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An archaeological expedition from Poland announced on Wednesday that it had discovered in Alexandria, Egypt, what appears to be evidence of the existence of a Byzantine-era university.
The expedition uncovered 13 lecture halls that it claimed belonged to the University of Alexandria, which apparently operated during the period of Byzantine rule between the fifth and seventh centuries AD. All the halls are the same in size and they included rows of tiered benches that together could accommodate about 5,000 students. They were discovered while cleaning the entrance to the Roman theater in the east of the old city.
Gregory Maiderak, the head of the delegation, said that "this is the oldest university found in the world", according to him this is the first evidence of the existence of an academic life in Alexandria.
Even before the establishment of the university, Alexandria was known as a cultural center, mainly due to its library, which was said to be the largest in the ancient world. It was established in 295 BC but apparently burned completely in the XNUMXth century AD.