Marina Alamein is a popular summer resort located on Egypt's north coast, known for its sun, sand and sea. However, it also houses a significant archaeological site that holds great historical importance from the Ptolemaic and Roman eras.
The site was a major Greco-Roman town and port which was probably destroyed by an earthquake in the late third century AD. However, the site was partially inhabited again in the fifth and sixth centuries AD. A small basilica church uncovered in the eastern sector is considered to be the best evidence of this later occupation.
The archelological complex consists of the remains of over 50 different structures in the town and necropolis, including a commercial quarter, a town centre with its baths, markets and a civic basilica.
The archaeological site was first uncovered during the development of Egypt's North Coast in the 1980s.
Since then, the Polish Archaeological Institute in Cairo and the American Research Centre in Egypt have conducted extensive excavations and restoration work at the site.
The Polish excavations yielded vast findings, including lamps, glass vessels and pottery from Cyprus, the Aegean, Asia Minor and Italy. Several sculptures were also found and among the most remarkable discoveries were a lead coffin and mummies in one of the side chambers of a tomb.
However, the site remained closed to the public.
Now, the SCA is restoring the tombs and houses found on site in order to open the whole archaeological city soon.
Hisham Samir, assistant for archaeological projects to the minister of tourism and Antiquities, said that the work includes the cleaning of the houses and tombs, removing the plants covering the site, and restoring and reassembling houses. The SCA is also working to repair damage done to walls by humidity and salt.