An Egyptian archaeological mission has unearthed remains of a residential and commercial town dating back to the Greco-Roman era in the coastal city of Alexandria.
During the excavation work in the al-Shatby neighborhood, “the mission has found a large network of tunnel tanks painted in pink for storing rain, flood, and groundwater to be used during the draught time”, Xinhua news agency quoted Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, as saying on Friday.
He added that studies show that the settlement was used from the 2nd century B.C. to the 4th century A.D.
Waziri said pottery pots and some statues have been found in more than 40 wells and tanks, which indicated a large population in that area near Alexandria, which was the capital of Egypt in the Greco-Roman era.
He said the mission also found rest houses for travelers and visitors where they waited for getting licenses to enter the town as well as houses used as centers for collecting taxes.
He noted that the preliminary studies on the discovered district revealed that “it was composed of main street and several branch roads that are all connected with sanitation network”.
This area was used as a transit area for travellers, visitors and trade merchants. It comprised rest houses for visitors to stay until receiving approval to enter the city as well as storehouses for merchants to keep their goods and customs to check the goods and decide the amount of taxes.
Meanwhile, Khaled Abu Hamad Director-General of Alexandria Antiquities Authority said the town had a big market, shops for selling pots, and workshops for making statues.
He added that nearly 700 coins and plates in different shapes and a large number of fishing tools have been found in the discovered town.
“Excavation work on the old town took nine months,” said Abu Hamad, stressing the importance of the district in connecting the trade movement between the east and the west.
Alexandria, the third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, was founded in 331 B.C. by Alexander the Great.