A group of archaeologists released excavation data on the territory of an ancient Egyptian temple. They found the mummies of two noble people who lived during the time of Cleopatra. Scientists believe that the find can lead them to the burial of the legendary queen.
Cleopatra’s burial site remains a mystery to scientists. Some are sure that the body of the queen is in Alexandria, others are looking for him in the ancient temple of Taposiris-Magna, built by her ancestors, a family of Ptolemies, in the Nile Delta. It was there that a group of archaeologists found the mummies of two noble Egyptians who lived during the reign of the queen.
The tomb remained untouched for two thousand years, but, unfortunately, the mummies are in poor condition, because water leaked into the room. Despite this, it was possible to find out that during the burial the bodies were covered with gold leaf – such a luxury was available only to representatives of the upper layers of society. “Although they are now covered in dust after two thousand years spent underground, they once looked impressive,” said Dr. Glenn Godenho, senior lecturer in archeology at the University of Liverpool.
X-ray analysis showed that the bodies belonged to a man and a woman. Scientists believe that these people closely communicated with the queen herself. Perhaps they were clergymen who played a serious role in maintaining the power of the pharaohs. This hypothesis is confirmed by the image of a scarab engraved on the gold plating of one of the mummies. In ancient Egypt, the scarab was a symbol of rebirth and the afterlife, and its image was often used by priests.
Earlier, during excavations in Taposiris Magna, archaeologists discovered a headless statue of the pharaoh, who was supposedly Ptolemy IV, and a slab with an inscription confirming that the temple was built in honor of the goddess Isis, one of the important figures of the ancient Egyptian pantheon of gods. Cleopatra, according to written sources, considered herself a living embodiment of Isis. In addition, the queen’s alabaster head was found on the territory, and 200 coins with her name and profile were found on the altar site.
Recent excavations may indicate Cleopatra’s burial site. Kathleen Martinez, an archaeologist who has been working on this site for over 14 years and leads the current excavations, is convinced that they will find the tomb in this temple, although only a small part of it has been studied now.
Cleopatra was the last representative of the ancient Egyptian family of the Ptolemies, who ruled the country for three centuries. The remains of the pharaohs of this dynasty have not yet been discovered, although earlier it was possible to find large-scale burials of the IV-I centuries BC (the time of the Ptolemaic reign) and individual tombs, which may belong to members of this genus.
The opening of the first tomb in Taposiris Magna was filmed for a new documentary, which will be released on July 16. In it, archaeologists will tell in detail how the excavations took place.