The finds from along the Egyptian coast will go on display at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute from June 5 to Jan. 2 in an exhibition titled "Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt."
Many archaeological sites have been destroyed by man, with statues cut or smashed to pieces. Alexandria's Royal Quarters—ports, a cape and islands full of temples, palaces and military outposts—simply slid into the sea after cataclysmic earthquakes in the fourth and eighth centuries. Goddio's team found it in 1996. Many of its treasures are completely intact, wrapped in sediment protecting them from the saltwater.
"It's as it was when it sank," said Ashraf Abdel-Raouf of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, who is part of the team.
Tuesday's dive explored the sprawling palace and temple complex where Cleopatra, the last of Egypt's Greek-speaking Ptolemaic rulers, seduced the Roman general Mark Antony before they committed suicide upon their defeat by Octavian, the future Roman Emperor Augustus.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Divers explore sunken ruins of Cleopatra's palace
Mercury News (Jason Keyser)