Presentation on theme: "Presentation by Ulrike Koschtial, UNESCO"— Presentation transcript:
1 Presentation byUlrike Koschtial, UNESCOFocal Point 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural HeritageAlaa El-Din MahrousDirector of Underwater Archaeology Department, Alexandria, EgyptProject of the Construction of an Underwater Museum in Alexandria, Egypt
2 The historic background Mention of the port of the Pharos Island by HomerCity founded by Alexander the Great in 331BCPlace of the lighthouse, the palace of Ptolemy and CleopatraClose-by sunken cities of Abukir Bay (Canopus, Herakleion, Menouthis) and site of several battles of Napoleonic timesLarge amount of underwater cultural heritage (2,5 hectars in Alexandria Bay)
5 The submersion Subsidence most probably occurred at two moments: tsunami of 21 July, 365AD,around the 8th centuryAlso earthquakes in 955, 10th and 14th century (which destroyed among others the Pharos)
6 History of discoveryFirst discoveries, mainly in the Western Port, by Gaston Jondet in 1911 to 1915Recovery of objects from the Eastern Harbour after discoveries by Kamel Abdul-Saadat in 1962First scientific mission, organized by UNESCO (Honor Frost and Vladimir Nesteroff) in 1968 – topography and discovery of artefactsArchaeological excavations of Pharos and Ptolemy palace since 1990ies (Empereur, Goddio)
7 Lay-out of the submerged royal quarters of Alexandria in the Eastern Port
8 Artist's view of the ancient Portus Magnus of Alexandria
9 Discoveries by Jean-Yves Empereur Topography of Pharos sitemonumental doorway in Doric style (Pharos?)3,000 blocks from Pharostwo monolithic tabernaclesan obelisk of Seti Ia large vasquea sarcophagus bathtubtwo papyriform columns of the 19th dynastya Roman era honorific column, numerous sphinxes9 colossal statues
10 Discoveries by Franck Goddio: Topography of 'Magnus Portus' , Cape Lochias (kings' palaces and royal port), the peninsula, Poseidon temple and Mark Anthony’s TimoniumExcavations at Antirhodos island (Royal House and sanctuary of Isis), finds includedstatues of Priest of Isis, the god Agathodaimon, a Ptolemy king as Hermes, the heads of Antonia Minor and Augustus, and god Thot-Hermes as an ibistwo sphinxespavement, timber, columnsa shipwreckMany other artefacts
12 The project for an underwater museum 1997 international meeting and 1998 scientific mission sponsored by UNESCO and Egyptian authorities – proposal for underwater museum2006 International workshop recommends construction of museum including underwater parts
13 The different playersEgyptian Authorities – main contractor and overviewJacques Rougerie – Leading architect of the team undertaking the feasibility studyUNESCO – establishes International Scientific Advisory Committee (incl. archaeologists Empereur and Goddio)Frank Goddio and Hilti Foundation – financing of feasibility study from benefits of Alexandria exposition
14 Current status January 2009: start of the feasibility study Spring 2009: First session of the international UNESCO CommitteeJanuary 2010: Finalization of Feasibility Study
15 Problems Strong pollution in Bay Need for integration of the project into the development of the whole of AlexandriaIssue of Integrity of SiteProblem of FinancingProblems of soil stability, earthquake security, uplift of water, security etc.
16 Description by Rougerie Architecte: Contracting authority : Egyptian GovernmentDepth: 7 meters – Diameter: 40meters – Area: m² – Capacity : 3 millions of visitors per yearAn underwater voyage to the sunken cities of Alexandria. From the lagoon, 3 celestial harps should rise up. An underwater tunnel will lead to a land stela where the monumental statues saved from the waters are exhibited.