers discovered the largest harbor of ancient times – the 4th Century Theodosus’ Roman harbor. The recovery of more than thirty Byzantine ships makes this the biggest maritime find in history and the site is the largest archeological dig in the world. Five hundred people working shifts six days a week are trying to get the Tunnel project back on schedule. But they keep uncovering more and more incredible artifacts. Now it’s an incredible race against time before the engineers move back in.