Polish–Egyptian Archaeological Mission to Marina el-Alamein

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:

1987–

Type of research:

Excavations

Directors:

Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski (1987–2011)
Krzysztof Jakubiak (since 2012)

Co-operating institutions:

– 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.

Project bibliography:

Jakubiak, K. (2018). Marina el Alamein. Newly discovered bath after the 2017 season, Polish Archaeology in Mediterranean 27, 57–66

Jakubiak, K. (2016). Preliminary report on polish excavations at Marina el Alamein in the 2012–2015 seasons, Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 25, 127–144

Daszewski, W. A. (2011). Graeco-Roman town and necropolis in Marina el-Alamein, Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 20, 421–456

Herbich, T.,von der Osten-Woldenburg, H., Zych, I. (2011). Geophysics applied to the investigation of Graeco-Roman coastal towns west of Alexandria: the case of Marina el-Alamein. In H. Meyza & I. Zych (eds.), Classica Orientalia: Essays Presented to Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski on his 75th Birthday (pp. 209–231), Warsaw

Daszewski, W. A. (2003). Marina el-Alamein. Excavation Report 2002, Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 14, 49–71

Daszewski, W. A. (2002). Marina el-Alamein Season 2001, Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 13, 73–86

Skoczylas, J. (2002). Petroarcheologiczne badania w Marina el Alamein w Egipcie, Przegląd Geologiczny 50 (Nr 12), 1177–1180

Daszewski, W. A. (2001). Marina el-Alamein. Season 2000, Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 12, 47–61

Daszewski, W. A. (2000). Marina 1999, Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 11, 39–46

Daszewski, W. A. (1998). La nécropole de Marina el-Alamein. In S. Marchegay, M. Le Dinahet & J. Salles (eds), Nécropoles et pouvoir. Idéologies, pratiques et interprétations. Actes du colloque théories de la nécropole antique, Lyon, 21–25 Janvier 1995 (pp. 229–241), Lyon: de Boccard

Daszewski, W. A. (1995). Marina el Alamein – czyli odkrywanie nieznanego miasta. In M. L. Bernhard (ed), Od Nilu do Eufratu. Polska archeologia śródziemnomorska 1981–1994, Warszawa: PCMA 1995, 53–60

Daszewski, W. A. (1994). Marina el Alamein 1993, Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 5, 21–33

Daszewski, W. A. (1993). Marina el Alamein 1992, Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 4, 23–31

Daszewski, W. A. (1992). Marina el Alamein 1991, Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 3, 29–38

Daszewski, W. A. (1991). Marina el Alamein. The site of an unknown Graeco-Roman settlement on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. In W. Daszewski et alli (eds), Marina el Alamein Archaeological Background and Conservation Problems. The Polish–Egyptian Preservation Mission at Marina 1988. The Polish Excavation Mission at Marina 1987–89 (pp. 5–18), Warszawa

Daszewski, W. A. (1991). Marina 1990, Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 2, 31–37

Daszewski, W. A., Majcherek, G., Sztetyłło, Z., Zych, I. (1990). Excavations at Marina el Alalmein 1987–1988. In Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts in Kairo 46, 15–51.

Gallery:

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