Queen Cleopatra VII used her feminine assets to make sure that Egypt became an ally of Rome, not its conquered territory. She seduced and subdued Mark Antony. Unfortunately, Egypt was embroiled in the fight for control of Rome between Antony and his rival, Octavian. Octavian defeated the fleet of Mark Antony and Cleopatra in the battle of Actium in 31 BCE. Mark Antony committed suicide and Cleopatra did the same by allowing a poisonous viper to bite her.
Head of the Dominican archaeological mission Kathleen Martinez believes that the tomb of Cleopatra VII and her husband, the Roman leader Mark Antony, is in the basement of the temple of Isis and Osiris. Most scholars and historians claim that Cleopatra and her husband prepared a mausoleum in the royal district of Alexandria, which covers the north-eastern part of the ancient metropolis (the royal district is now under water).
According to Martinez, the lovers, who committed suicide were buried under the limestone sanctuary of Taposiris Magna, located on a hill about 45 km west of Alexandria. During this study, archaeologists led by Kathleen Martinez, found a statue that probably represents the lovers, joined in an embrace, as well as the alabaster head that remained from the statue of the queen. They also discovered 22 coins with the image of Cleopatra.
Archaeologists also excavated a fragment of a ceramic mask within the Isis sanctuary. This could be the posthumous mask of Mark Antony. Around the temple, 27 tombs were found, and 10 mummies of the 1st dynasty were found. Egyptian dignitaries often prepared themselves places of eternal rest near the king's grave.
Archaeologists have conducted land surveys using ground penetrating radar. Attended by American consultant Roger Vickers. The radar detected a network of underground tunnels and corridors at depths of 20.7 m, and three structures that could be burial chambers. Scientists assume that the graves are intact, and that robbers have not reached them. Has the mummy of Cleopatra been here for over 2 thousand years, surrounded by unbelievable treasures?
Three hundred artifacts discovered in past ten years by the Dominican archaeological mission can be seen from today during a temporary archaeological exhibition at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The artifacts are a clear record of daily life, administrative and religious activities, and the royal and social role that emerged at the end of the Ptolemaic period. The most important pieces of the exhibition is a unique painting inscribed with hieroglyphic and demotic writing, reminiscent of the gifts given by Ptolemy the Fifth to the priests of the Isis Temple.
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