Sunday, April 2, 2017

News, Alexandria: 4th Century Imperial Bath Complex Inaugurated in Egypt's Alexandria

Khaled El-Enany on the site of The bating complex in Kom Al-Dikka 
Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and members of parliment inaugurated Alexandria's cistern and imperial bathing complex area in the Kom El-Dikka archaeological site. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The area had been undergoing excavation and restoration since 1960 by an Egyptian-Polish mission from Warsaw University.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the ministry's Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, said that the newly inaugurated area will be included within the Kom Al-Dikka tourist path, which includes the Roman amphitheater, the bird villa and residential houses from the Hellenistic period until the Islamic era.

El-Enany describes the bathing complex as "one of the finest edifices of its time," and that the bathing halls had welcomed hundreds of bathers at a time.

The complex also includes palestrae for physical exercises, colonnade passages and amenities such as public latrines. Water was supplied to the complex using huge cisterns and heated by a complex system of furnaces and pipes.

The minister and the parlimentary delegates also paid a visit to the planned Mosaic museum in downtown Alexandria to inspect the ongoing work and address any obstacles to its completion.

During the tour, Mohamed Abdel Maguid, director-general of the Underwater Archaeological Department, introduced a three-phase plan to develop the Qayet Bey Citadel and its surroundings.

Abdel Maguid also reviewed a plan for the construction of the first underwater museum beneath the city's eastern harbour, which once was the ancient Alexandria royal area. AbdelmMaguid suggests the building of an underwater park to promote diving as well as the establishment of a training centre for underwater archaeology.

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