Very few of the numerous ancient shipwrecks that lie along the north coast of Egypt have ever been the object of an in-depth study. In fact, the coastal strip from Alexandria to Marsa Matruh (approx. 300km) has only seen three general investigations, undertaken between 1996 and 2000. These investigations did, however, provide evidence of the great archaeological wealth of the Alexandrian coast, since a large number of archaeological sites were thus registered. Lately, the Centre for Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage (University of Alexandria) has begun the excavation and documentation of one of the shipwrecks, located in Marsa Bagush that lies between Sidi Abdel-Rahman and Marsa Matruh.
Our project is to relocate a shipwreck in the area of Sidi Abdel-Rahman and engage in its excavation and documentation. The wreck site was discovered by a sport diver 20 years ago and recent contact has been made with him in order to delimit the area of investigation. According to this diver, a huge quantity of amphorae lies on the seabed at approximately 7 metres’ depth. The sandy nature of the seabed increases hopes that the hull of the ship may be discovered.
The project is led by Dr Mohamed Moustapha Abdel-Maguid, General Director of the Department of Underwater Antiquities (Ministry of Egyptian Antiquities). Dr Abdel-Maguid is assuming responsibility for the project, first proposed by Laurent Borel. The mission will take place during the month of November 2015 with a team of maritime archaeologists from the Department of Underwater Antiquities.