Tunnel discovered under Egyptian temple may lead to Cleopatra’s tomb, archaeologist says

Written via Christian Edwards, CNN

Kathleen Martinez, an archaeologist on the College of Santo Domingo, has been on the lookout for the misplaced tomb of Cleopatra for almost twenty years. Now she believes she’s made a pivotal leap forward.
Martinez and her workforce exposed a 1,305-meter (4,281-foot) tunnel, situated 13 meters (43 toes) underground, the Egyptian Ministry for Tourism and Antiquities just lately introduced — an architectural design professionals referred to as an “engineering miracle.”

“The excavation published an enormous spiritual middle with 3 sanctuaries, a sacred lake, greater than 1,500 items, busts, statues, golden items, an enormous selection of cash portraying Alexander the Nice, Queen Cleopatra and the Ptolemies,” Martinez advised CNN.

Kathleen Martinez found out a tunnel which might result in the misplaced tomb. Credit score: Kathleen Martinez-Nazar/Taposiris Magna Undertaking

“Essentially the most attention-grabbing discovery is the complicated of tunnels resulting in the Mediterranean Sea and sunken constructions,” she added. Exploring those underwater constructions would be the subsequent degree of her seek for the Egyptian queen’s misplaced tomb — a adventure that started in 2005.

“My perseverance can’t be at a loss for words with obsession. I love Cleopatra as a historic persona. She was once a sufferer of propaganda via the Romans, aiming to distort her symbol,” Martinez stated.

“She was once an informed girl, more than likely the primary one that studied officially on the Museum in Alexandria, the middle of tradition in her time,” in step with Martinez, who stated she admires Cleopatra as a scholar, a linguist, a mom and a thinker.

When her husband, the Roman common Mark Antony, died in her fingers in 30 BCE, Cleopatra took her personal lifestyles quickly after via permitting an asp to chew her, in step with standard trust. The instant has been immortalized in artwork and literature — however, greater than two millennia later, little is understood about the place their stays lie.

Elizabeth Taylor appears as Cleopatra and Richard Burton as Mark Antony in the 1963 movie "Cleopatra."

Elizabeth Taylor seems as Cleopatra and Richard Burton as Mark Antony within the 1963 film “Cleopatra.” Credit score: 20th Century Fox

A sequence of clues led Martinez to consider Cleopatra’s tomb could be situated within the Temple of Osiris within the ruined town of Taposiris Magna, on Egypt’s northern coast, the place the Nile River meets the Mediterranean.

Leader amongst them was once the identify itself. Consistent with Martinez, Cleopatra was once regarded as in her time to be “the human incarnation of the goddess Isis,” as Antony was once regarded as to be that of the god Orisis, Isis’ husband.

Martinez believes Cleopatra could have selected to bury her husband within the temple to mirror this fable. Of the entire 20 temples round Alexandria she has studied, Martinez stated, “no different position, construction or temple combines such a lot of prerequisites because the temple of Taposiris Magna.”

Excavations so far have unearthed more than 1,500 ancient objects.

Excavations thus far have unearthed greater than 1,500 historical items. Credit score: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism

In 2004, Martinez took her idea to Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archaeologist who was once then Egypt’s minister for antiquities affairs. Her challenge was once authorized a 12 months later.

And after years of looking out, Martinez feels she is getting shut.

The excavations thus far have published that “the temple was once devoted to Isis” — which Martinez believes is every other signal that the misplaced tomb lies within sight — in addition to the tunnels under the ocean.

The search for the lost tomb has taken Martinez under the Mediterranean Sea.

The seek for the misplaced tomb has taken Martinez below the Mediterranean Sea. Credit score: Kathleen Martinez-Nazar/Taposiris Magna Undertaking

Now, Martinez stated, she is at “the start of a brand new adventure” — underwater excavations.

Consistent with a remark issued via the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Egyptian sea coast has been battered via earthquakes over the centuries, inflicting portions of the Taposiris Magna to cave in and sink below the waves.

That is the place Martinez and her workforce are having a look subsequent. Despite the fact that it’s “too early to grasp the place those tunnels lead,” she is hopeful.

If the tunnels result in Cleopatra, “it’ll be a very powerful discovery of the century,” she stated.

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