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Early 1980s Underwater explorer Franck Goddio first egan to 'dive' for the lost Royal City back in the eighties, using historical documents as his guide. He gathered valuable information about marine archaeology before embarking on his quest in Egypt. Having held key positions with international organizations and various governments, he went on to become an expert in his field after conducting his first studies in marine archaeology in Asia.

1987 He founded his 'Institut Européen D'Archéologie Sous-Marine' (European Institute of Marine Archaeology) in Paris and became a full-time underwater explorer. So began Mr. Goddio's search for the remains of past civilizations and eras at the bottom of the sea - an area thus far fairly unexplored.

Egypt map

1996 In 1996 Mr. Goddio gained the support of the Liechtenstein based Hilti Foundation, a foundation of the Martin Hilti Family Trust.
The Hilti Foundation, an acknowledged supporter of cultural, social, educational and scientific projects, whose President is Michael Hilti, a close friend of Franck Goddio, has supported Mr. Goddio's Alexandria project, particularly because of its cultural and scientific significance.
Franck Goddio discovered the exact location of the ancient Royal Quarter of Alexandria, Egypt, which was plunged into the sea over 1,600 years ago following a series of heavy earthquakes and tidal waves, as well as a continuous slow subsiding of the land.
The mission was made possible with the cooperation of the Supreme Council for Egyptian Antiquities and the sponsorship of the Hilti Foundation of Liechtenstein.
Key finds from this first mission included remains of parts of the submerged Royal Quarter, among them columns, statues, capitals, blocks of granite, Sphinxes, pavements and ceramics. The mission also discovered the island of Antirhodos which housed one of Cleopatra's palaces, the Peninsula where the Timonium which was Mark Antony's palace was located, the Poseidon sanctuary and the Royal Harbor of Cape Lochias.
With the use of electronically sophisticated archaeological surveys and systematic excavations in the Eastern Harbor of Alexandria, an accurate map was drawn up of the submerged Royal Quarter, superseding other existing maps.

The East harbourg map of Alexandriai

1997 New, outstanding artifacts were unveiled at Alexandria following the second phase of work, commencing in June. Evidence was discovered suggesting Alexander the Great used Antirhodos island as a landing area for boats before the time of the foundation of Alexandria.
Finds included important statues, among them a very rare one of the Great Priest of Isis, a head believed to be of Augustus and two Sphinxes, one of them probably representing Ptolemy XII, father of Cleopatra.
The mission has also shown that the whole island had been leveled by mortar platforms to support buildings around the 3rd century BC.
1998 In April, an exclusive partnership with the Discovery Channel, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, was formed to produce a series of films on underwater archaeological discoveries. The Discovery Channel will also fund expedition costs along with the Hilti Foundation. In September Canal+ of France joined Discovery Channel as co-producer.
October 28 marked the publication of Franck Goddio's book 'Alexandria - the Submerged Royal Quarters', written in cooperation with leading experts in the various fields of research, including Professor J. Yoyotte; Professor A. Bernand; Professor E. Bernand; Professor Z. Kiss; and Professor F. Dunand. The document outlines for the first time all the results of the surveys, archaeological excavations and analyses at Alexandria.
New information revealed on recent finds included remains of a 30 metres long well-preserved shipwreck dating between 90 BC and 130 AD, sunk in the private harbor of Antirhodos possibly after having been rammed by another boat.

Historical Background

The royal city of the last Egyptian Dynasty (Ptolemaic Dynasty), where Cleopatra, the last queen of ancient Egypt, ruled and died, was lost in a series of earthquakes in the Fourth Century AD. For aeologists tried to discover this legendary city, in which the dramas between Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Marc Antony and Octavius took place.

Discovery of Ancient Alexandria

In 1996, after many years of research and use of the most sophisticated electronic equipment, Franck Goddio discovered the remains of the city under water in the eastern harbor of Alexandria. The HILTI FOUNDATION financed the activities. In a press conference in Alexandria in November 1996, the findings were presented to the public the first time.


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