Archaeologists find new urban precinct in the Egyptian settlement of Marea

A sophisticated urban precinct has been uncovered by archaeologists excavating the ancient port town and cemetery of Marea in Egypt, according to a new report.
As early as the 3rd-century bc, Marae was constructed by Alexander the Great, on the banks of Lake Mareotis, 45km west of Alexandria.

Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Early Islamic eras were all lived in by the time the village was abandoned in the 8th century.

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Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw (PCMA) carried out the excavations, which were accompanied by non-invasive geophysical technologies.

On the site of an ancient Roman wine-producing farm, the investigation showed a comprehensive design of one-story “modular” structures dating from the 6th to 8th century AD and encompassing 13 hectares.

During the 6th century, pilgrims who were heading to Abu Mena, a Christian shrine, passed through the precinct, which consists of what might be stores and residential dwellings arranged next to one other in tidy, straight rows.

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It was during the Hellenistic period, and subsequently, when the Romans controlled it, that the area had its first construction boom. Dr. Mariusz Gwiazda from the PCMA said: “It was a great surprise for us, considering around this era there were no new cities created in Egypt”.

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