The remains of a sunken ship and a number of jars (amphoras) dating back to the third century BC were uncovered at a submerged site in the Mediterranean Sea, about 650 metres from el-Alamein beach, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has announced.
An Egyptian archaeological mission from the SCA’s Central Department of Sunken Antiquities found the ancient vessel.
“During the archaeological survey in the area, remains of the wood of the sunken ship were found, and hundreds of pottery artefacts, including a large number of jars (amphoras) from the Greek island of Rhodes, which were used in the past to store and transport wine,” SCA Secretary General Mostafa Waziry said.
The jars were found on a sunken island next to the ship, which suggests that this merchant ship foundered, Waziry added.
“The discovery highlighted the commercial importance of the el-Alamein region and the northern coast in the 3rd century BC,” he said.
During the Greek and Roman eras, 30 villages, towns, and ports, of which the most important were Marsa Matrouh, el-Daba’a and el-Alamein, which were ports of call for ships from North Africa and southern Europe to Alexandria.
Cargoes comprised wine, olives and grain from the northern coast to North Africa, southern Europe and the east Mediterranean.
Islam Selim, who is head of the Central Department of Sunken Antiquities, said the mission documented of the finds with 3D imaging.
“We are now studying how to deal with the finds, preserving them and removing them from the site,” he added.