Shallalat 2007 report

Shalalat 2007 Final Report

To

Supreme Council of Antiquities

Department of Foreign Missions Affairs

Cairo                                                                                  Alexandria, 26.05.2007

 

Subject: Excavation Report

 

The Hellenic Research Institute of the Alexandrian Civilazation (H.R.I.A.C.) obtained the permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities to start an archaeological survey in Shallalat Gardens of Alexandria on 6th of March 2007.

The excavation started on 7th of May 2007 for a preliminary research of the site. Members of the mission were as follows:

Kalliopi Papakosta, Archaeologist, director of H.R.I.A.C.

Panos Theodoridis, Architect-Restorateur

Stamatis Chondrogiannis, Architect

Nikolia Spanou, Archaeologist

Raymond Anis-Fouad, Archaeologist

Leonidas Bardis, Financial Director

Partners:

Dr. Hossam El Hobrouk, Topographer

Dr. Mahmoud Abdel Fatah, Civil Engineer

Inspector:

Hasnaa Mahmoud Fahmy

A team of post gratuated students of Alexandria University participated in the survey. The excavation work was held out by 13-15 workers per day.

The survey, including excavation and drilling, ended on 23rd of May 2007.

 

Shallalat Gardens (early 20th c.) cover a  vast area ,replacing the northern bastions created at the  years of Mohamed Aly,which «modernized»  the medieval city walls of  Alexandria. The complex follows the curve NE of the Rosseta Gate.

Our decision was to start minor excavation works into the slope nearby the artificial cataract, to define the stratigraphy in a region where the old canal fronting the medieval walls had been altered, due to the construction of the bastions.

Our surveying plans later this year, include detailed pre-excavation works mainly at the northern part of the Gardens. Meanwhile, there is a relatively narrow space between the demolished bastions and the eastern limits of the garden, not permitting alternative technics of underground survey. The narrow area is clearly shown in Muller’s 1855 map.

 

 

 

 

 

Test drilling

 

Topographer Dr. Hossam El Hobrouk realized six standard points in a square grid in which the excavation trenches were related. The drill depended on the point 2, in a distance of 9.55 meters, heading straight to the east. The results of the drilling were presented in a row of nine samples, from the ground level to minus 7.75 meters. The results are:

-1.00 m   mud

-2.00 m   mud

-3.00 m   mud

-4.00 m   mixed limestone bits and some mud

-5.00 m   mixed stone-like debris and mud, slightly differed in color

-6.00 m  solid limestone

-7.00 m   mixed limestone and sandstone bits

-7.50 m   small pieces of deformed limestone

-7.75 m solid sandstone

 

Excavation

 

We created two trenches, heading N-S of some 3 by 4 meters each, separated by a 2 meter corridor. The excavation at both trenches revealed two levels of modern debris; the upper one is a thin layer of pure soil used  for the grass about 0,10 m. thick and the second one is a debris brought at the place in order to formate the garden in this location, which go down minus 5.78 m. in trench A. and minus 5.30 m. in trench B. counting from the topographical point 2. At that depth in both trenches it was detected part of the canal that was created in the years of Mohamed Aly, east of the medieval walls of Alexandria. The bend of the canal is constructed by hydraulic plaster consisted of sand and clay. The pottery that was collected from the debris is mostly of recent, islamic and post medieval date with a small amount of roman and hellenistic sherds. Besides pottery, it was also collected 9 hellenistic stamped amphora handles, 2 pieces of acanthus leaves from capitals of late roman date, a late hellenistic unguentarium and 3 coins two of 20th c. and one of late roman date.

 

 

List of plans and sketches

 

  1. preliminary topographical survey
  2. Charles Muller 1855 area map
  3. Trenches A and B. Plans
  4. Trench B .Stratigraphy
  5. St1 ΕΥΚΛΕΙΔΟΥ  plus symbol of ‘kyrikion’ and St2
  6. St3 ΕΠΙ ΕΡΜΟΚ[ρατους] from Knidos and St4…. plus symbol of ‘kyrikion’
  7. St5 and St6 ΦΙΛΩΝΟΣ
  8. St7 ΕΠΙ ΛΑΦΕΙΔΕΥΣ ΥΑΚΙ ΝΘΙΟΥ and St8 ΕΠΙ ΑΡΙΣΤΟΓΕΙΤΟΥ ΑΓΡΙΑΝΙΟΥ Rodian stamped handles, both dated in 3rd/2ndc.BC
  9. Late roman marble acanthus part
  10. Late roman marble acanthus part
  11. Late hellenistic unguentarium

 

List of photos

  1. St1
  2. St2
  3. St3
  4. St4
  5. St5
  6. St6
  7. St7
  8. St8
  9. St9
  10. N1, coin of 20th c.
  11. N1, coin of late roman date
  12. N1, coin of 20th c., 1938
  13. Late roman marble acanthus part
  14. Late roman marble acanthus part
  15. Late hellenistic unguentarium

 

 

The surveying plans of the H.R.I.A.C. are to undertake a systematic research of the whole area of Shallalat Gardens  for the next years, beginning a geophysical survey as well as an excavation project for October-November 2007. The site is very important for the topography of ancient Alexandria and has to be studied carefully.

 

We wish to thank, for this start of our research, the Supreme Council of Antiquities for permitting our Institute to work in Alexandria, His Excellency the Governor of Alexandria Mr. Adel Labib, the Authorities of the Antiquity Service of Alexandria as well as our Egyptian friends and colleagues that supported our work.

 

 

For and on behalf of the

                                                                                                                                                          H.R.I.A.C.

                                                                                                                                                     Kalliopi Papakosta

Director