Cleopatra VII is of the most significant women in history. She ruled or co-ruled Egypt for over twenty years. Her great beauty, enrapturing personality, and affairs with the likes of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony have become the stuff of legend. On August 12, 30 BC, she supposedly committed suicide by inducing the bite of an asp (although one modern theory holds that she was deliberately poisoned). For centuries, explorers have searched for Cleopatra’s tomb. So, where is it?
Amazingly, after more than two millennia, Cleopatra’s tomb (which is believed to also hold Mark Antony) might be on the verge of being unearthed. The expedition to find Cleopatra’s tomb is led by Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, and Dr. Kathleen Martinez who hails from the Dominican Republic. They began initial work several years ago, focusing primarily on the temple of Taposiris Magna, which lies west of Alexandria.
Several circumstantial details point to the temple as a possible burial location. It’s surrounded by a cemetery, which appears to hold people of some means. This indicates the presence of an important nearby tomb, possibly one belonging to royalty. Also, the expedition unearthed a separate temple dedicated to Isis, the deity from which Cleopatra claimed to be reincarnated. Other clues, such as coins depicting Alexander the Great, provide evidence that the tombs in the area are of the right time period.
Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis
Last month, the expedition completed a radar survey of the temple, which pinpointed three deep shafts. They believe that one of these shafts might serve as the final resting place for Cleopatra and Mark Antony. While the existence of Cleopatra’s tomb has yet to be confirmed, these three shafts represent the most promising lead in centuries. If by some chance, the burial is discovered intact, it could prove to be one of the greatest treasure troves of all time…not just in terms of gold and artifacts but in terms of knowledge as well.