Marea (Egipt), 2008

Marea (Egypt)

Dates of work: 4 July–31 August 2008

Director: Prof. Hanna Szymańska (Research Center for Mediterranean Archaeology, Polish Academy of Sciences)
Deputy director: Krzysztof Babraj, archaeologist (Archaeological Museum in Kraków)
SCA Representative: Mohamed Gamal Eldin Aly Mohammed
Architect: Daria Tarara (freelance)
Architect, restorer: Barbara Wrońska-Kucy (Bone/Levine Architects)
Restorers: Joanna Babraj (Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków), Tomasz Skrzypiec (Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków)
Photographer: Piotr Suszek (freelance)
Photographer and architectural consultant: Jack M. Kucy (freelance)
Student-trainee: Joanna Michalska (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)

Excavations in the Christian basilica in Marea proceeded for the fourth season in a row, clearing further parts of the nave at its eastern end. The discovery of stone piers in the sanctuary provided ultimate proof for a dome rising above it, a conclusion already suggested, among others, by mosaic glass cubes, including tesserae of sandwich-glass with embedded gold foil. A reconstruction of building phases was also made possible by the excavations in the sanctuary. Fragments of architectural decoration, both sculpted and painted, were recovered from the fill. Units behind the southwestern corner of the church were also explored, including, among others, a courtyard in front of the main gate, a room with remains of an opus sectile floor, another courtyard with a brick installation and bread oven in the corner and finally a room with two deep ceramic containers sunk in the floor. An appendix to the report describes current preservation work on the walls of the apse of the basilica, carried out as a separate subproject.

[Text: PAM]

K. Babraj: