The Actors in the Salvage Operation

Fort Qaitbay

In 1994, the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities entrusted the submarine excavation of the East part of the Qaitbay fort to the Centre d'études alexandrines, CEA (Centre for Alexandrine Studies), founded in 1989 by Jean-Yves Empereur, Head of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS (French National Research Centre). The CEA has been a Unité mixte de service, UMS (Combined Department Unit), of the CNRS and the Institut français d'archéologie orientale, IFAO, since 1999. A team of French and Egyptian archaeologists and Egyptologists, all underwater divers, then began the first series of excavations.

Colossal Statue of Ptolemy II

The first excavations were undertaken thanks to IFAO financing, through the ministère de l'Education Nationale, de la Recherche et de la Technologie (French Ministry of Education, Research and Technology), as well as that of the company Gédéon and of the ELF and EDF foundations.

Excavation : Jean-Yves Empereur, CEA ; photos : Stéphane Compoint © Corbis Sygma, Authorised Reproduction Only