Lecture in the PCMA Research Centre in Cairo: A new archive from Late Antique Egypt

The PCMA Research Centre in Cairo has the pleasure of inviting you to a lecture from the PolAr lecture series (Polish Archaeology in Mediterranean) by prof. Tomasz Derda

"A new archive from Late Antique Egypt. ‘Marea’, its basilica and its ostraka"

which will be held at 6 p.m., on Tuesday, 20th of September 2016 at the Research Centre in Cairo 11, Mahalla St., Heliopolis


Tomasz Derda is the head of Department of Papyrology at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw as well as the deputy director of the Polish Archaeological Expedition to Deir el-Naqlun monastery in Fayum Oasis. He published numerous articles and books important for our understanding of the Roman administration in Egypt.

“The main subject of my presentation is an ‘archive’ of documents written on potsherds (ostraca), discovered in ‘Marea’, a site on the southern shore of Lake Mareothis, ca. 45 km west of Alexandria. In the title the name of the site is in inverted commas, since its identification is far from clear. Another word, namely ‘archive’, should also be written in the same way for reasons which I will explain.

In my presentation first I shall focus on the excavations on the site, especially on the large transept basilica. In the second part I shall discuss the problems of the identity of the sites on the southern shore of Lake Mareothis, focusing on the hypothesis according to which the excavated site is in fact Philoxenite founded in the beginning of the sixth century and known from a hagiographic text of the Encomium of Saint Menas. In the third and last part I shall present the ostraca documenting, as I believe, the building process of the great basilica.”