The coastal acropolis of Taposiris Magna, 45 km west of Alexandria on Egypt's north coast, was founded by Ptolemy Philadelphos II in the early third century BC. Between 1998 and 2004, Hungarian excavations, led by charismatic archaeologist Gyozo Vörös, revealed many of the hidden secrets of the history of this important site. Within the Egyptian-style pylons and enclosure walls, the team discovered the foundations of a Greek-style sanctuary-the only Greek temple so far found in Egypt. That sanctuary was carefully and deliberately dismantled in the Roman period in order to turn the whole temple into a garrisoned fortress: columns from the sanctuary were used to heighten the enclosure walls. Later, at the end of the fourth century, a Christian basilica was constructed inside the fortress complex, and the temple became a monastery. This fully illustrated book reveals all the discoveries of the Hungarian excavations at this remarkably protean site, including plans and reconstructions of the Greek sanctuary and the Byzantine basilica, as well as a series of stunning finds: a beautiful basalt statue of Isis, a cache of Roman bronze cultic paraphernalia, and a hoard of Byzantine gold coins and jewelry.
Gyozo Vörös is an architectural historian and Egyptologist. He was the director of excavations at Taposiris Magna from 1998 through 2004.