Marina el-Alamein: Conservation Project (Egypt), 2013

Marina el-Alamein (Egypt), Conservation Project

Dates of work: 4 – 31 May 2013

Director: Prof. Rafał Czerner, architect (Wrocław University of Technology)
MSA representative: Dr. Khaled Abul-Hamd (Marina Site Director), Mrs. Nama Sanad Yakoub (Deputy Director), Medhat Saleh Kamal Yousif (SCA inspector)
Archaeologists: Dr. Grażyna Bąkowska-Czerner (Jagiellonian University, Kraków), Walter Wójtowicz (PCMA associate)
Archaeologist, pottery expert: Dr. Grzegorz Majcherek (PCMA UW)
Architects: Wiesław Grzegorek (PCMA associate), Karolina Majdzik (PhD candidate, Wrocław University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture), Anna Kubicka (MA student, Wrocław University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture)
Stone and sculpture conservator: Wojciech Osiak (freelance)
Painting conservator: Marlena Koczorowska (freelance)
Documentalist: Agnieszka Dzwonek-Kozieł (PCMA associate)

(Joint description of seasons 2012 and 2013)

In 2012 and 2013, the Polish–Egyptian Conservation Mission to Marina el-Alamein focused on research and conservation in the public part of the ancient town, the dwelling houses and the necropolis. A site presentation program was continued in the area south of a public square, where remains of Roman public baths, in use from the 2nd to the 4th century, have survived. Current maintenance and conservation was carried out on the site of dwelling houses and, in 2013, on the aboveground mausoleum of tomb T21 in the necropolis. Conservation of mural paintings was undertaken during the seasons.

A Roman bath in use from the 2nd to the 4th century AD at the harbor of Marina el-Alamein on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt continued to be researched, conserved and prepared for exhibition by the Polish–Egyptian Conservation Mission working under the auspices of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw and the Faculty of Architecture, Wrocław University of Technology. The bath and adjacent civic basilica were located in the center of the ancient town, to the south of the ruins of the main square. By updating results of research carried out in previous seasons, the present studies on the caldarium and frigidarium of the bath and a part of the civic basilica have brought us significantly closer to identifying the functional layout of the southern baths. Phases of construction were investigated as well and it is now possible to trace the transformation of the building over time.

The Egyptian side, represented by the General Director of the Marina el-Alamein site Dr. Khaled Abul-Hamd, deputy director Mrs. Nama Sanad Yakoub and inspectors Abdel Bassit Ali Abdel Fattah and Medhat Saleh Kamal Yousif, was instrumental in accomplishing most of the scheduled work program despite restrictions on time and staff falling beyond the mission’s control. Their commitment to ironing out post-transformation problems in Egypt and their assistance on a daily basis throughout the seasons is duly and sincerely appreciated.

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

R. Czerner: