Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1894-1895

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There is no ancient site on the Mediterranean, the prospect of whose
exploration seems to stimulate more recurrent curiosity th an Alexandria;
there is hardly one that Las been less systematically explored. The
perusal of Neroutzos' " L'ancienne Alexandria" is sufficient to inform
the reader how little research had been prosecuted up to 1885. No
one except Mahmud Bey, court astronomer of the Khedive Ismail, com-
missioned to make a map for the history of Julius Cassar, by Napoleon III.,
had worked with any wider purpose than to find buried treasure.
Schlicmann had nibbled at the fringe of the site in May and June, 1887,
and quickly abandoned his borings, discouraged by early ill-success and
the disfavour shown to him by the natives. Since 1885, successive
Directors of the Service of Antiquities have made tentative explorations,
mainly about the Attarin quarter, but no one has persevered long, or, so
far as I know, published any detailed account of what he did or found.

It was left, therefore, to Sig. G. Botti, on his appointment in 1891 as
Director of the Grajco-Boman Museum, newly-established in the town,
to undertake anything like a systematic search for the remains of the
great city which occupied the site, and more than the site, of modem
Alexandria. Having the advantage of permanent residence, he was able
to project a scheme for sinking test shafts in all the Hots into which the
ancient city was divided by its rectangular streets, as laid down by
Mahmud Bey.1 "Want of funds and vacant spaces has retarded the

1 I have my doubts, as I shall state later on, as to the soundness of Mahmud
Bey's map. In any case we know Alexandria to have been laid out on a rectangular
plan (Diod. Sic. xvii. 52)j and for Dr. Botti's purpose, namely, "quartering" the
ground, one kind of chessboard served as well as another.

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