Kom Al Dikka


Kom Al Dikka was a well-off residential area in Graeco-Roman times, with lovely villas, bathhouses and a theatre. The area was known at the time as the Park of Pan, a pleasure garden where citizens of Alexandria could indulge in various lazy pursuits. Although the ruins aren't terribly impressive in scale, they remain a superbly preserved ode to the days of the centurion and include the 13 white-marble terraces of the only Roman amphitheatre found in Egypt.

This site was discovered in 1967 when foundations were being laid for an apartment building on a site known unceremoniously as Kom Al Dikka – 'Mound of Rubble'.

In the same complex is the Villa of the Birds, a wealthy urban dwelling dating to the time of Hadrian (AD 117–138). Despite being redecorated at least four times in antiquity before being destroyed by fire in the 3rd century AD, its floor mosaic of pigeons, peacocks, quails, parrots and water hens remains astonishingly well preserved. Additional mosaics feature a panther and a stylised flower design known as a rosette.

Excavations continue to uncover more in the area. In early 2010 the ruins of a Ptolemaic-era temple were uncovered along with statues of gods and goddesses, including a number of the cat goddess Bastet.