The Heptastadion

In 1996 a large team of geophysicists from the CNRS an the University of Paris VI began a project to trace causeway that connected the island of Pharos to the mainland. It now lies under several metres of accumulated silt and soil upon which the Ottomans built their town from 1517 onwards.

Photo : CEA, Albert Hesse Rights Reserved

Working only from the surface of the modern street network and analysing underground anomalies by means of electric, magnetic, electromagnetic, seismic and radar readings, the specialists managed to rediscover the line of the Heptastadion and correct that which had traditionally been accepted. Their findings show that this causeway was integrated into the road network of the ancient city. Initial results have been published in Etudes Alexandrines 1 and a more complete study is now being prepared for publication. Future developments over the coming years are envisaged as a series of soundings to verify the readings along the line of this causeway.