The Catacombs of Kom el-Shoqafa on Feb. 24, 2016 – CC via Wikimedia Commons/Asiatologist
CAIRO - 3 May 2018: Head of the projects sector at the Ministry of Antiquities Waad Allah Abul Ella visited Kom El-Shoqafa archaeological site Wednesday to supervise the project which aims to lower the groundwater table at the site.
This project is part of the restoration work to convert Kom El-Shoqafa archaeological site into an open-air museum.
Abul Ella said that Kom El-Shoqafa archaeological site has suffered from rising groundwater level since its discovery in 1892, and that the lower level of the site has been submerged with water; he earlier urged the ministry to launch a project to lower the groundwater table and to establish pull wells at a depth of 20 meters as a preliminary solution until experts finish the necessary studies to start launching the project.
Funerary art in the catacombs - Photo courtesy of Ancient history Facebook page
He remarked that the implementation of the project started in November 2017, including the establishment of six wells at a depth of about 40 meters and the installment of submersible pumps with an electronic control system in the site.
Frescoes in Tigrane Tomb, Catacombs kom El-Shoqafa seen in a photo taken on Sept. 4, 2017 – CC via Wikimedia Commons/Ibrahim el-Mezayen
In this regard, he referred that the Ministry of Antiquities has cooperated with the U.S. Agency for International Development to undertake all the necessary studies on the project.
Pillars inside the catacombs – Photo courtesy of Ancient history Facebook page
Kom El-Shoqafa, which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World, consists of a series of catacombs, artifacts of the ancient Egyptian funeral cult, along with several remains from the Greek and Roman eras.
The catacombs at the site reach 100 feet down into the ground of solid rock. On entering the catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, a circular staircase that takes visitors several levels deep into the ground is found.
Sarcophagus showing Egyptian god and priests offering sacrifices is seen in the photo taken on April 4, 2007 – CC via Wikimedia Commons/Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in a press statement issued on January 16, that the ministry will form a committee to plan for displaying the artifacts in Kom El Shoqafa, Alexandria.
He added that the restoration of Kom El-Shoqafa is part of the ministry’s latest plan to renovate the abandoned archaeological sites.
In the same context, Aymen Ashmawi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, said that the archaeological site will be divided into four sections: the first being dedicated to funerary structures, the second to religious buildings; the third to civil edifices, and the fourth will serve as a temporary exhibition.
The first section will include 34 sarcophagi; the tomb of "El-Ibrahimi" after reconstruction and an abundant cemetery after being rehabilitated.
The second section will comprise of a collection of sphinx statues and the remains of Semouha temple, while the third section will include remains of crowns, statues and pillars.
The last section contains artifacts that will be displayed in the Grand Egyptian museum and the Greco-Roman Museum.