Newly Discovered Ancient Roman Town in Alexandria Reveals Lavish Townhouse and Possible University
Featuring multi-colored mosaic floors, the residential settlement is believed to have belonged to a wealthy family.
An Egyptian-Polish archaeological mission working in Alexandria's Kom El-Dekka site, has uncovered the remains of an Ancient Roman town believed to date back somewhere between the 4th and 7th century AD. The mission, which is a affiliated with the Polish Center for Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Warsaw, also unearthed a collection of Roman mosaics covering the floor of a townhouse.
Mustafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that the multi-colored Roman mosaics are an indication of the wealthiness of the townhouse's inhabitants, while Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, added that a small theater, a large imperial bathroom and a unique collection of 22 lecture halls, which are believed to be the remains of an old university, were also discovered in the site.
Dr. Grzegorz Majcherek, head of the joint archaeological mission, explained that around six hexagonal panels were discovered, most of which included floral motifs, bordered by a circular frame.
“Overall, the design of the mosaic, additionally equipped with a transversal field in front decorated with rosettes, is typical for the triclinia – the most imposing of the dining rooms in a Roman house,” said Majcherek, adding that these motifs were distinctive to the Alexandrian style.
Majcherek added that the the mission has been analysing and operating the Kom El Dekka site since the 1960s in co-operation wit the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, with one of the highlight discoveries coming in the form of the lavishly decorated Villa of Birds, a site that hosts intricately decorated tiles features colorful birds.