CAIRO: An Egyptian archeological mission on Friday unearthed remains of a town dating back to the Greco-Roman era in the north coast city of Alexandria.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, said that during excavation work in the Shatby neighborhood “the mission found ... a large network of tunnel tanks painted in pink for storing rain, flood and groundwater to be used during the draught time.”
Studies show that the settlement was used from the second century BC to the fourth century AD.
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, the capital of Egypt in the Greco-Roman era.
Waziri said the mission also found rest houses for travelers and visitors, where they waited to collect licenses for entering the town as well as tax-collecting centers, Xinhua reported.
He noted that the preliminary studies on the discovered district revealed that “it was composed of a main street and several branch roads that are all connected with the sanitation network.”
Ayman Ashmawy, head of Egyptian antiquities at the council, said the mission discovered water wells carved in the rock, in addition to a huge network of tunnel cisterns covered with a layer of pink mortar to store water from wells, rain and floods for use in dry seasons.
He added that there were over 40 wells and cisterns in which pots, lamps and some statues were found, indicating the high population density of this suburb.
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 town.
“Excavation work on the old town took nine months,” said Abu Hamad, who added that the district was crucial for connecting trade movement between the east and the west.