Lake Mariout

Lake Mariout
Coordinates 31°09′11″N 29°53′55″E / 31.153056°N 29.898611°E / 31.153056; 29.898611Coordinates: 31°09′11″N 29°53′55″E / 31.153056°N 29.898611°E / 31.153056; 29.898611
Lake type Brackish
Basin countries Egypt
Settlements Alexandria

Lake Mariout (Arabic: بحيرة مريوط Boḥēret Maryūṭ, IPA: [boˈħeːɾet mɑɾˤˈjuːtˤ]), also spelled Maryut or Mariut, is a brackish lake in northern Egypt. The lake area covered 200 km² and had a navigable canal at the beginning of the 20th century,[1] but at the beginning of the 21st century, it covers only about 50 km².[2]


Salt refining-Lake Mariout

It is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by the narrow isthmus on which the city of Alexandria was built. The lake shore is home to fisheries and saltworks. As far back as the early 1900's, it was documented that salt was being refined from the western part of the lake.[3] Some of the marshy areas around the lake have been reclaimed for new building as the city grows and how to manage the pollution that goes into the lake has been considered.[4]

According to some records, a nome by the same name (ancient name: Mareotis) was located on the shores of this lake. [5]


The name derives from Mareotis or Marea, the name of the lake in ancient times.[1]

Fish species

The fish species Nile perch live in the lake, although it principally needs fresh water to live in, and the lake contains some salt. In 1939, A small lake, called the Nozha Hydrodrome was "isolated from Lake Mariout" and this allowed for the Nile perch to flourish there.[2]

Ancient findings

In 2015, a steel resembling the Rosetta Stone and dating back some 2,200 years, was discovered in ancient ruins called Taposiris Magna Temple site at Lake Mariout. Measuring 41 inches (105 cm) by 25.6 inches (65 cm) by 7 inches (18 cm) its message commemorates two Ptolemaic pharaohs and Cleopatra I. There are ancient tombs located on the shores of the lake.[6]


  1. 1 2 Baedeker, Karl (1885). Egypt: Handbook for Travellers : Part First, Lower Egypt, with the Fayum and the Peninsula of Sinai. Karl Baedeker (Firm). Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  2. 1 2 Close, Angela E.; Schild, Ramuald; Wendorf, Fred (2012). Egypt During the Last Interglacial: The Middle Paleolithic of Bir Tarfawi and Bir Sahara East. Springer US. p. 9. ISBN 9781461529088. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  3. Bulletin of the Louisiana Geological Survey. Louisiana Geological Survey. 1908. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  4. Brebbia, C.A. (2015). Sustainable Development (2 Volume Set). WIT Press. ISBN 9781784661571. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  5. Cooper, William Ricketts (1876). An Archaic Dictionary: Biographical, Historical, and Mythological: From the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Etruscan Monuments and Papyri. S. Bagster and Sons, 1876. p. 317. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  6. Miller, Mark (February 13, 2015). "Rosetta-style engraving lauding Cleopatra I and two Ptolemaic Pharaohs unearthed in Egypt". Ancient Origins. Retrieved 24 November 2016.

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