Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, Alexandria Egypt

The catacombs of Kom Kom El Shoqafa actually a historical archaeological site located, just to the west of Pompy's Pillar, Alexandria in Egypt. The meaning of catacombs of Kom Kom El Shoqafa is “Mound of Shards” is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Kom El Shuqafa, The “hill of treasures” in the Arabic language, was unearthed by coincidence in the beginning of the 20th century. It is named, because the area used to comprise of mounds of shards of terra cotta, mainly resided of jars and objects made with clay. The objects were left by tombs visitors who bring food and other stuff for their consumption during the visit. When this area discovers, a heaps of broken plates founded, because they didn’t want to carry such items home from this place of death so they would break them. The city of Alexandria was originally established by Alexander the Great, the most famous Greek King and army leader, in 332 BC and soon became the cultural and commercial center of the Mediterranean Sea region.
The necropolis comprises of a series of Alexandrian tombs, statues and archaeological objects of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences. As the time passes, several features of catacomsb of Kom El Shoqafa, merge Greek, Roman and Egyptian cultural points. The Catacombs features includes a Hall of Caracella, comprises of bones of young Christian men massacred by order of the emperor Caracalla in 215 AD. The Hall of Caracella also contains the bones of horses and humans were found A circular staircase, which was often used to transport deceased bodies down the middle of it, leads down into the tombs that were tunneled into the bedrock during the age of the Antonine emperors 2nd century AD, used as a burial chamber, before being rediscovered in 1900 when a donkey accidentally fell into the access shaft. So far, three sarcophagi have been found, along with other human and animal remnants. It is believed that the catacombs were only intended for a single family, but it is unclear why the site was expanded in order to house numerous other individuals.
The western side of catacombs comprises of three levels cut through solid rock, however, the third level being now entirely underwater. The catacombs have a six-pillared central shaft which opens off the vestibule. On the left is a triclinium, a funeral banquet hall where friends and family gathered on stone couches covered with cushions, both at the time of burial and also on future commemorative visits. Moreover, a stone staircase descends to the second level, an area spookily alive with sculptures. Further, in the building lobby, two pillars are topped by the papyrus, lotus, and acanthus leaves of ancient Egypt and two falcons flanking a winged sun adorn the frieze. Therefore, figures of a man and a woman are carved into the wall. There’re 3 huge stone coffins with non-removable covers along the sides of the chamber supposed that bodies were inserted in them from behind, using a passageway which runs around the outside of the funeral chamber. There is a hallway with 91" deep walls in the central tomb chamber, with carved recesses, each providing burial space for three mummies.

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