Latest news from the sites

December 2001

This is the second version of our web site. It has been improved by its creator, Danielle Guiraudios, and we would like to provide an update every six months. This would seem a reasonable rhythm given the nature of our archaeological research with its discoveries and the study of our work and methods.

cliquer pour agrandir la photo

This version is considerably richer than the previous. You will find developments in our studies in anthropology - burials and cremation - the cisterns, metallurgy, topography, the Ottoman era, and amphoras. We are presenting not only the digs but also the studies that these engender. The texts were put together by our multi-disciplinary team in the CEA, laying out a brief synthesis of what each member brings to our collective work on Alexandria.

The excavations continue both on land and under the sea. On the monumental sunken site at the foot of Qaitbay Fort, we have recently found the right hand of the colossal statue of Ptolemy that was erected in front of the Petit Palais Museum in Paris for the 1998 exhibition, "La Gloire d'Alexandrie". The removal of the modern concrete blocks from the site in January 2001 has exposed parts of legs that belonged to what was an ensemble of huge statues but there will need to be more campaigns before we can fully reconstruct these now fragmentary pieces. The underwater explorations are complemented by an excavation within the fortress walls and it is to be hoped that we find some traces of the Pharos. Further out to sea a fourth shipwreck - from the 6th century AD - is now being excavated while a Greek team from Patras has established a map of the sea bed using side scan sonar equipment. On land, the digs on the sites of the Canopic Way and the Caesareum continue full speed, the latter under continued pressure from the developers, and to the west of the city, in the Kom el Nadoura district, we are clearing out the rubble filling of a superb cistern.

Underwater topographic work
using a D100 aquameter, October 2001

The CEA's activities in the office are keeping pace with those on the sites. Thanks to the help of the IFAO, our publications continue to appear at a regular rate. There will be a number of new titles, notably one on the Necropolis, where work finished last year. The support of the Ministries of Research, Education and Foreign Affairs is still strong, as is that of our sponsor, France Telecom.

Nevertheless, we are still in need of your support and you can find within this site how to join the "Friends of the Centre d'Etudes Alexandrines". Thanks for your help. We can join together to save the remains of ancient and medieval Alexandria, working ad Alexandriae majorem gloriam!

Jean-Yves Empereur
Director, CEA