Sunday, July 11, 2010

We Need to Raise $60,000 to Change History

I know I have regular readers who must be interested in this site because it consistently attempts to deliver an alternative model for the development of Christianity out of the Alexandrian Jewish community of the first century CE. This is an important job and I have carried out my duties everyday for over a year now looking for that "breakthrough" that will finally change the course of history.

I know I am putting my ass on the line by saying this - but I think we have that opportunity standing before us. Harry Tzalas of the Hellenic Institute of Ancient and Medieval Alexandrian Studies has just announced that after following my arguments about the location of the great προσευχή of Alexandria mentioned in the writings of Philo and the dyplastoon 'synagogue' or rival temple in the early rabbinic texts (tSuk 4:6; ySuk 5, 55a-b; and bSuk 51b).

I am putting my reputation on the line by claiming that I have located that building in the area already identified by Harry Tzalas as the location of the martyrium of St. Mark. I have been corresponding with Harry for over two years now and he first noticed a formation in the waters just to the north of the martyrium that seemed to represent an older building. We have now sent divers into the waters and brought back pictures which seem to confirm that a massive building once stood in an area now underwater.

In order to take the next step we need money to rent a boat and technical equipment to map the seafloor. All the money doesn't have to come from one source. We could take fifty donations of a thousand dollars in the worst case scenario. The money would go directly to Harry's organization (don't write me any checks PLEASE!).

Here is where the underwater dig fits within out plans for the next year.

a) During our October 2010 campaign leaving aside, for a while, our land excavation at Gezira Gabr El Khour concentrate our efforts in surveying the area that extends North and West of the Chatby Casino. I would like to cover a total surface of 500 m x 500 m.

b) Once this area is superficially understood we would dedicate two campaigns for the year 2011 exclusively to this area using a sophisticated mapping system.

An isolate rectilinear imaging that marks for 40 meters the seafloor and other geometric isolated forms are not of much help...but if one can raise a general plan, then all such geometric imagesput together may help to understand what once stood on this terrace. I would need at the same time the help of an airlift or hydrolift to remove sand wherever necessary.

So a small vessel (circa 20 m) will be needed for the equipment, the divers and the compressor for refilling the air tanks without having to depend on land support.

We have an American archaeologist who works at the Athenian Agora (American School of Classical Studies in Athens), his name is Bruce Hartzler and he has the most advanced electronic equipment for mapping underwater. What may take a week to draw with the traditional methods can be done in an hour with his equipment.

So we intend to meet Bruce and sound if he would be interested in participating in the mapping of that area.

3) This is a complicated and costly operation and the fact that Cape Silsileh (some 300 m east of the area I am intending to map) is a military zone (with some antiquated missiles standing on their ramps) make things a little more complicated. But I know it can be done, it is a matter of time, patience

As Greece is badly hit by the financial crisis it is impossible to expect any help from the Greek Ministry of Culture nor from any of the organizations usual Greek sponsors. I will be spending most of the next month trying to raise this money. These opportunities to change history come once in a lifetime.

If we can evidence which suggests that (a) this building resembled what is known of the temple of Jerusalem or (b) that an altar was present or even (c) that it was dyplastoon (i.e. a double colonnade) we will make history friends. There is so much that we don't know about Alexandrian Judaism, the development of Christianity out of the Jewish community of Alexandria and moreover Alexandrian Christianity generally, this is clearly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Please consider donating any amount you can including the minimum $1000. If you care about the origins of Judaism and Christianity, this is your chance to make a difference.

Owing to my lack of computer skills I can't post underwater photos of the building at this blog. Nevertheless I can forward copies of the PDF to interested parties. Just send me an email.

My email address is

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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