16 C
Byron Shire
May 24, 2022

Titanic’s Egyptian connection

Latest News

Comment: Bridging the flooded divide

In the sodden floodplains the divide among those affected has never been clearer – those who were insured, and those who weren’t, renters and owners, Lismore LGA and everywhere else.

Other News

Get me a DA

In response to the recent flood meeting held at the Ocean Shores Country Club on Tuesday 10 May, a...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Insights from the campaign trail

The election is almost here. Hooray. It’s time we got down with Elvis Presley’s suggestion of ‘A little less conversation, a little more action, please.’ I’m a big fan of action. I’ve been at this for 14 months, and as a writer who holds the ear of the community each week I’ve been cognizant not to turn this into a hostage situation. For twenty years I’ve talked about politics and social issues and shared insights into my personal experiences, but this is one journey where I’ve had to keep you locked out. 

2022 Environmental Citizen of the Year Awards

Two local groups have been nominated for the he Environmental Citizen of the Year Awards, an initiative of The Australia Day Council of NSW in partnership with Return and Earn.

Passports

I have been subscribing to The Echo since my daughter moved to Mullumbimby late last year and I visited...

$17m in funds for work on crown lands in NSW

If you are involved in managing crown reserve land and facilities then now is the time to get that application in for a share of the $17 million that is available fro the 2022-3 funding round. 

Coal fired. How are the major parties planning for its end?

There’s very little economic future for fossil fuels, even if you ignore the environmental effects. Renewable energy is cheaper, including battery storage.

This week marks the centenary of the Titanic’s sinking. Much interest was generated when, in 1985, the ship was located by the famous oceanographer Robert Ballard using the submersible named ALVIN. It was a triumph in marine technology.

Of course, the oceans are littered with centuries of shipwrecks, yet there is one little known wreck that could be worthy of a Harrison Ford movie.

In 1838 the ship Beatrice left Alexandria, Egypt, bound for England. Its cargo consisted of numerous artefacts of Ancient Egypt, yet the prize was the beautiful black basalt sarcophagus of the pharaoh Menkaure; owner of the third pyramid at Giza. The discoverer, Egyptologist Col. Howard Vyse, had rather drastically blasted his way into the pyramid leaving a scar still visible today.

Once loaded, the Beatrice set sail for a stopover in Malta after which it made for the Strait of Gibraltar. However, the story goes that as the ship approached the coast of Spain a fierce storm broke out and the Beatrice sank. Some reports at the time said sailors swam ashore at Cartagena and pieces of wreckage had also washed up around the Spanish port.

This indicated that the ship was not far offshore, yet no search was made and the Pharaoh’s sarcophagus has lain at the bottom of the Mediterranean ever since. It seems perverse that this ancient object had lain in serene silence in its pyramid for over four millennia, only to be blasted awake and end up at the bottom of the sea.

In 2008 the Egyptian government announced its desire to search for the wreck using submersible robots. Dr Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, was seeking financing from the National Geographic Society. He was also looking at employing the services of Robert Ballard.

However, such a project has the potential for a political stoush between Spain, Britain and Egypt. Legally the wreck sits in Spanish waters, yet the ship was British. Yet the sarcophagus and the other artefacts belong to Egypt, which Dr Hawass says was stolen by the British. The project seems to have stalled and considering the revolutionary turmoil in Egypt its future seems very uncertain.

The sarcophagus of Menkaure may lie in its watery grave for an indeterminate time yet. Where’s Harrison Ford when you need him?

Peter Conde, Uki


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. What a wonderful addition to the Titanic Saga. Something we never knew! I much enjoyed reading about it.
    Dear Echo: How about a regular series of articles relating intersting facts such as this one?
    Thank You
    Helga Boehme

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Grants to support arts and culture flood recovery

Nearly 50 arts and cultural organisations, screen practitioners, individual artists and collaborative groups impacted by recent floods will have access to $500,000 in funding.

Climate-related disasters influenced the election, Climate Council says

There was a clear connection between climate change-related disasters and voting in the Federal Election, according to the Climate Council.

Ballina Jetboat Surf Rescue stuck in the shed

Dave Carter, the President of Ballina Jetboat Surf Rescue, has gone public about a controversy which has been keeping his team's boat out of rescue service for the last three months.

Recalcitrant dogs

I could be a lot richer collecting $1 from all those who have told me to ‘get f****ed’ with their ‘companion animal’ being where...