Archaeology is usually a grimy business, but the Smithsonian's Jean-Daniel Stanley says that getting these cores set a new standard in that regard:
The Smithsonian's magazine ran a more extensive piece on this dig back in April.
Collecting these samples underwater proved challenging. "Alexandria now is home to as many as 4 million people, and we were in the unfortunate position of having to deal with their discharge—human waste, municipal waste, industrial waste—which got released into the harbor," Stanley said. "It's not funny, but you have to sort of laugh."
ETA: Apologies to David Meadows for inadvertently stealing the title of his entry on a similar article...