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A amazing 2,300-year-old wreck has been discovered in Egypt off the coast of El Alamein

Published: August 14, 2023 - 12:17
Updated: August 14, 2023 - 12:18
A amazing 2,300-year-old wreck has been discovered in Egypt off the coast of El Alamein

In the waters of northern Egypt near El Alamein, researchers have discovered an ancient wreck full of amphorae, which they determined to be 2,300 years old.

The wreck off the coast of El Alamein

The magnificent find was made by researchers who discovered a previously unknown archaeological site in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea near the city of El Alamein. At the seabed, archaeologists located wooden fragments of an ancient trading vessel and a cargo of amphorae, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities reported.

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Amphorae found on a seabed in El Alamein
One of the amphorae found off the coast of El Alamein Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
Underwater archaeologist at the site
Underwater archaeologist at the site Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

According to published information, in addition to the wreck, a large cargo of amphoras was discovered at the site. The clay pots made it possible to determine approximately the age of the wreck, as amphorae of this type were used to transport wine from Greece to Egypt in the 3rd century BC.

The authorities were informed of the existence of the archaeological site by Hussein Malik, an engineer and owner of a private marine survey company. His firm had conducted surveys off the coast of El Alamein a little earlier. The result of this work was the location of an ancient shipwreck along with a cargo of amphorae.

The head of Egypt’s antiquities section, Ayman Ashmawy, said that most of the amphorae were found on an island that sank below sea level. Based on this, archaeologists concluded that the ship most likely sank after colliding with the island.

This discovery underscores the commercial importance of the El Alamein region and the northern coast of Egypt in the 3rd century BC. At the time, there were many trading ports in the area. In addition, it has provided scientific evidence of Egypt’s status in the region with regard to trade and tourism, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

 

Ancient trading route

The northern coast of Egypt was home to some of the busiest ports in the region. They were regularly called by ships carrying goods from southern Europe, which were then transported further south. At the time, goods such as wine, olives and various types of grain were predominant.

Amphorae found at the site
Amphorae found at the site Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

By the 3rd century BC, there were more than 30 trading ports, villages and towns on the northern tip of Egypt. Because of the status that Alexandria had, it was also one of the most popular trade routes in the world at the time.

Founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, Alexandria became one of the greatest centers of Hellenistic civilization. Its traces survive to this day and, recovered and preserved by archaeologists, are available to the general public in museums and as monuments scattered throughout the city.

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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