ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Reuters) — A granite sphinx with the head of Cleopatra’s father emerged on Wednesday from the choppy waters of Alexandria harbor after 1,600 years under water.
Divers led by French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio winched the superbly-preserved sphinx, bolted into a steel frame, onto the deck of research vessel Princess Dudu.
The city, where the lives of Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony intertwined, disappeared beneath the sea more than 1,600 years ago after a series of earthquakes and flood waves.
They also brought up a stunning statue of the Great Priest of Isis holding an urn, thought to have been part of a sanctuary of Isis on Antirhodos island, the focus of this year’s underwater excavations in Alexandria bay.
“This is one of the most beautifully preserved statues of its kind and very rare,” Goddio told reporters, referring to the 250 kg (550 pound) priestly statue from the first century AD.