If you are an archeology fan then get to this exhibition on at the British Museum.
Outside its chaos in the main part of the museum, but in this beautifully staged exhibition, its soft lights with a gurgly under water sound track and murmured voices.
A video begins the exhibition with a background on the extraordinary discovery made beneath the sea in Abukir Bay, at the edge of Egypt’s northwestern Nike Delta. The lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus known in ancient writings, were only discovered recently.
They were set on a fragile aquatic landscape of lakes and marshes that slowly sank into the sea. 1000 years later these cities are being recovered piece by extraordinary piece.
The monumental statue of Hapy, was a major find and is on display in the ante-room before we dive into a treasure trove of antiquities recovered.
A large part of the exhibition is on the interplay of Greek and Egyptian ideas that merged in the port cities. In particular how the cultures merged their dieties, borrowing back and forth, to suit the population.
We track various dynasties of rulers including Alexander the great, who encouraged the Eygtian belief in kings being divine beings. His general, Ptolemy, ascended to the throne post his death and this dynasty lasted 300 years. Fast forward to Cleopatra’s ill-fated reign as the last descendant of the Greek Ptolemies, and the region is lost to Roman rule.
We also see likenesses of Hadrian who visited Eygpt in AD130 where his Greek lover, Antinous, was to drown in the Nile.
Allow yourself a couple of hours to really savour all the treasure. It will be the best exhibition you will see in London this autumn.