18.4 C
Byron Shire
May 18, 2024

Titanic’s Egyptian connection

Latest News

Brunswick 30 has been delivered to Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour

Following successful sea trials at Yamba the Brunswick 30 was delivered to Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour on Wednesday, May 15. 

Other News

Mullum Road upgrade

Construction is expected to commence in December to improve the flood-prone Mullumbimby Road near Uncle Tom’s corner.

Back, bigger and better than ever

Stone & Wood’s annual Festival of the Stone is back, bigger and better than ever on Saturday, 1 June. This year is shaping up to be a huge celebration of community, music and delicious food – all for a good cause.

Pickleball takes Alstonville by storm as new courts open

Alstonville now boasts tournament-standard pickleball courts that opened to an enthusiastic crowd and players last Saturday despite the rain.

Big tech, porn, violence and young blokes

I know it’s time we talked. The trouble is, I don’t know exactly what to say. But let’s try this...

Locals take state awards at Byron Bay Triathlon

The Byron Tri Club had a successful Byron Triathlon despite the waterlogged conditions last Saturday. Not only did the club...

Northern rivers surfers help Australia win the World Junior Surfing Championships

Fingal Head surfer Dane Henry has won an individual gold to help Australia claim its eighth World Junior Surfing...

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

Editorial – Just another unjust moment in history

Justice has been served and it’s a shit sandwich: whistleblower David McBride is now the first person to be sentenced to jail in Australia for reporting war crimes.

What do young people want and what do they think needs to change?

The ‘Your Voice, Our Future’ survey has been launched and is asking young people to put forward their views on what is important to them. 

Conciliation meeting over Broadwater floodplain development terminated

Richmond Valley Council refused a development application for a 60-lot residential development on flood-prone land on Rileys Hill Road, Broadwater, close to the Richmond River in October 2023. 

Pickleball takes Alstonville by storm as new courts open

Alstonville now boasts tournament-standard pickleball courts that opened to an enthusiastic crowd and players last Saturday despite the rain.