26 Jun 2021

Edmund Richardson: finding the lost city of Alexandria

From Saturday Morning, 10:05 am on 26 June 2021
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Photo: Provided

Founded by Alexander the Great, the city of Alexandria sat at an important junction of the southern foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains. For centuries it was a thriving city, bringing together east and west. And then it vanished.

Alexandria, the new book by Dr Edmund Richardson, doesn’t just dive into what happened to this lost city - it tells the extraordinary 19th century story of Charles Masson, an ordinary boy from London turned deserter, archaeologist, and highly respected scholar. 

This unlikely archaeologist discovered tens of thousands of pieces of Afghan history, including the 2000-year-old Bimaran golden casket, which has upon it the earliest known face of the Buddha. Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City is the first time Masson’s story has been told in full.

Dr Edmund Richardson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University.

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Photo: Yepoka Yeebo