The British museum in London is to tell the story of Egypt's two sunken cities for the first time ever.
Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost World. Nope, that’s not a dramatic sentence for our current state here in Egypt, although it kind of works. This is the title for the upcoming exhibition set to be in London at the British museum in 2016.
Franck Goddio, had been leading an archaeological team since 1996 in slowly excavating an underwater area by the Nile Delta. This long period of excavating had finally paid off, as the team just recently rediscovered the ancient ruins of two cities that belong to the pharaohs era, called Heracleion and Canopus which have been submerged under the sea for over a thousand years. The ruins were found by Aboukir Bay, here in Egypt.
The discoveries included a magnificent 5.4 statue of Hapi the Nile God. The statue dates back to the 4th century BC and is said to be the largest statue of Hapi to ever be discovered. Another discovery was an impressive 1.9 m tall inscribed tablet, a couple of huge columns and several metal model boats which used to be offerings and ritual objects.
The exhibition will be telling the story of the two cities for the first time, showcasing almost 300 items. Some of the items on display will be from the museum’s own archives, some from the sunken ruins which were pulled and other items which will be borrowed from Egypt on a special loan. Among the borrowed items is a statue of Arsinoe ll, a statue of Oasis and a gold necklace.
The president of the European Institutue of Underwater Archaeology and a co-curator of the exhibition, said: “My team and I, as well as the Hilti Foundation, are delighted that the exhibition with discoveries from our underwater archaeological expeditions off the coast of Egypt will be on display at the British Museum. He furthermore added 'It enables us to share with the public the results of years of work at the sunken cities and our fascination for ancient worlds and civilizations” Furthermore adding, “Placing our discoveries alongside selected masterpieces from the collections of Egyptian museums, complemented by important objects from the British Museum, the exhibition presents unique insights into a fascinating period in history during which Egyptians and Greeks encountered each other on the shores of the Mediterranean”
The exhibition will be held from 19 May to 27 November in 2016, and we can't wait to... umm see the photos? and for the British to see the real thing...