Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Bones of Arsinoe IV

From UPI:
Circumstantial evidence has led Austrian researcher Hilke Thur to conclude the bones of a young woman discovered in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus belonged to Cleopatra's younger sister, Arsinoe IV, who was the queen had murdered.

Archaeologists began to excavate the Octagon site in Ephesus in 1904, and discovered the burial chamber containing the bones of a young woman in 1926.

The skull disappeared during World War II, but Thur uncovered the rest of the bones in 1985.  Some findings have cast doubt on the conclusion that the bones may be of the murdered princess.

Additionally, testing shows the bones are of a woman who died before she turned 20, a surprisingly young age considering the important role she supposedly played--a challenge to Cleopatra's rule that eventually led to Arsinoe's murder.

Cleopatra had connected with Julius Caesar in Alexandria in 48 B.C. in an attempt to tamp down rivalries for her throne. Arsinoe raised an Egyptian rebellion against her sister, fought off by reinforcements sent in by Rome.

Arsinoe was captured and taken to Rome, where Caesar granted her life in exile in Ephesus.

After Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C., Cleopatra took up with Antony and had her sister murdered.  Although Thur says her team is somewhat stuck to find more conclusive evidence, she is hopeful new tests will soon be able to prove the bones' identity.

See also: Bones Wars - from HLN


Lucy said...

Fascinating! Thank you Melisende:)

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful i wonder when they will find cleopartra's remains.