Cleopatra: where is the tomb of the Egyptian queen?

Where was Cleopatra, the most famous queen of ancient Egypt, buried? This is, no more and no less, one of the greatest archaeological mysteries in history.

Where is Cleopatra’s tomb located? This is a question that makes the most seasoned archaeologists tear their hair out. Yes, since for 2000 years, the burial place of the Egyptian queen who committed suicide in 30 BC. JC is literally nowhere to be found. Is she underwater? In a temple? Is she even still alive? (Nope). We present to you two theories as to the possible location of the tomb of one of the world’s first celebrities.

Is Cleopatra’s tomb underwater?

The most eminent Egyptologists, like Maurice Sartre or Zahi Hawass, looked into the question and for them, there is no reason why Cleopatra VII Philopator, her real name, was not buried in the city where she was born and died: Alexandria. However, in 2000 years, Earth changed and the elements took charge of making the city disappear, once one of the most prosperous in the world, under the waves. Today, on the surface, only vestiges of the old town remain and, unfortunately, the tomb of Cleopatra is not part of it.

To give you an idea here is what the city of Alexandria looked like in the time of the pharaohs

According to specialists and the writings of the philosopher Plutarch, his tomb was next to a temple of Isis perched at the very end of Cape Lochias, one of the “borders” of the city. In 2000 years, due to erosion and certainly several earthquakes, Cape Lochias, at least a part, would have sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, taking with him the royal tomb. Cleopatra’s secrets would therefore be lost forever. It was in any case the official version until an amateur archaeologist came to disturb the established order.

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Is Cleopatra’s tomb in a temple?

This amateur archaeologist is Kathleen Martinez, a Dominican lawyer and diplomat. Passionate about Cleopatra and her story, she got it into her head to find the final resting place of the ugly queen. It all started in 2002.

Kathleen Martinez knew that Cleopatra VII Philopator was considered the reincarnation of the goddess of the sea, luck and travel: Isis. She therefore made a hypothesis according to which the queen, surely a bit megalomaniac, would have liked to be buried in one of the temples representing the goddess since she was the human reincarnation.

The lawyer then mapped all the known temples of Isis which are also associated with the legend which links her to Osiris. The two gods being lovers, in addition to being brother and sister, and Cleopatra having died near her beloved Marc Antoine, he had to find a site that took his criteria into account.

In total, Kathleen Martinez has counted 21 potential sites where the Queen’s tomb could be. And in this list, one caught his attention: Taposiris Magna, the great house of Osiris. Located 45 kilometers from Alexandria, the temple therefore met all the criteria.

Three years after making this hypothesis, the amateur archaeologist therefore decides to go and meet theSecretary General of the Ministry of Antiquities: Zahi Hawass. He first thinks of a far-fetched theory and doesn’t take it seriously. But Kathleen Martinez is very insistent and the latter finally gives in by granting her the right to search the temple for two months only.

It was then that she made the discovery of a well which led to two rooms which seemed never to have been visited before. A surprising discovery that will allow him to obtain an extended excavation permit.

As his excavation progressed, Kathleen Martinez discovers multiple tombs, mummies, jewels, statues, busts, some of which bear the effigy of the queen in a maze of galleries which, according to the analyses, would be nearly 7 km long. Only, the excavations are progressing slowly, we should not take the risk of damaging a piece. Seventeen years later, the tomb of Cleopatra, the last queen of the lagides dynasty has not yet been found. If Zahi Hawass is pessimistic by saying that the tomb of the queen will never be found, the lawyer says she is closer to the goal each year.

Either way, the mystery remains!

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Cleopatra: where is the tomb of the Egyptian queen?

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