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Team unearths first Roman-era basilica

Officials say archaeologists have unearthed the first basilica erected in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.

Antiquities authorities say the basilica is dated to the Roman era and was built on the ruins of a temple from the Ptolemaic reign that ended with the death of Cleopatra.

A statement Thursday says two parallel rows of granite and limestone pillars suggest the basilica was a social site that was also used for trade and judicial matters.

It says several statues of the Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis – one showing her breast-feeding – and others of the Graeco-Egyptian god Serapis also have been unearthed during five months of excavations that ended in May when archaeologists hit underground water.

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