Tomb Of Cleopatra May Have Been Finally Found

[Justus van Egmont, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons]

In the remnants of the Egyptian city of Taposiris Magna’s temple ruins, archaeologists have recently unearthed a concealed passageway being called a “geometric marvel,” and it might lead to one of the most famous Egyptians of all time. 

The elusive quest for the lost tomb of Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, continues to captivate the imaginations of historians and archaeologists alike. Despite being one of the most iconic figures in history, the precise location of Cleopatra’s final resting place remains a mystery, but now archeologists think this newly discovered tunnel may help them strike the jackpot. 

The Jerusalem Post writes

“The city was founded in Egypt by the Hellenistic king Ptolemy II Philadelphus between 280 and 270 BCE, and its name translates to “The Great Tomb of Osiris” (the god of death in Egyptian mythology). 

The tunnel was discovered 13 meters below the ground by Katharine Martinez, an archaeologist from the Dominican Republic. It measures two meters in height and is carved astonishingly over a length of 1,300 meters in the sandstone of the area. The purpose of this tunnel is still unclear, as parts of it are submerged in water. 

Martinez, who has been working and researching the area since 2004, believes that this tunnel could be a significant lead to discovering the “lost tomb of Cleopatra.” Its design, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, bears a striking resemblance to the amazing Apheteleion tunnel, which measures 1,036 meters and dates back to the 6th century BCE, found on the Greek island of Samos. The Greek tunnel is often referred to as an engineering marvel, and it was unprecedented in its planning and construction using vaulting techniques. The engineering of the newly discovered tunnel in Egypt is equally impressive.

The purpose of the tunnel is currently unknown, and parts of it are still submerged in water. However, Martinez, who has been working at Teposiris Magna since 2004 in search of the lost tomb of Cleopatra VII, believes that the tunnel is a promising lead. Teposiris Magna was built around 280 BC by Ptolemy II, the son of Ptolemy I, who was one of the generals of Alexander the Great and the ancestor of Cleopatra. The archaeological team believes that the temple was dedicated to the god Osiris and his sister and wife, the goddess Isis – the goddess of healing, magic, and nature that Cleopatra tried to identify with. Sculptures of Isis and coins depicting the names and likenesses of Cleopatra and Alexander the Great were found at the site. 

Within the temple, burial shafts housing Greco-Roman burials have been uncovered. It is conceivable that, if Cleopatra and her husband Mark Antony were laid to rest in this location, their tombs might share similarities with the discovered burials.

One outlet said that “future work could yield more information on whether the new tunnel could lead to these long-lost tombs.

The next stage will be exploring the nearby Mediterranean sea. Between 320 and 1303 CE, a series of earthquakes hit the coast, causing part of the temple to collapse and be swallowed by the waves. In addition, excavations had previously revealed a network of tunnels stretching from Lake Mariout to the Mediterranean.

Whether or not the tombs are found, a thorough excavation of these ruins could tell us more about the mysterious ancient city. The tunnel has already yielded some treasures: pieces of pottery, and a rectangular block of limestone.”

In 2009, the then Minister for Antiquities Zahi Hawass explained what finding the tombs would mean: “If we discover the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, it will be the most important discovery of the 21st century. If we did not discover the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, we made major discoveries here, inside the temple and outside the temple.”

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  1. 2 boost tourism alone $$$

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