Polish–Egyptian Archaeological Mission to Marina el-Alamein
Most interesting finds:
– House H 41 with traces of private cult
– Private baths – building H 39
– Necropolis with several types of funerary monuments
History of research:
Dates of PCMA mission’s work:
Type of research:
Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski (1987–2011)
Krzysztof Jakubiak (since 2012)
– Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw
– Wrocław University of Science and Technology
– Ministry of State for Antiquities
Description of the state and research:
The site of Marina el-Alamein, ancient Leukaspis or Antiphrae, lies on the northern coast of Egypt, about 300 km from the country’s capital and approximately 100 km west of Alexandria. The ruins of the ancient town were discovered by accident in the 1980s during the construction of a tourist resort and a harbor. In the second half of that decade, Egyptian authorities permitted salvage works and then archaeological excavations to be conducted.
The functioning of the ancient city is dated to the Greco-Roman period (2nd century BC–5th/6th century AD). The first phase of research focused on establishing the limits of the site. The town extended for over 1 km from east to west and more than 5 km to the south of the laguna, covering 50 ha. Due to the lack of material for comparison, it is difficult to say whether it was bigger than other sites. The Hellenistic-Roman port town had splendid funerary and domestic architecture.
The ancient city can be divided into three areas. The northern one was the harbor, but nothing remains of this part of the site due to the construction works conducted in the 1980s. To the south of the presumed harbor lay the residential quarters and public areas. South of them, the terrain dips sharply and then rises again – on this elevation, the necropolis was located. The builders may have used the natural features of the landscape to separate the funerary area from the rest of the city. The urban layout was also influenced by the climatic conditions of this microregion.
The Polish–Egyptian Archaeological Mission, directed by Wiktor A. Daszewski, has conducted salvage and conservation works as well as archaeological excavations on the necropolis since the 1980s. Since 2012, when Krzysztof Jakubiak became the new director, archaeological research has concentrated on the residential part of the city. In 2019, a decision was made to synchronize the archaeological and conservation works and create one large interdisciplinary research team.
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