Tuesday, May 27, 2008

On the trail of Cleopatra

The legendary Queen of Egypt is making headlines again this week.

About a month ago, it was reported that Egyptian archaeologist, Zahi Hawass was close to locating the final resting place of Cleopatra and Marc Antony - see: "Cleopatra's Tomb" .

This month, The Times has further reported that:
" ..... with a team of 12 archeologists and 70 excavators, Zahi Hawass, 60, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, has started searching for the entrance to her tomb. And after a breakthrough two weeks ago he hopes to find her lover, the Roman general Mark Antony, sharing her last resting place at the site of a temple, the Taposiris Magna, 28 miles west of Alexandria.

Hawass has discovered a 400ft tunnel beneath the temple containing clues that the supposedly beautiful queen may lie beneath. A fortnight ago Hawass’s team discovered a bust of Mark Antony .... "

And Fox News:
"Hawass has discovered a 400-foot tunnel beneath the temple containing clues that the supposedly beautiful queen may lie beneath. "We’ve found tunnels with statues of Cleopatra and many coins bearing her face, things you wouldn’t expect in a typical temple,” he said."

In addition to the bust of Marc Antony, Hawass has discovered an alabaster head thought to be that of Cleopatra in the Tapsiris Magna Temple.

Yahoo News:
"Some 20 bronze coins stamped with Cleopatra's face were found in underground tunnels 50 metres (164 feet) deep in the archeological site, Hawass said."

If Hawass is correct in his assumptions, his discovery has been compared with that of Carter. However, Hawass has his critics:
"Other experts are cautious, though. John Baines, professor of Egyptology at Oxford University, warned that searching for royal tombs often proved a “hopeless” task. He also doubted that Antony would be buried alongside his lover."

It will be very interesting to see what other "evidence" of the presence of Queen Cleopatra will be unearthed in this Temple.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that will be very interesting to see what they find. Nice story.

Melisende said...

I am curious as to whether Cleopatra and Marc Antony will be discovered side by side.

And yes, it will be interesting to see whether any more "Cleopatra" items surface during the November excavations.

Unknown said...

I heard this on the news last night. I love Ancient Egypt and I'm waiting to see what else they discover about the tomb.