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32nd Dynasty

Alexander the Great


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roman baths
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caracalla tombs
catacombs of

bibliotheca alexandrina
montazah palace

pompey's pillar
qaitbay fort
roman excavation
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Catacombs of Shouqafa

the only above-ground evidence of the catacombs

In the middle of Alexandra is an unassuming stone building, almost covered in grass -- beneath which is the huge underground necropolis of the Catacomb of Shouqafa. The houses above are two hundred years old, built over the honeycombed stone beneath -- the catacombs were discovered when a donkey stepped through a thin part of the roof (you know, donkeys find quite a lot of stuff in Egypt).

the circular staircase and air shaft, going down three stories

These catacombs were originally a private crypt, but were later extended with more roman burials. People are buried here in sarcophagi, in shelves, and in urns of ashes after cremation. They are empty now, of course, and the lower levels have been completely flooded by the rising water level in Alexandria.

the staircase leading down to the private tombs, and a roman statue beside

These catacombs are called Shouqafa, Shoukkafa, es-Shoqafa -- a number of different anglicized spellings, depending on which book you are reading. It means "Mound of Shards" and refers to the crushed pottery found inside, where banquets were held for visitors to the dead.

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