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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Egypt Exh.oba.tion Fund.

very serious difficulties. It is no uncommon thing to have to cut through
twenty feet of comparatively modern stratification in order to arrive even
at the Eoman level; and in cases where the surface area, available for
excavation, is itself small, a sounding, unless expensively timbered, will
contract in twenty feet of descent to a very narrow well indeed. The
expense, therefore, is apt to be very disproportionate to the underground
space that can be displayed. In the centre of the ancient city the
deposit is very unremunerative; little or none of it appears to be wind-
laid, but it is the result of continuous habitation since the Arab conquest
by poor folk, who, hemmed between lake and sea, have had to throw
their rubbish, and even bury their dead, over one and the same area.

In the second place, in descending below the Eoman strata, and even
before these strata are left behind, one comes to water before reaching
virgin soil. In my sounding on the south side of the Boulevard do
Eosette, in the plot once occupied by the house of Mons. Joseph de
Zogheb, I have stated that I found water at thirty feet below the surface,
with Eoman foundations continuing down into it. Further to the north-
east, between the old fortifications and the Boulevard de Eosette,I observed
water in foundation borings at thirty-five feet below the surface, but not
below the made earth and deposit. In the eastern cemeteries at Hadra,
Chatby, and Sidi Gabr, the lowest layer of tombs is found frequently to
be below water. It is not conceivable that the original burials were
made at a flooded level, nor is it probable that in the city itself nothing
but water exists below the Eoman constructions, as at present seems so
often the case. I believe that in consequence of a general subsidence of
the land, the water has risen considerably over all the Alexandrian
area since the early ages of the city, and that Ptolemaic strata, where
such exist, often would have to be sought now in bottom-mud, two
or three metres below the mean water-level. It follows also, alas ! that
there is little or no hope that pajiyri can be preserved even in the
Eoman strata, which lie immediately above the water, and are very
damp from capillary attraction. The absence, however, of Ptolemaic
remains is one of the most discouraging features of the site. In all
my own soundings I found nothing below the Eoman; the local
Museum is, as its title states, Gi-aBco-Eoman, not Greek and Eoman ;
excepting funerary objects found in the cemeteries, it contains
hardly a score of things Greek or Egypto-Greek ; and stray finds of
which I could gain information, made in digging foundations and
wells, or in levelling building plots, were in almost all cases Eoman
objects, or at best Greek handiwork, re-used in the Eoman nge. The
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