There’s antiquities in them thar waters! There’s even more than we thought, in fact, as a new initiative by Alexandria University sets sails to find and preserve underwater antiquities off the northern coast.
It’s strange to think that, with Ancient Egyptian discoveries being made left, right and centre in the far reaches of Egypt's desert landscape, there’s still treasures to be found underwater, too. We’ve all seen the photos of the scuba divers floating alongside statues and busts off the northern coast, but it turns out that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Subsequently, Alexandria University has kicked-off 2021 with the launch of a special new project under the name of 'Underwater Heritage', which aims to excavate the many stunning artefacts that are scattered across the seabed of Alexandria's eastern port.
First on the project's checklist are the remains of royal quarters which are made up of royal ports and columns from palaces that archaeologists believe date back to the Ptolemaic period. With the eastern port stretching out across a vast area between the Silsila promontory in the east and the Citadel of Qaitbay to the west, Ehab Fahmy, Head of the Underwater Antiquities Central Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, believes that there are more discoveries to be made in the area - so much so, in fact, that Fahmy revealed that the Ministry has been holding specialist excavation skills training workshops in preparation of what’s to come. Beyond its efforts to identify and preserve these underwater antiquities, Fahmy sees this opportunity as a dynamic new element to Egyptian tourism that has yet to be fully utilised.
“After the completion of this project, we aim for additional exhibitions of submerged antiquities abroad in order to introduce this human heritage to the world, until the plan [to build] an underwater antiquities museum materialises.”
Talk of a $150 million underwater museum dates back to 2015, when it was first announced. If completed, it would become the first and only underwater Ancient Egyptian museum on the planet. Now wouldn't that be something?