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News: Towering Ancient Tsunami Devastated the Mediterranean
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Relics of Alexandria recovered from the Mediterranean

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Bianca
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« on: May 23, 2007, 06:33:08 pm »





« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 06:35:54 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2007, 06:52:59 pm »






ABOVE:

 A visitor to the "Egypt's Sunken Treasures" exhibit at Paris' Grand Palais looks at a pharaoh's head made of diorite stone.




EGYPT'S SUNKEN TREASURE ON EXHIBIT.

 
By Jenny Barchfield

 The great port of Alexandria was a bustling trade hub, a transit point for merchandise from throughout the ancient world until much of it vanished into the Mediterranean Sea.

Treasure hunters have long scoured the Egyptian coast for vestiges of the port, thought to have disappeared about 13 centuries ago. Now an exhibit at Paris' Grand Palais brings together 500 ancient artifacts recovered from the area by underwater archeologists using sophisticated nuclear technology.

"Egypt's Sunken Treasures" features colossuses of pink granite, a 17.6-ton slab inscribed with hieroglyphics, a phalanx of crouching sphinx, pottery, amulets and gold coins and jewelry all painstakingly fished out of the Mediterranean. Some of the oldest artifacts are estimated to have spent 2,000 years underwater.


The show spans more than 1,500 years of Egyptian history and traces the decline of the Pharaohs and occupations by Greeks, Romans and Byzantines.

"This is not your usual Ancient Egypt exhibit," said archaeologist Franck Goddio, who led the expedition for the European Institute of Submarine Archaeology. "The artifacts have been living together under the sea for millennia not gathering dust on a museum shelf."

Goddio's team began its search in 1996, using such technology as sonar, depth-finders and sounding equipment. They worked with France's Atomic Energy Commission to develop a device that measures objects' nuclear resonance to pinpoint the exact locations of the port and two other sites, the lost cities of Herakleion and Canopus.

Television screens projecting videos of the excavations dot the exhibit, in the newly restored Grand Palais, a turn-of-the-century building with a vast glass cupola.

While some of the recovered artifacts were slowly swallowed by the Mediterranean as sea levels rose, others sunk during natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tidal waves. Experts think some heavy objects may have slid into the sea when the clay soil gave way under their weight.

A protective layer of sediment settled over most of the pieces, preserving them from corrosive salt water. Other artifacts were not as fortunate. Riddled with pockmarks or rubbed smooth by the tides, these objects clearly bear the mark of their centuries under water.

Some of the oldest pieces, such as a sphinx dating from the 13th century B.C., were brought to Egypt's coast from other regions of the country. Later objects clearly show the influence of the Greeks, who controlled much of Egypt starting in the fourth century B.C.

In an exquisite black-granite sculpture, the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis strikes a quintessentially Pharaonic pose, with one leg forward and arms pressed tightly at her sides. But the sensual drape of her gown, with its delicate folds, belies an unmistakably Greek touch.

The Stela of Ptolemy, a mammoth marble slab standing 19.5 feet high, bears inscriptions in both hieroglyphics and Greek.

Sculptures from the Greco-Roman period show the degree to which the European colonizers assimilated Egyptian culture, and vice versa. In a second century B.C. bust, the Egyptian god Serapis looks just like the Greek god Zeus, with a full beard and curly locks. With its wild expression and frizzy hair, a second century A.D. bust of an Egyptian water god is the exact image of a Roman Bacchus.

One of the most impressive objects in the show is the so-called Naos of the Decades, a hieroglyphics-covered prayer niche dating from around 380 B.C.

The roof of the niche was discovered in 1776 and taken to Paris, where it became part of the Louvre Museum's permanent collection. In the 1940s, archaeologists working under Egyptian Prince Omar Toussoun discovered two more bits the naos' back and the base. But it wasn't until the recent submarine excavations, which uncovered several more fragments, that archaeologists finally managed to put the naos together again.

"Egypt's Sunken Treasures," attracted some 450,000 visitors at its first stop, Berlin. After Paris, the show will return to Egypt. Authorities in Alexandria plan to build a museum of submarine archaeology to hold the artifacts as well as new items that archaeologist Goddio's team continues to discover during its twice yearly expeditions.

"There's enough in the three sites to keep us busy for a while for about the next 150 years, at least," he said.


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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2007, 07:03:59 pm »





Ancient cities found under the sea
Last Updated: Sunday, June 4, 2000 | 7:13 AM ET
CBC News



Archeologists scouring the Mediterranean Sea off Egypt say they have found stunning treasures beyond their wildest dreams.
They have retrieved the nearly complete ruins of two submerged cities, six kilometres from Alexandria.

Some of the relics date back to the days of the Pharaohs.

Divers found jewelry and coins from bygone eras and priceless artifacts of figures mentioned in ancient literature, including a black granite statue of Isis.

What they've recovered so far has been put on display in an Alexandria gallery. It's the first time virtually complete cities have been found under the sea.

Archeologists believe the cities of Menouthif and Herakleion, built 2,500 years ago, probably disappeared because of an earthquake or climate changes.


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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2007, 07:08:04 pm »





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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2007, 07:14:41 pm »





ABOVE:  A statue being spotted under the sea off Alexandria







A Thousand Relics Found in Egypt


A French-Egyptian archaeology team has retrieved more than 1000 artifacts, including statues and busts of pharaonic gods and goddesses, from the Mediterranean Sea floor off Egypt's northern coast of Alexandria, according to the Egyptian antiquities officials earlier this week. The  Abu Qir Bay Department of Archeology Mission under the Supreme Council of Antiquities and the European Institute for Underwater Archeology unearthed artifacts during archaeological surveys which helped define the topography around the sanctuary site or the temple of Heracles. Dating back to the third and fifth centuries B.C. the finds reveal a cult that worshipped the ancient pharaonic deity Amon and his son Konshu in a bid to preserve the legitimacy of the Ptolemaic reign.



"The discovery includes tools and containers used in religious rituals," said Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, a senior official in the Supreme Council of Antiquities. Quantities of ritual basins and cult offering objects laid on the sea floor on the channel situated north of the temple site. The French mission, led by Franck Goddio, has left for Paris, Abdel Maqsoud said, and its members could not immediately be reached for comment.

"The most impressive and beautiful item is a second century AD diorite bust of an unidentified person with long hair, which some believe (could be) the Nile god, Hapy," Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, said in a statement.�

"Hapy must have been the pre-dynastic name for the Nile, but in later years became the name of the god of the great river; likewise the god of fertility symbolizing abundance of water, food and annual flooding of the Nile."

Farouk Hosni, Minister of Culture declared that the location of the discovery was previously the Temple of Heracles in Herculean, the ancient sunken city discovered in May 2001 by Goddio's team. The find included busts of Egyptian deities Isis, Osiris and Bastet.

All of the artifacts have been removed to be cleaned of seaweeds and salts and to be restored, the Supreme Council's deputy said.

The French team working in Abu Qir bay in the port city of Alexandria previously has found the 2000-year-old ruins of Cleopatra's palace and the flagship of Napoleon's fleet, L'Orient, which sank Aug. 1, 1798, in a battle with the British fleet of Admiral Horatio Nelson.

At press time, Goddio has been traveling around Europe and could not be reached for further comments.

However Dr. Ashraf Sabri, owner-operator of the Alexandria Dive on the Eastern Harbor next to the Scoot Club Anfoushy in Alexandria confirmed that artifacts are still being retrieved by divers from the eight-meter depth. Sabri's team offers tourists the opportunity to visit the site through the one-day archeology diving (one dive of 45 minutes at a depth of five meters) to the Abu Qir Heracleon city and Napoleon fleet wrecks, to the Antirodos Island or the 'Cleopatra and Marc Anthony 'underwater city with side-visits to the submerged World War II fighter plane.

Additional dives include the site of the Pharos Island, the site of the ancient lighthouse of Alexandria dotted with sphinxes, obelisks, columns and amphorae found within eight meters below the surface.

By Hazel Heyer
eturbonews.com



 
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2007, 07:20:00 pm »





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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2007, 07:23:27 pm »





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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2007, 07:27:47 pm »




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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2007, 07:28:45 pm »



























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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2007, 07:46:01 pm »





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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2007, 07:48:40 pm »





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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2007, 07:53:58 pm »




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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2007, 07:57:41 pm »



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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2007, 08:01:29 pm »




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