Friday, May 28, 2010

Sunken treasure - divers recover the stunning artefacts of Cleopatra's palace

Divers in the waters off Alexandria today recovered stunning artefacts from the submerged ruins of a palace and temple complex belonging to Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
The international team is painstakingly excavating one of the richest underwater archaeological sites in the world, and retrieving amazing riches from the last dynasty to rule over ancient Egypt before the Roman Empire annexed it in 30BC.
Cleopatra treasure
Colossal discovery: This quartzite block has an engraving of a pharaoh, indicated by hieroglyphic inscriptions on the stone as Seti I, father of Ramses II
Cleopatra artifacts
2,500 years old: A statuette of a boy pharaoh dating from the 5th century BC lies among other artefacts brought to the surface from an underwater excavation of a palace and temples of Cleopatra
Using advanced technology, the team is surveying ancient Alexandria's Royal Quarters, encased deep below the harbour sediment, and confirming the accuracy of descriptions of the city left by Greek geographers and historians more than 2,000 years ago.
Since the early Nineties the topographical surveys have allowed the team, led by French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio, to conquer the harbour's extremely poor visibility and excavate below the seabed.
They are discovering everything from coins and everyday objects to colossal granite statues of Egypt's rulers and sunken temples dedicated to their gods.

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