Friday, December 25, 2009

Cleopatra's Mausoleum

From the Guardian:
They were one of the world's most famous couples, who lived lives of power and glory – but who spent their last hours in despair and confusion. Now, more than 2,000 years since Antony and Cleopatra walked the earth, historians believe they may finally have solved the riddle of their last hours together.

A team of Greek marine archaeologists who have spent years conducting underwater excavations off the coast of Alexandria in Egypt have unearthed a giant granite threshold to a door that they believe was once the entrance to a magnificent mausoleum that Cleopatra VII, queen of the Egyptians, had built for herself shortly before her death.

They believe the 15-tonne antiquity would have held a seven metre-high door so heavy that it would have prevented the queen from consoling her Roman lover before he died, reputedly in 30BC.

The threshold, part of the sunken palace complex in which Cleopatra is believed to have died, was discovered recently at a depth of eight metres but only revealed this week. It has yet to be brought to the surface.

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