It is nice to read about the progress of underwater excavations at the Egyptian site of Heracleion. It is in the news again as Oxford University is also diving at site (see my earlier post: Heracleion, ancient Greek port in Egypt) and presenting a few interesting pictures.
For the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology it is a unique opportunity to partake in this project and divers have recovered many important ancient landmarks at the mouth of the
Nile. There are, for instance, more than five meters tall
statues that were hauled to the surface, not counting the hundreds of smaller
statues that were retrieved from the sea floor. So far a monumental statue of
goddess Isis and a massive head of the god Serapis have been removed. Art
treasures like jewelry, coins and ceramics have also be recovered and testify
of the glorious past of Heracleion, named according to Diodorus after Heracles because he
stopped the flood of the Nile.
Work in this murky water is pretty difficult but very promising. The article published in The Oxford Times adequately states that “it can appear that someone emptied the contents of the
of Cairo on the bottom of the
Mediterranean, while the images of building foundations appear akin to an
As mentioned in my earlier post (Heracleion, ancient Greek port in Egypt), the remains of 64 ships have been found, but also over 700 anchors. At present the archaeological team is focussing on what they call Shipwreck
43, a 24-meter long vessel that has been dated
between 785 and 480 BC and is one of eight belonging to the same size. This is
a flat-bottomed vessel, ideal to operate in shallow waters.
The article in the Oxford Times mentions further that a major exhibition will be held in
Germany next year and hopefully will come to the
at a later date. UK