Aleksandria: Kom el-Dikka (Egypt), 2012

Alexandria, Kom el-Dikka (Egypt)

Dates of work: 6 February – 30 June 2012

Director: Dr. Grzegorz Majcherek, archaeologist (PCMA UW)
Deputy director: Renata Kucharczyk, glass specialist (PCMA UW)
MSA representative: Nesreen al-Goma, Mona Othman Hussein, Mona Mohammed Abdullah, Iman Yussuf, Amani Shaaban
(independent), Alicja Jurgielewicz (student)
Archaeologist/ceramologist: Anna Zawadzińska (PhD candidate, University of Warsaw)
Epigraphist: Prof. Adam Łukaszewicz (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
Numismatists: Prof. Barbara Lichocka (Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences), Katarzyna Lach (PhD candidate, Jagiellonian University in Krakow)
Anthropologist: Robert Mahler (PCMA UW)
Conservators: Ewa Parandowska (National Museum, Warsaw), Arkadiusz Ostasz (freelance), Szymon Gąsienica-Sieczka (freelance), Zygmunt Nawrot (freelance)
Architects: Aureliusz Pisarzewski (freelance), Marcin Polak (freelance)

(Joint description of seasons 2012 and 2013)

Archaeological research in the 2012 and 2013 seasons was focused on excavations in area U in the northwestern part of the site of Kom el-Dikka in Alexandria. Previously discovered structures of early Roman age continued to be explored. A large forica and other buildings have been found to follow an unusual, strictly geographical orientation, the reason for which has yet to be ascertained. A large group of burials belonging to three successive phases of the early Islamic cemetery (8th–12th century AD) was excavated in the same area. Additional testing in already cleared auditoria T, U and B as well as next to auditorium H helped to verify issues of stratigraphy and chronology of the academic complex to which these auditoria belonged. Preservation work focused mainly on an overhaul of the mosaic shelter (Villa of the Birds), including treatment of mosaic floors. Equally important tasks were the conservation of remains of domestic architecture in area W1N, restoration of a well in the cistern (area L), and finally preservation of auditorium RS.

The mission gratefully acknowledges invaluable assistance from many individuals and authorities in the Ministry of Antiquities, both in Alexandria and in Cairo. We are particularly indebted to Dr. Mohammed Mustafa and Mustafa Rushdy, respectively former and present Director General of Antiquities in Alexandria; as well as to Baheya Kamel Mohammed, Kom el-Dikka Site Director and Samiha Nozhy, Archaeological Excavations Director, for their constant support and help in facilitating our work. We are also grateful to all representatives of the Ministry of Antiquities who willingly and efficiently assisted us in our daily toil.

[Text: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 24/1]

G. Majcherek: