An ancient statue of Alexander the Great has recently been excavated in northern Egypt. Found in the ancient city of Alexandria after 9 months of archeological excavations, the sculpture has been dated as early as the 2nd century BCE, some 2100-2200 years ago.
The discovery of this artefact occurred during excavations in the al-Shatby neighborhoud of Alexandria, an ancient suburb believed to have been in use between the 2nd century BCE and the 4th century CE. This places the activity during Greek and Roman eras of Egyptian history.
Alexander III of Macedon (popularly known as Alexander the Great) lived from 356 to 323 BCE and is considered one of history’s most important individuals. Born in the public baths of Pella, Macedonia, he became the King of Macedonia and Persia and named over 70 cities after himself, such as the one in which the recently discovered statue was found.
“The mission found a large network of tunnel tanks painted in pink for storing rain, flood and groundwater to be used during the draught time… [the town] was composed of a main street and several branch roads that are all connected with a sanitation network.”
Mostafa Waziri, the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt
The chief archeologist for these excavations, Ibrahim Mustafa, reported that he and his team are employing modern topographical lifting techniques and 3-D imaging to assist in documenting this site.
As of now, the press releases about this find are extremely brief. Sometimes this is done to help keep sites protected until they have been thoroughly and properly studied.
Over the course of the nine months, the team has excavated amphorae, pots, plates, various utensils, and around 700 ancient coins. They believe this town was a trade center that produced an array of valuables including amulets and statues. Also, fishing nets and loom weights have been discovered on the site, both of which indicate industrial level activity.
The statue of Alexander was alongside statues of legendary heroes and deities. Molds were found that could be used to produce statues of celebrities and emperors too.
These date at the minimum to about 120 years after Alexander the Great is believed to have died. However, this still makes it one of the earliest known, with an exception being the statue at the Liebieghaus museum in Frankfurt that has been dated to around 300 BCE.
This archeological site is sure to shed light on the previous cultures that once inhabited the area.
Many discoveries are being made every month, check out some others from this month:
The excavations are ongoing and more news on this site is expected. The cover photo for this article is not from the site itself but here are some images provided by Daily News Egypt of artifacts I think were found during the dig:
 – Kissel, Thomas. 2,200 Year Old Alexander the Great Statue Discovered in Alexandria (29 Aug. 2021). https://greekreporter.com/2021/08/29/2200-year-old-sculpture-alexander-great-discovered/. Accessed 29 Aug. 2021.
 – Rafaat, Shaimaa. Egypt unearths remains of suburb from Greek, Roman eras in Alexandria (29 Aug. 2021. https://dailynewsegypt.com/2021/08/29/egypt-unearths-remains-of-suburb-from-greek-roman-eras-in-alexandria/. Accessed 29 Aug. 2021.