Egypt to search 3 sites for Cleopatra's tomb

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

CAIRO: Archaeologists next week will begin excavating three sites in Egypt near the Mediterranean Sea that may contain the tombs of doomed lovers, Cleopatra and Mark Anthony.

In a statement Wednesday, Egypt s Supreme Council of Antiquities said the three sites were identified last month during a radar survey of the temple of Taposiris Magna as part of the search for the lovers tombs.

The temple is located on Lake Mariout which is today called Abu-Sir, near the northern coastal city of Alexandria, and was built during the reign of King Ptolemy II (282-246 BC).

Teams from Egypt and the Dominican Republic have been excavating the temple for the last three years.

The celebrated queen of Egypt and her lover, a Roman general, committed suicide after being defeated in the battle of Actium in 31 BC. Ever since, questions have lingered over where the lovers bodies are buried.

Excavators have also found a number of deep shafts inside the temple, three of which were possibly used for burials. The leaders of the excavation believe it s possible Cleopatra and Mark Anthony could have been buried in a deep shaft similar to those already found, according to the statement.

Last year, archaeologists at the site also unearthed a bronze statue of the goddess Aphrodite, the alabaster head of a Queen Cleopatra statue, a mask believed to belong to Mark Anthony and a headless statue from the Ptolemaic era at the excavation site.

The expedition also found 22 coins bearing Cleopatra s image.

Zahi Hawass, Egypt s top archaeologist, said the statue and coins – which show an attractive face – debunk a recent theory that the queen was quite ugly.

The finds from Taposiris reflect a charm … and indicate that Cleopatra was in no way unattractive, said Hawass, according to the statement.

Academics at Britain s University of Newcastle concluded in 2007 that the fabled queen was not especially attractive. Their conclusion was based on Cleopatra s depiction on a Roman denarius coin which shows her as a sharp-nosed, thin-lipped woman with a protruding chin.

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