Past and Present: Leukaspis, with a five-star hotel in the background. AP Photo.
Associated Press circulated a story on September 7 about the ancient Egyptian city of Leukaspis or Antiphrae, a former Greco-Roman town. It is now situated under the northern resort of Marina, and will be opened in mid-September to visitors. 2,000 years ago, it was a thriving little port until it was destroyed by an earthquake and related tsunami in the fourth century.
Ancient graffiti in the town of Leukaspis. AP Photo.
From the report: "Nearly 25 years after its discovery, Egyptian authorities are preparing to open ancient Leukaspis' tombs, villas and city streets to visitors — a rare example of a Classical era city in a country better known for its pyramids and Pharaonic temples." The local inspector for Egypt's antiquities department, Ahmed Amin, commented: "Visitors can go to understand how people lived back then, how they built their graves, lived in villas or traded in the main agora (square)." Leukaspis was a Greco-Roman styled-city with two-storey buildings, zig-zag streets, and wealthy merchants' houses bordering the sea-front. This is not so different from today, in that the coast recently became popular with élites in the region, whose chalets still have an Italian style. Marina has its own Venetian-styled canals. This is one of those locations that apparently has always had a culturally hybrid quality.
Venetian canals in present-day Marina.
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