Mersa Gawasis is the only recorded Pharaonic
coastal site on the Red Sea.
The site is located at the mouth of Wadi Gawasis, 25 km to the south of Safaga
and 50 km
to the north of al-Quseir. The site occupies the top and
slopes of a coral terrace, which is bordered by the seashore
to the east, the wadi to the south.
In the site The Quseir shipwreck is what remains
of an ancient Roman shipwreck located at Quesir which dates
from between the 1st century B.C. and the 1st century A.D.
It is believed to have belonged to Emperor Augustus and may
have been on an outbound voyage to
The location of the wreck has been known to the Institute of
Nautical Archaeology-Egypt (INA-Egypt) since 1993 and
surveys conducted in 1994 by the team of Douglas Haldane
revealed amphorae (A cylindrical two-handled amphora with
oval-section handles and an almond-shaped rim) from Italy on
the wreck site which assisted in dating the poorly preserved
wreck lying in
of water near the ancient harbor.
The wooden ship was strongly built and was approximately
33 meters in length, and would have
possibly been carrying Italian wine, gold and silver to be
used as currency, as well as containing articles and
implements of daily life aboard ship.
Excavation of the harbor and former settlement at Quseir EL-Qadim
have provided indicators pointing towards trade with
India. The port, called
Harbor", at that time was the Roman Empire's
main port for trade with North Africa and points beyond and
is mentioned in the texts of Pliny, Strabo, and Periplus.
Imported goods would have arrived at Myos Hromos and then be
shipped north to the port
of Quft, and then
on to Alexandria
for shipping to the rest of the Mediterranean sea