Tunnel Found in Egypt Could Lead to Lost Tomb of Cleopatra
A major discovery of underground tunnels has been made in Egypt, and archeologists believe they could be part of the lost tomb of Cleopatra.
The tunnels were described as an “engineering marvel” and run for 4,281 feet (1,305 kilometers). They connect with three religious sanctuaries and a sacred lake, where so far 1,500 artifacts have been found including coins bearing the name Cleopatra.
Found under the Temple of Osiris in the city of Taposiris Magna, outside Alexandria, the tunnels were not located by chance. Dr. Kathleen Martinez started searching for the tomb in 2005, and said this particular site ticked the most boxes of all the temples around Alexandria.
The tunnels run into the waters of the Mediterranean coast, where two dozen earthquakes have struck between 300 BCE and 1,300 CE, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities stated.
Martinez and her team’s excavations have revealed that the temple of the god Osiris was also dedicated to the goddess Isis, Osiris’ wife. Cleopatra was considered by some to be the living embodiment, the reincarnation of Isis. This fact along with the coins is a promising start.
Next Kathleen and her team will commence underwater excavations on the parts of Taposiris Magna which collapsed into the sea long ago. It’s possible these ruined portions could contain the tomb of Cleopatra, and potentially also that of her husband, Marcus Antonius.
If Cleopatra was Isis herself, Antonius was by extension considered Osiris by some. Burying him in the temple of that god would seem to make sense.
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In addition to the coins bearing her name, other coins were found minted with the names of other Ptolemaic rulers, and of Alexander the great. Statues of the goddess Isis, and busts of unidentified figures were also found. Where the tunnels collapsed into the sea, pottery shards and limestone blocks were discovered.
Cleopatra was the first member of the Ptolemaic Dynasty that could speak the language of the people she ruled over, along with several others. She was out in the countryside in armed rebellion with her brother when Julius Caesar famously arrived in the city.
After Caesar ordered her and her brother to come before him in the coming weeks, she changed the course of history when, in the middle of the night, she was smuggled into Caesar’s room inside a linen bag.
This romantic fling led to her being proclaimed pharaoh after Rome destroyed her brother’s forces. She bore Caesar’s child, Caesarian, whom she lost, as well as her own life and that of her future husband Mark Antony’s, in a civil war against Gaius Octavius, Caesar’s great nephew and first Emperor of Rome.
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