Alexandria


Alexandria
   City on the Mediterranean coast of the western Delta founded by Alexanderthe Great in 331 BC on the site of the Egyptian village of Rakedet, Greek Rakotis. It became the capital of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt and included many fine buildings, notably the famed Library of Alexandria and the Pharos, or Lighthouse, of Alexandria, regarded as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Alexander’s body was preserved in a special mausoleum in the city. The city was also decorated with Egyptian monuments removed from earlier sites, notably Heliopolis. The large cosmopolitan population included Egyptians, Greeks, and Jews. The city later suffered damage from earthquakes and invasion and declined following the move of the capital to Cairo after the Arab conquest in 642 AD. Many parts of the city appear to have sunk beneath the harbor. Little of the ancient metropolis remains today, apart from the area adjacent to the so-called Pompey’s Pillar. Excavations by successive directors of the Graeco-Roman Museum have uncovered many local burial catacombs with reliefs in a mixed EgyptianRoman style. Since 1960, a Polish expedition has worked at the site of Kom el-Dikka uncovering a theater and baths. AFrench rescue expedition excavated part of the main cemetery at Gabbari from 1997–2000, prior to the construction of a new expressway. Recent surveys by teams of French divers have begun to reveal the parts of the city now underwater and recovered Egyptian sculptures and reliefs. Blocks in the sea near the fort of Qait Bey have been identified as belonging to the original lighthouse.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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