9.7.17

Hellenic Archaeological mission in Alexandria


The HRIAC is the result of the approach of two worlds and the materialization of the vision of the first Hellenic Archaeological mission in Alexandria.
It is a non-profit organization whose goals arew the following:

The reinforcement, by every means, of the Archaeological and Historical Research and Study of the Ancient Alexandria.
The broad Archaeological Research and Study of the Hellenic Civilization, everywhere in the world and outside the Hellenic Country and especially the Research and the Study of the Hellenistic Alexandrian Period.
Ethnological and Athropological Studies.
The creation of a library containing all the relevant Alexandrian Bibliography.
Organizing seminars and congresses concerning subjects of the Hellenistic Period.
Immediate cooperation with the Hellenic and Egyptian universities for a complete and in detail study.
The reinforcement of relationships of Hellenic and Egyptian archaeology scientists.
The granting of scholarships to Hellenic and Egyptian archaeology students, for specialized studies based on the Hellenistic Alexandrian Period.

The Hellenic Research Institute of the Alexandrian Civilazation (H.R.I.A.C.) obtained the permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities to start an archaeological survey in Shallalat Gardens of Alexandria on 6th of March 2007.

A team of post gratuated students of Alexandria University participated in the survey. The excavation work was held out by 13-15 workers per day.

The survey, including excavation and drilling, ended on 23rd of May 2007.

Shallalat Gardens (early 20th c.) cover a  vast area ,replacing the northern bastions created at the  years of Mohamed Aly,which «modernized»  the medieval city walls of  Alexandria. The complex follows the curve NE of the Rosseta Gate.

Our decision was to start minor excavation works into the slope nearby the artificial cataract, to define the stratigraphy in a region where the old canal fronting the medieval walls had been altered, due to the construction of the bastions.

Our surveying plans later this year, include detailed pre-excavation works mainly at the northern part of the Gardens. Meanwhile, there is a relatively narrow space between the demolished bastions and the eastern limits of the garden, not permitting alternative technics of underground survey. The narrow area is clearly shown in Muller’s 1855 map.

Charles Muller 1855 area map
Trenches A and B. Plans
Trench B .Stratigraphy
St1 ΕΥΚΛΕΙΔΟΥ  plus symbol of ‘kyrikion’ and St2
St3 ΕΠΙ ΕΡΜΟΚ[ρατους] from Knidos and St4…. plus symbol of ‘kyrikion’
St5 and St6 ΦΙΛΩΝΟΣ
St7 ΕΠΙ ΛΑΦΕΙΔΕΥΣ ΥΑΚΙ ΝΘΙΟΥ and St8 ΕΠΙ ΑΡΙΣΤΟΓΕΙΤΟΥ ΑΓΡΙΑΝΙΟΥ Rodian stamped handles, both dated in 3rd/2ndc.BC
Late roman marble acanthus part
Late roman marble acanthus part
Late hellenistic unguentarium

The surveying plans of the H.R.I.A.C. are to undertake a systematic research of the whole area of Shallalat Gardens  for the next years, beginning a geophysical survey as well as an excavation project for October-November 2007. The site is very important for the topography of ancient Alexandria and has to be studied carefully.

We wish to thank, for this start of our research, the Supreme Council of Antiquities for permitting our Institute to work in Alexandria, His Excellency the Governor of Alexandria Mr. Adel Labib, the Authorities of the Antiquity Service of Alexandria as well as our Egyptian friends and colleagues that supported our work.

The Hellenic Research Institute of the Alexandrian Civilization (H.R.I.A.C.) obtained the permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities to start an archaeological survey in Shallalat Gardens of Alexandria on 3rd of February 2008.

A team of post gratuated students of Alexandria University participated in the survey. The excavation work was held out by 6-8 workers per day.

The survey, including excavation and drilling, ended on 22nd of May 2008.



Shallalat Gardens (early 20th c.) cover a  vast area ,replacing the northern bastions created at the  years of Mohamed Aly,which «modernized»  the medieval city walls of  Alexandria. The complex follows the curve NE of the Rosseta Gate.

Excavation

We defined an area 6x5m according to the results of the geophysical survey at site , profiles 1 & 2. After we removed the modern debris, a part of a wall revealed at 5,40m depth below the surface, almost at the center of trench. The wall was built by lime stones and structural material in second use, without any connecting material. Its orientation is from East to West and by the pottery collected from the level of its foundation it’s probably dated at the Arabic period. The western part of this wall was established over the remains of a previous dated wall, perhaps of Byzantine date. At 5,80m depth at the southern part of the trench, as it is defined by the wall, and beneath the wall itself, at 6,80m depth, we revealed a layer of sand, empty of any material. Beneath that, in 7,40m depth we detected a layer of sandstone. The fact that in the same depth we reached the level of the aquiferous horizon, forced us to continue the excavation at this part of the trench in a smaller area about 1×1 wide. At 8,40m we detected that the sandstone ended and another layer of sand appeared. Unfortunately, at this depth we had to stop the excavation because of the water.

At the northern part of the trench, at 5,70m depth we revealed a layer of debris. Among the findings there was not any contemporary pottery, but in order to date this layer we should first study the materials from it carefully. The debris was consisted of pottery, many fragments of plaster with paint, large fragments of alabaster and architectural parts. At this area, a layer of sand was revealed at 7, 70m, but until the depth of 8,40m we didn’t reach any layer of sandstone.

Among the findings there are 11 stamped amphora handles, 2 coins, an inscribed part of marble, an inscribed part of alabaster, a limestone part of acanthus leaf, a part of a small column and a part of architrave.

The surveying plans of the H.R.I.A.C. are to undertake a systematic research of the whole area of Shallalat Gardens  for the next years, beginning a new excavation project for October-November-December 2008. The site is very important for the topography of ancientAlexandria and has to be studied carefully.

The most important issue now is to find the suitable way to drain the water of the trenches, because our experience after two excavation periods in Shallalat is the necessity to control this major problem, because we think that the Ptolemaic layer of Alexandria is below the level of water.

We wish to thank, for this start of our research, the Supreme Council of Antiquities for permitting our Institute to work inAlexandria, His Excellency the Governor of Alexandria Mr. Adel Labib, the Authorities of the Antiquity Service of Alexandria as well as our Egyptian friends and colleagues that supported our work.

The Hellenic Research Institute of the Alexandrian Civilization (H.R.I.A.C.) obtained the permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities to start an archaeological excavation in Shallalat Gardens of Alexandria on 29th of January 2009.
A team of post gratuated students of Alexandria University participated in the survey. The excavation work was held out by 6-8 workers per day.

The excavation ended on 14th of April 2009.

Shallalat Gardens (early 20th c.) cover a  vast area ,replacing the northern bastions created at the  years of Mohamed Aly,which «modernized»  the medieval city walls of  Alexandria. The complex follows the curve NE of the Rosseta Gate.

Excavation

On 13th and 14th of April, we started removing the modern debris . After removing it, we started excavating an area 5,00m. long and 3,00m wide at the depth of 6,00m from the surface.  At the depth of 6,40m, into the west side of the trench, a layer of soft lime mortar was traced, probably the base of a floor. Its thickness rates from 0,08m. to 0,15m. Inside the trench, across the southern part, we excavated a strata of dark mud filled with a great amount of pottery, probably of hellenistic/ early roman period, pieces of animal bones and pieces of coloured  plaster, though at the northern part, a layer of sand  was found filled of many broken pieces of architectural parts, pottery  and coloured plaster.

Among the sherds collected from this unit appears to be many pieces of fine pottery (sigillattas).  At the depth of 6,95m we traced a small part of a wall foundation, extending from NE to SW. After it was drawn and photographed, we removed it in order to continue the excavation. At the depth of 7,40m we reached the level of the water table.

After using pumps for the drilling of the water,  we continued the excavation although with serious difficulties. At the same depth, across the south side of the trench we started revealing a part of a construction made by lime mortar and small stones compacted together. This construction was extended at all the excavated area.

As its northern part was found at the depth of 7,75m, appeared to decline towards this direction.  Since we couldn’t extend the area of the excavation because of the existence of big trees, we were unable to trace the edges of this construction.  At the NW part the trench, the construction was destroyed, so we continued the excavation in order to reveal the bottom of its base.

At this area, we revealed part of a wall constructed mostly by lime stones and clay tiles. The wall extends from W to the E and it seems to have been covered by this construction of lime mortar. Immediately in front of this part of the wall, a layer of sand and stones was found, which was the fill of the constructing ditch.

We ended the excavation, in order to extend the trench and solve the problems of water level as well as draining the site, at the following season.

Above the surface of this construction, into a thick layer of pottery sherds, a Hellenistic Statue of a naked man, of extremely fine art was found, study and publishing of which will follow promptly.

Other significant findings were many pieces of architectural parts, lamps, coins- though they were extremely oxidized by the water- and parts of a mosaic made by off white tessera, which maybe it’s connected with the upper lime floor.

The surveying plans of the H.R.I.A.C. are to undertake a systematic research of the whole area of Shallalat Gardens  for the next years, beginning a new excavation project for October-November-December 2009. The site is very important for the topography of ancientAlexandria and has to be studied carefully.

The most important issue now is to find the suitable way to drain the water of the trenches, because our experience after two excavation periods in Shallalat is the necessity to control this major problem, because we think that the Ptolemaic layer of Alexandria is below the level of water.

We wish to thank, for this start of our research, the Supreme Council of Antiquities for permitting our Institute to work in Alexandria, His Excellency the Governor of Alexandria Mr. Adel Labib, the Authorities of the Antiquity Service of Alexandria as well as our Egyptian friends and colleagues that supported our work.


On 4th of May 2009, in Alexandria in Shalalat Gardens, during the excavation held by the Hellenic Research Institute of Alexandrian Civilization, in a depth of 8 meters and among Hellenistic debris, a marble statue was found. (pl. 1-2)

Height: The height of the statue has been measured 0, 80 meters.

Status:

Head and body are in a very good condition, except a slight damage in the nose. From the legs, the part under the knees is missing. There is a part of the right arm of 0, 16m before the elbow, while the left arm is missing completely. Under the right arm there is a hole possibly for metallic connection. In the left shoulder, there is an iron connection. In the back of the left shoulder, there is a small hole.

Description:

The statue represents a naked young man in the “Jason Pose”, in a form of classical contraposto, with one foot raised, possibly bent to a support. The body is slightly turned to the right and there is a trace of a support in the right buttock.

On the statue, there are some basic features, the study of which drives us to the conclusion that there is a likeness with the image of Alexander the Great. These characteristics are the following:


Poise of the neck to the left
Upward aspiring glance of the eyes
Anastole in the hair
Royal Diadem
Dionysos type diadem

Further to these features, maybe typical in the portraiture of Alexander, there are some others closer to the conception of the “true Alexander”, which also helps us to understand the chronology of the statue. These are:

the short hair
the sideburns
the dimensions of the head and the body
the type of the statue (stasis)

Analytically, the statue can be described as follows:

It is a standing naked figure, the most common type for royal statues (Smith, pl 3-4). A naked type showing the king with one foot, upon a support. This is the “Jason Pose” or “Sandal-loosening Hermes”, an attribution ascribed to the Lysippan school.

From literary sources, we know that this type was used for Alexander in his lifetime and it was used after him. (Plut. De Iside et Osiride 24(0.1481)). The body is slim, thus increasing the apparent height of the figure. Movement pervades the whole body. The muscles are perfect and can be clearly seen.

The back of the statue is perfectly modeled. On the figure, there is an obvious depth. The knees are projecting out of the traditional closed squared canon and are intruding on the viewer’s space.

The head has been measured 0, 13 meters and if we compare it with the total height of the statue (about 1, 10 meters), is the 1/9. This analogy is typical of the Lysiappan canon, and smaller than the previous canon of Polycleitos, which was 1/8. Pliny (Nat. hist XXXIV.65) states “Lycippos made the heads smaller than older artists had done”.

The neck is bent to the left and the eyes look upward with an aspiring glance. Plutarch (Alexander 4.1), referring to Lysippos comments: “For it was this artist who captured exactly those distinctive features, which many of Alexander’s successors and friends later tried to imitate, namely the poise of the neck turned slightly to the left and the melting glance of the eyes.” He also states that “When Lysippos first modeled a portrait of Alexander with his face turned upward towards the sky, just as Alexander himself was accustomed to gaze, turning his neck gently to one side, someone inscribed, not inappropriately the following epigram:

The bronze statue seems to proclaim looking at Zeus: I place the earth under my sway; you Oh Zeus keep Olympos”

(Ploutarch, De Alexandri Magni fortuna aut virtute 2.2.3)

These two characteristics (neck and eyes) are very intense in the statue and give the appearance of “pathos” to it.

The hair of the statue is short, but very well defined, in contrast with later portraits of Alexander with long hair, especially Roman copies; but it is more difficult to decide how closely these later works are with the Lysippan type. On the other hand, the monuments which are contemporary to Alexander, such as the Alexander Sarcophagus from Sidon (330-310 B.C) (pl. 5-6) and the Alexander Mosaic (copy of a painting of 330-300 B.C) show us that Alexander was represented with relatively short hair (pl. 7-8). The same short hair we see in Alexander of the painting frieze of the Philip’s Tomb in Vegina (pl. 9). These representations which refer to Alexander’s lifetime, give him shorter hair styles, while many posthumous portraits have longer hair, that may have divinizing connotations.

Moreover, some of Alexander’s contemporary portraits like Azara and Erbach herms (pl.10-11) have hairstyles, which in life he may didn’t have. That means that his real hairstyles could have varied widely.

But the most important feature in the hairstyle of the statue is the Anastole. This is a distinctive arrangement of the hair, over the forehead, a quiff of hair standing up with a slightly off-centre parting. This Anastole of the hair, Plutarch records, was the distinctive feature of Alexander’s physiognomy (Pomp 2.1). It seems to be considered as Alexander’s personal attribute and it is generally not used by later kings.

The sideburns on the face of the statue were a feature not very common in the portraiture of Alexander. The most important monument as the original of which was contemporary of Alexander, was, as mentioned before, the Alexander Mosaic (pl. 8). Alexander is shown bareheaded and armored, fighting on horseback. This picture, whether made in Alexander’s lifetime or not, at least, pretends to be a circumstantial representation of him in his lifetime. He is shown with long sideburns. Besides, a lot of portraits of Alexander like Azara herm, Erbach and Dresden Alexander (pl.10-11-12), or Capitoline head (pl. 13) have either sideburns or long hair in front of the ears.

The most important attribute of the statue is the two – not one – diadems (headbands), one narrow band in the hair and another one in the forehead.

A lot of literary sources (Smith, 1988 and others) attests that the diadem (diadema) is the main royal symbol of Hellenistic kings and that it was a band of white cloth worn about the head. Alexander was the first Macedonian king to wear it as an exclusive emblem of kingship. It became the symbol of his new status as “King of Asia”.

Two sources, Diodorus Siculus (4.4.4) and Pliny the Elder (NH7.191), say that the god Dionysos “discovered the diadem that he wore it to symbolize his conquests in the East and that Kings took it over from him”.

However, the form of the royal diadem is not directly copied from that of Dionysos. The god wears his headband lowdown on his forehead, while the Kings wear it further back in the hair. For this association of the diadem, there is archaeological evidence. On Ptolemy’s posthumous Alexander coin portraits the king wears an elephant head dress and a flat diadem precisely as worn by Dionysos. Alexander’s and Dionysos’ headbands are here clearly equivocated. (pl. 14-15-16)

Smith (1988) states that Dionysos was important to Alexander and remained so for the later kings. He was a conquering god and gave the divine model for the conquest of India and Asia. The similarity of the eastern conquest and of the headband’s form to those of Dionysos promoted the additional meaning of association with that god. Dionysos’ campaigns became a divine precedent and comparison for Alexander and this is the reason that he adopted the diadem as a royal symbol.

Last we have to point out that the ears of the statue are remarkably well formed and the mouth is finely shaped.

The execution of the sculpture is of fine quality and the study and comparison of the stylistic features of the statue give us the possibility to date it in the Early Hellenistic Period (end of 4th century B.C) and we consider that it was possibly made by the school ofLysippos in Alexandria.

The Hellenic Research Institute of the Alexandrian Civilization (H.R.I.A.C.) obtained the permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities to continue the archaeological excavation in Shallalat Gardens of Alexandria on 31st of March 2010.

The excavation work was held out by 10-13 workers per day.

The excavation ended on 10th of May 2010.

Shallalat Gardens (early 20th c.) cover a vast area, replacing the northern bastions created at the years of Mohamed Aly, which «modernized» the medieval city walls of Alexandria. The complex follows the curve NE of the Rosetta Gate.

The excavation was carried out at the same area we excavated the previous season. We enlarged the excavation area, after removing two big palm trees, in order to detect the edges of the lime mortar construction that had been detected. For this reason we extended the previous trench 14m. to the west, 2,00m. to the south, 3,00m. to the north and 5,00m. to the east.

We started excavated at the western part of this trench and at the depth of -3.60m. below the surface we revealed a strata consisted of a destroyed structure made by mortar and clay plinths, part of a destroyed brick wall and plentiful pottery. Among these we excavated two large pithoi, still in situ, but with their upper part broken. All over this area we detected traces of fire. We didn’t excavate this strata, since we want to enlarge the area as long as possible. The strata was traced at an area 7.50m. x 8.00m. and probably is part of a workshop or storage area. Depending on the pottery, though not systematically studied yet, the chronology rises up to the late roman period.

We continued excavated eastern of this occupation area, after leaving unexcavated a 3.00m. zone. At the depth of -7.10m., at the west side of the area, we revealed a wall 1,78m. high and 1.57m. wide made mostly by broken pieces of crafted lime stones, connected with earth. The wall is based on the lime mortar structure that had been revealed at the previous season. Because of the water, that covers the biggest part of the wall, most of the stones had been removed.  Depending on the sherds collected among the stones, we consider this structure also late roman and it is, probably, part of foundation.

At the depth of -7.60m.(S), and -8.30 (N), we traced the extension of the lime mortar construction to the west and at the depth of -7.60m. to the east. Its total excavated length is 12.50m. and width 4,50m. Above it, we excavated the same strata with the plentiful late hellenistic/roman pottery, architectural parts, parts of sculptures and colored plaster. To the north-west part of the trench, at -8.30m. we revealed two big crafted stone blocks of psammite, covered at some parts by bricks. The stone blocks are based on the lime mortar construction, the basement of which we couldn’t trace, because it extends to the whole area. In order to see the basement of the psammite stone blocks, we had to remove a small part of the lime mortar construction right in front of the blocks. Among the small parts of the crafted stones and the bricks we removed, we revealed a big building block lime stone with anathyrosis at one side that was drop there, used as filling of the lime mortar construction.

Among the pottery there are many sigillattas and other fine red ware, pointed – base amphoras, parts and wholes, some with painted marks and plenty of coarse ware. Other significant findings are a miniature nude male torso, two parts of female statues, a finger and one breast, a part of another marble statue, possibly a knee, two small parts of capitals, lamps, coins- though they were extremely oxidized by the water-and stamped amphora handles.

The surveying plans of the H.R.I.A.C. are to undertake a systematic research of the whole area of Shallalat Gardens for the next years, continuing the excavation project on October-November-December 2010. The site is very important for the topography of ancientAlexandria and has to be studied carefully.

The most important issue now is to find the suitable way to drain the water of the trenches, because our experience after four excavation periods in Shallalat is the necessity to control this major problem, because we think that the Ptolemaic layer of Alexandria is below the level of water.

We wish to thank, the Supreme Council of Antiquities for permitting our Institute to work in Alexandria, His Excellency the Governor of Alexandria Mr. Adel Labib, the Authorities of the Antiquity Service of Alexandria as well as our Egyptian friends and colleagues that supported our work.

According to the permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities we start the seventh excavational season on 1st of April 2016 and finished it on 5th of June 2016.

A team of students from the Alexandria University, Greco-Roman department, participated in the survey after an agreement with the Alexandria University (supervisor: Dr Mona Hagag). The excavation work was held out by 10-12 workers per day.

Excavation

The excavation was carried out at the North-West part of Shallalat Gardens at the same area as the previous season (October-November 2015). We further removed the modern debris until the debth of approximately 6m., towards the west and north of the main trench by mechanical means.

For the first time in the area we undertook a dewatering project in order to solve the problem of water table that all the previous years was preventing us from excavating deeper. A system of five wells around the trench, ten meters deeper than the level of the excavation area, was made as well as three inside the trench. In every well were placed two pumps working 24 h per day. The result was successful enough to enable us excavating properly.

Subsequently, the excavation was carried out at an area 14, 00 m. E-W x 12, 00 m N-S. We removed the modern debris that had been used to cover the area of the trench manually. At the rest of the area, west and north, we excavated the ancient debris, a thick strata full of fragmented pottery from hellenistic to roman period, known from the previous seasons. We collected a small amount of pottery that we deposited it again at the area, after conferming the date of this strata. At the debth of 8, 30 m. to the south and 9,10m. to the north-west we reached the strata of the compacted lime breccia. The breccia was not found at the most part of the north side of the trench; there the strata of the ancient debris continues until the debth of 10, 20 m.

At the SW corner, under the strata of the ancient debris, we unearthed part of a construction made by pinkish thick mortar that contains gravel and unwrought alabaster pieces which seems to be kind of floor. This part seems to have been detached from the rest of the construction that goes further into the west side of the trench. Immediately underneath there are fallen parts of a kind of wall made by dark reddish clay bricks, fallen on the breccia. To further understand this construction we have to continue excavating towards the west. The chronology of it seems to be of a late date.

At the middle of the trench under the strata of the ancient debris part of a drain was found. For its construction part of the breccia was dug. The drain was placed immediately on the blocks of the foundation that has been revealed at the biggest part of the trench. It was made of well worked pieces of limestone in second use and broken parts of clay bricks. Among these, was a pedestal made of alabaster, also in second use. We removed the drain, after drawing and photographing it.

At the rest of the trench, under the strata of breccia we revealed part of the foundation of a large building, that extents further to the south and to the east. To the west almost certainly we have reached its limit, while towards the north it is not clear yet as at many parts the blocks have been removed. Also, at the NW part, north of the foundation blocks that have been revealed and mostly into this side the trench, a part of wall was found. For its construction have been used limestone blocks in second use, most probably from the foundation. Though it seems of a later date, further investigation is needed toward the north.

The excavated dimensions of the foundation are 10, 00 x 12, 00 m,  N-S and E-W respectively. The size of the limestone blocks used for the construction of it is approximately 1,00 x 0,60 x 0,50m. At the SE corner of the trench a small part of wall has been found made also by big limestone blocks, measuring 1,15 x 0,60 x 0,60 m., put together without joining material. The wall also extends towards the south. Blocks of the foundation continue to extend under the wall to the east and south. The construction strata of the building has been dated to the Ptolemaic period, according to the pottery that has been collected from it, among it an early Hellenistic lamp that has been collected under the blocks of the wall.

It is important to mention that under the foundation at the height of 10, 70 m. we reached a strata of pure sand and sandstone, which we consider as the bedrock.

The size of the foundation blocks as well as the size of the wall blocks, which is extremely big and the dimensions of the whole construction show that we have uncovered part of a public building of Ptolemaic period. This fact in combination with the site, which possibly belonged to the Royal Quarter of the ancient Alexandria, makes the finding important for the knowledge of topography of the Ptolemaic city.

The plans for the next excavation season are the continuation of the excavation to the south where the construction is extended, after demolishing the big volume of debris and soil at this area.

According to the permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities we start the eighth excavational season on 1st of Ocrober 2016 and finished it on 11th of December 2016.

Five archaeologists working for the Archaeological Service participated at the excavation as trainees inspectors. Also, a team of students from the Alexandria University, Greco-Roman department, participated in the survey after an agreement with the Alexandria University (supervisor: Dr Mona Hagag). The excavation work was held out by 6-8 workers per day.

Besides the excavation work, we undertook a two weeks study of the finds stored at the Mustafa Kamel storage facilities. A report has already been sent to the Archaeological Service.

Excavation

Our aim for this season was to excavate further towards the south of the trench N in order to reveal the continuation of the foundation blocks we had unearthed during Apri-May 2016.

We extended the area of excavation 7, 85m. towards the south and 17, 25 m. to the axis E-W.

Until the depth of 5 m. we removed the modern debris by mechanical means.

At the depth of 7 m. we excavated the remains of a construction made by small size rough stones. We unearthed the NE part of a room and a small part of a floor (1,80 m. x 1, 00 m.) made by layers of thick mortar. Its walls extend 3 m. to the axis of E –W and 1,70 to the N- S. The presence of the mortar floor leads us to interpret the construction as a workshop that according to pottery must be dated to the late roman/early byzantine period. Further excavation work and study will enable us to understand more about this phase of the area.

At about the same depth we revealed the strata of breccia but only to the northest part of the area, extending 11m E –W and 2 m. N – S. What it seems interesting is that its south surface has been cut straight, obviously at an aim to be used as a kind of a wall, probably at the date of workshops activity.

Finally, at the depth of 10 m. we unearthed a row of big limestone blocks extending 11 m. to the axis E –W, which is the continuation of the foundation blocks we had excavated during last season. South of this row, we started to excavate a part of a construction made by small size well crafted limestones, but further excavation is needed in order to reveal it. 

Also important is to note that the ptolemaic foundation is extending even further to the east as we ascertained by this season excavation.

Among the finds of this season, mostly pottery, lamps and stamped amphora handles from the strata that had covered all the area and is known from all the previous seasons, special reference must be made to a sculpture fragment. It is a marble hand holding a spear (part of it). It belongs to the statue of Alexander, found at the trench on 2009, now at the National Museum of Alexandria and its great significance is that it ascertains that the statue is of the Alexander with a spear type, a debated work of Lysippus.

The plans for the next excavation season are the continuation of the excavation to the south and east where the construction is extended, after demolishing the big volume of debris and soil at this area.

We would like to thank for their support the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr.Mohamed Ismail Khaled, Mr. Mustafa Rusdi, Dr.Mohamed Abdelhamid, Mrs. Samiha Noshy Rafla and Mrs Amira Sabah.

                   For and On Behalf of

Hellenic Research Institute of Alexandrian Civilization
            Calliope Limneos-Papakosta
                           Director
Source
http://www.ancientencyclopedia.com

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