The Exceptional Finds

Submerged for centuries, a part of the ancient city of Alexandria lies 6 to 8 metres underwater. The operation came up against a number of difficulties such as limited visibility in the dark waters of the bay of Alexandria and the cement blocks of the breakwater immersed in 1993 that hindered access.


Statue of Isis

The excavation operation of Jean-Yves Empereur did however manage to identify nearly 3000 masonry blocks : capitals and bases of columns, sphinxes, obelisks, huge statues, and numerous works that were a mix of Ancient Greek and Pharaonic styles. Several pieces originate from periods before the Alexandrine era (XIXth to VIth BC).


Sphinx
From the time of Sesostris I


Obelisk

 


Colossal Statue of Ptolemy II
Ptolemaic Era

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