Shallalat 2016 Excavation Report
Supreme Council of Antiquities
Department of Foreign Missions Affairs
Subject: Excavation Report
According to the permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities we start the eighth excavational season on 1st of Ocrober 2016 and finished it on 11th of December 2016.
Members of the mission were as follows:
Archaeologist, director of H.R.I.A.C.
Nikolia Spanou, Archaeologist
Panagiotis Konstantinidis, Archaeologist
Amr Ibrahim Ali Nouh
Rania Osman Abdelmaksud
Five archaeologists working for the Archaeological Service participated at the excavation as trainees inspectors. Also, a team of students from the Alexandria University, Greco-Roman department, participated in the survey after an agreement with the Alexandria University (supervisor: Dr Mona Hagag). The excavation work was held out by 6-8 workers per day.
Besides the excavation work, we undertook a two weeks study of the finds stored at the Mustafa Kamel storage facilities. A report has already been sent to the Archaeological Service.
Our aim for this season was to excavate further towards the south of the trench N in order to reveal the continuation of the foundation blocks we had unearthed during Apri-May 2016.
We extended the area of excavation 7, 85m. towards the south and 17, 25 m. to the axis E-W.
Until the depth of 5 m. we removed the modern debris by mechanical means.
At the depth of 7 m. we excavated the remains of a construction made by small size rough stones. We unearthed the NE part of a room and a small part of a floor (1,80 m. x 1, 00 m.) made by layers of thick mortar. Its walls extend 3 m. to the axis of E –W and 1,70 to the N- S. The presence of the mortar floor leads us to interpret the construction as a workshop that according to pottery must be dated to the late roman/early byzantine period. Further excavation work and study will enable us to understand more about this phase of the area.
At about the same depth we revealed the strata of breccia but only to the northest part of the area, extending 11m E –W and 2 m. N – S. What it seems interesting is that its south surface has been cut straight, obviously at an aim to be used as a kind of a wall, probably at the date of workshops activity.
Finally, at the depth of 10 m. we unearthed a row of big limestone blocks extending 11 m. to the axis E –W, which is the continuation of the foundation blocks we had excavated during last season. South of this row, we started to excavate a part of a construction made by small size well crafted limestones, but further excavation is needed in order to reveal it.
Also important is to note that the ptolemaic foundation is extending even further to the east as we ascertained by this season excavation.
Among the finds of this season, mostly pottery, lamps and stamped amphora handles from the strata that had covered all the area and is known from all the previous seasons, special reference must be made to a sculpture fragment. It is a marble hand holding a spear (part of it). It belongs to the statue of Alexander, found at the trench on 2009, now at the National Museum of Alexandria and its great significance is that it ascertains that the statue is of the Alexander with a spear type, a debated work of Lysippus.
The plans for the next excavation season are the continuation of the excavation to the south and east where the construction is extended, after demolishing the big volume of debris and soil at this area.
We would like to thank for their support the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr.Mohamed Ismail Khaled, Mr. Mustafa Rusdi, Dr.Mohamed Abdelhamid, Mrs. Samiha Noshy Rafla and Mrs Amira Sabah.
For and On Behalf of
Hellenic Research Institute of Alexandrian Civilization