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Presentation by Ulrike Koschtial, UNESCO

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation by Ulrike Koschtial, UNESCO"— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation by Ulrike Koschtial, UNESCO Focal Point 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage Alaa El-Din Mahrous Director of Underwater Archaeology Department, Alexandria, Egypt Project of the Construction of an Underwater Museum in Alexandria, Egypt

2 The historic background
Mention of the port of the Pharos Island by Homer City founded by Alexander the Great in 331BC Place of the lighthouse, the palace of Ptolemy and Cleopatra Close-by sunken cities of Abukir Bay (Canopus, Herakleion, Menouthis) and site of several battles of Napoleonic times Large 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 century Also earthquakes in 955, 10th and 14th century (which destroyed among others the Pharos)

6 History of discovery First discoveries, mainly in the Western Port, by Gaston Jondet in 1911 to 1915 Recovery of objects from the Eastern Harbour after discoveries by Kamel Abdul-Saadat in 1962 First scientific mission, organized by UNESCO (Honor Frost and Vladimir Nesteroff) in 1968 – topography and discovery of artefacts Archaeological 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 site monumental doorway in Doric style (Pharos?) 3,000 blocks from Pharos two monolithic tabernacles an obelisk of Seti I a large vasque a sarcophagus bathtub two papyriform columns of the 19th dynasty a Roman era honorific column, numerous sphinxes 9 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 Timonium Excavations at Antirhodos island (Royal House and sanctuary of Isis), finds included statues 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 ibis two sphinxes pavement, timber, columns a shipwreck Many 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 museum 2006 International workshop recommends construction of museum including underwater parts

13 The different players Egyptian Authorities – main contractor and overview Jacques Rougerie – Leading architect of the team undertaking the feasibility study UNESCO – 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 Committee January 2010: Finalization of Feasibility Study

15 Problems Strong pollution in Bay
Need for integration of the project into the development of the whole of Alexandria Issue of Integrity of Site Problem of Financing Problems of soil stability, earthquake security, uplift of water, security etc.

16 Description by Rougerie Architecte:
Contracting authority : Egyptian Government Depth: 7 meters – Diameter: 40meters – Area: m² – Capacity : 3 millions of visitors per year An 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.

17 Thank you

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