When a month ago I was telling you how excited I was to go and visit the exhibition at the British Museum of Egypt’s sunken cities, I can now say that I was not disappointed, but blown away by what I saw.
Over the last 20 years a team of marine archaeologists, led my Frank Goddio have explored the submerged land off the Mediterranean coast, discovering the ancient cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus. And some of their finds are shown for the first time in UK.
The exhibition space was dimly lit with spot lights illuminating the artifacts brought up from the sea. While standing in front of the beautifully displayed and DRY statues and objects it was hard to imagine that they had been submerged under water for thousand of years. But to help the public to understand this, as well as giving a hint of the difficulties of bringing these finds out of the water, there was a video close to each object showing it still laying on the ocean floor.
These two pictures show a statue when it was first discovered and now standing proudly for all to see in the museum.
The following photos were taken when these artifacts were first found.
And not to let anybody forget where the objects came from, the soft sound of running water could be heard during the visit.
More from Egypt soon
The exhibition runs through November 27, 2016
Fascinating. I wish I could have seen this exhibit.
I wish you could have been there too- thanks for reading the blog
You are so right – the exhibition is wonderful, really revelatory – and it’s on until late November so there’s still plenty of time for those who wish to visit London to go and see it. But the nagging question at the back of my mind is: how far can one see any of these wonderful exhibits in Egypt? Mostly, they appear to be in the collections of several museums in Alexandria, but the Graeco-Roman Museum has been closed for years, while others don’t show a proper selection of objects. The Museum of Underwater Archaeology mystifies me: half of it is taken up with all sorts of stuff from later periods with no connection to the under water excavations! I do hope the publicity attracted by the British Museum’s effort will highlight the problem for those of us who live in Egypt.
Yes you are right there were quite a few pieces not connected to the Underwater Archaeology, but I thought that the pieces which were from that would not have been enough to mount an exhibition.
So they added items from other museums – I don’t know about attracting publicity to highlight this problem – most people are not as knowledgeable as you are –
And when it comes to seeing these exhibitions in Egypt – I once asked an expert about this when I was in Egypt and his answer was, “Yes of course we would like to have these exhibitions here in Egypt, but if they were here not as many people would see our treasures, while in other countries the world can see them.” A small consolation I know!
Thanks for your comment – be well