Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Tell You Folks, There is Something in Those Shallow Waters Just East of the Walls of the Ancient City of Alexandria ...

Here are two photographs of he Chatby area --the site of the martyrium of St. Mark. The black and white photo was made at a very rare moment when the tempestuous sea was clam, and clearly shows marks of possible man-made structures in the shallow in from of the Casino.

The photograph made some 10 years ago shows the area with the all the sandy beach before the widening of the Corniche road.

The colour photograph was made a few years ago - likely in 2007 just after the widening of the Corniche road. As you can see the Casino Chatby has not been affected nor the area of the shallows in front of the Casino-- but the additional lane of the new road has stepped on the beach itself.

Three trenches were dug in 2007 on what remained of the narrow strip of beach but they could only excavate up to 1,75 m; as there is an infiltration of sea water. A lot of Late Roman pottery sherds were found as well as some small pieces of granite and basalt.

There were no remains of any structure. There is however under the casino a flat area of solid construction or possibly leveled rock and the piloti of the Casino stand of this solid ground.

If the object in the shallows represent man-made foundations it is undoubtedly a building. It is impossible to imagine it to have been in deeper waters that 5m.

At Chatby the submergence from the year 0 is of circa 8m so the ground on which the structures stood was circa 2 to 3 m above sea level.

Birger Pearson noted to me in a recent personal correspondence that when he was in Alexandria some years ago "I recall seeing remains of stone structures just beneath the surface of the sea along the beach, just east of Lochias."  

I keep telling you folks, this isn't some 'kooky theory.'  There is something very significant in those waters..  There can be no doubt that this is the location of the martyrium of St. Mark mentioned in the Passio Petri Sancti and other early references.  It's located just underneath the Casino (the building built on the waters).

The question now is what is located just to the east in the waters.  This will happen sooner than any of us realize.  I think it will change scholarship forever.  But we'll just have to hold our collective breath ...

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Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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