Asharq Al-awsat English https://aawsat.com/english Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper http://feedly.com/icon.svg

Greek, Roman Artifacts Discovered in Alexandria

Greek, Roman Artifacts Discovered in Alexandria

Saturday, 19 January, 2019 - 07:45
Workers open a coffin containing three mummies discovered in Alexandria, Egypt July 19, 2018. (Reuters)
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat
The Archaeological Mission of Alexandria Antiquities, which works at the Tuba Metwah site in Al-Amriyah, northern Cairo, uncovered a collection of artifacts dating back to the Greek and Roman eras.

Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, confirmed that this is a “unique discovery because the site was being used for industrial and commercial purposes.”

"One of the most important elements of the archaeological findings is a set of interconnected walls with clear construction and designing methods. Some walls were built with non-symmetrical stones, while others were built with carefully cut stones," Waziri added.

Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector Ayman Ashmawy stated: "A large number of ovens were also discovered as separate units inside the walls, which have been rebuilt and renovated more than once."

According to Ashmawy, most of these ovens were used to prepare food, as bird and fish bones were found inside. This large number of ovens indicates that this place was used as a service unit for militants or camps, he noted.

During the first phase of excavation, a cemetery and a fountain were also found.

Head of the Central Department of the Effects of the Sea, Nadia Khedr said: "The discovered artifacts also include cooking utensils of different sizes, as well as large quantities of pottery vessels indicating that this area dates back to the first and second centuries BC.”

"We also discovered a number of lampstands featuring unique decorations, such as a crescent and a statue for god Serapis, along with a glass bottle that was probably used to store perfume, and a different set of bronze coins that are being processed and investigated," she added.

Director General of Alexandria Antiquities and Head of the mission, Khaled Abul Hamd, said: "Among the discoveries were two corpses, one of which was of a middle-aged woman wearing a copper ring.”

“The bodies were found next to a wall and close to a used oven. The place might have been used by the poor to bury their dead, after it had been abandoned," he added.

And from Alexandria to the north, to the new Valley of the South, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities also announced the discovery of gold coins dating back to the Byzantine era, in the region of Ain Sabil in Dakhla in the New Valley governorate (southwest of Cairo).

"The coins date back to the rule of Byzantine Emperor Constantine II, who lived between 317 and 361 AD. The empire took over from 337 to 361," said Dr. Jamal Mustafa, head of the Islamic, Coptic, and Jewish Antiquities Department in the ministry.

Mustafa added that “each of these coins has two faces, the first features a picture of the emperor in different positions, surrounded by some words including his name, while the others feature some drawings and writings that indicate the coin's minting date."

Kamil Bayoumi Ahmed, head of the Archaeological Mission and director general of Dakhla Antiquities in the Islamic Antiquities Sector, said: "The pottery and its content were transferred to the region's warehouse. The first restoration and archaeological documentation of coins was carried out and more studies are being conducted to uncover more information about that important period."

Editor Picks

Multimedia