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Discovery may lead to Cleopatra’s lost tomb

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A tunnel was discovered under the “Great Tomb of Osiris”.

A tunnel has been discovered under the ancient Egyptian temple Taposiris Magna, or “Great Tomb of Osiris”, which may lead to the long-lost tomb of the last Egyptian pharaoh, Cleopatra, the Daily Mail reports.

The carved rock, which has been declared a “geometrical wonder”, stretches for more than 1.5 km, is about 6 meters high and is said to resemble the magnificent Eupalinos Tunnel on the Greek island of Samos, which is revered as one of the most the important engineering achievements of the classical world.

Archaeologist Kathleen Martinez of the University of San Domingo has been convinced for more than a decade that Cleopatra and her lover Mark Antony were buried in the temple, and the tunnel could be the way to that discovery. Martinez said there was a possibility the queen was buried there, and if so, it would be “the most important discovery of the 21st century”. The archaeologist believes that after Mark Antony committed suicide following his defeat by Octavian, but before her own suicide, Cleopatra made detailed plans for the two to be buried there.

She previously told National Geographic: “Cleopatra negotiated with Octavian to allow her to bury Mark Antony in Egypt. She wanted to be buried with him because she wanted to recreate the legend of Isis and Osiris. The true meaning of the cult of It is Osiris that he grants immortality. After their deaths, the gods will allow Cleopatra to live with Antony in another form of existence so that they may have eternal life together.”

Now, Martinez may be on the right track after uncovering the rock-cut tunnel that lies about 43 meters below the temple. The teams working on the site discovered a part of the tunnel that was submerged under the water of the Mediterranean Sea, a number of ceramic vessels and tools were found under the muddy sediments, as well as a rectangular block of limestone.

The research team believes that the foundations of the Taposiris Magna temple, located near the ancient Egyptian capital of Alexandria, are also under water due to at least 23 earthquakes that struck the Egyptian coast between 320 and 1303.

Martinez also discovered several important artifacts inside the temple, including coins with the images and names of both Queen Cleopatra and Alexander the Great, and a number of decapitated statues, as well as statues of the goddess Isis, reports BGNES.

Cleopatra, often called the world’s greatest celebrity, was the last of a long line of Ptolemies, rulers of Egypt – descended from the Greek general Alexander the Great. She ruled from 51 BC. to 30 BC – until the day of his death. The ruler became Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt, after the death of her father Ptolemy XII, and her brother became King Ptolemy XIII at the same time – the siblings ruled Egypt under the official title of husband and wife. However, the queen traces her lineage back to Macedonian Greece and has no Egyptian blood.

To gain support among the ancient Egyptian people, Cleopatra was also proclaimed to be the daughter of Ra, the Egyptian sun god.

Cleopatra falls in love with Mark Antony, who is the great-grandson of Julius Caesar and heir to the Roman Empire after his great-grandfather’s murder. However, Antony married to cement a strained alliance with another ruler named Octavian, and after marrying Octavia, Antony left his new wife to spend time with Cleopatra, according to the History Channel.

According to Octavian scholars, the lovers then married, violating Roman law restricting Romans from marrying foreigners. Octavian declared war on Cleopatra and Antony, defeating both. Cleopatra hides in the tomb she ordered for herself as rumors spread that she committed suicide. Antony died in Cleopatra’s arms after fatally stabbing himself, and she also committed suicide—reportedly by letting a poisonous snake bite her. Octavian returned to Italy, where he became the first emperor of Rome, and Cleopatra and Antony were buried in Egypt.

Photo: The entrance shaft and the tunnel Courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

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