Underwater Antiquities in Egypt and the Mediterranean Basin
- 28 Sep 2017 - 28 Sep 2017
- | Bibliotheca Alexandrina
- | Lecture
- | Registration
The BA Antiquities Museum is organizing this lecture, which will be delivered by Dr. Mohamed el-Sayed Mohamed el-Sayed, mission administration director at the Department of Underwater Antiquities (DUA), the Ministry of Antiquities. The researcher will discuss the development of underwater archaeology since World War II, specifically between 1942 and 1943 after Frenchmen Jacques-Yves Cousteau and engineer Émile Gagnan invented the Aqua-Lung. This invention allowed divers to move and explore underwater without constraints, and it led to some of the most important underwater archaeological discoveries in the Mediterranean Basin as Cousteau formed a research team known as the GERS (Groupe d'Études et de Recherches Sous-Marines – Underwater Studies and Research Group). The GERS discovered several shipwrecks and excavated submerged remains, most important of which were the Titan and the Grand Congloué shipwrecks along the coastline of France.
This lecture will also discuss the major archaeological discoveries made over the course of more than two decades along the coasts of the Mediterranean. Said discoveries motivated several Mediterranean countries to establish authorities that primarily aim to discover and preserve underwater antiquities. France was the first country in the world to found an establishment specialized in underwater archaeology in 1966, and was then followed by Italy, Spain, Greece, and Tunisia in 1993. As for Egypt, it officially began to pay special attention to underwater heritage in 1994, even though it had been aware of this grand ancient heritage since the beginning of the 20th century. Therefore, the Department of Underwater Antiquities (DUA) was established in 1996 in order to discover, search, excavate, protect, and revive underwater heritage.