Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In the field: More re the Alexandrian monolith



(Nevine El-Aref)


“After 14 centuries, a giant monolith from a submerged temple was raised from the seabed in Alexandria last week, Nevine El-Aref watched the dramatic recovery.

There was more activity than usual in Alexandria's Eastern Harbour last week as a team working offshore made preparations to ready the dock for the unloading of a giant piece of history. An enormous yellow crane stood ready to lift a pylon, or ceremonial entrance tower, belonging to the Ptolemaic temple of Isis Lochias which has been under the sea for 14 centuries.

Meanwhile, five underwater archaeologists in diving gear were inspecting the planned route on the seabed along which pylon tower would be moved.

The event was watched by 1,000 or so Egyptian and international journalists, TV anchors, photographers and producers as well as curious local people. It was planned that the media observe the event from the deck of a yacht, however, this wasn't possible due to the bad weather that hit Alexandria

The weather also interfered with plans for raising the pylon. After mud and scum which clung to the surface of the pylon, a huge, single block of granite was removed, the monolith was dragged across the seabed”

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