Culture And Media


Egypt: Tomb of Cleopatra and lover to be uncovered




Cairo, 24 April(AKI) - Archaeologists have revealed plans to uncover the 2000 year-old tomb of ancient Egypt's most famous lovers, Cleopatra and the Roman general Mark Antony later this year.

Zahi Hawass, prominent archaeologist and director of Egypt's superior council for antiquities announced a proposal to test the theory that the couple were buried together.

He discussed the project in Cairo at a media conference about the ancient pharaohs.

Hawass said that the remains of the legendary Egyptian queen and her Roman lover, Mark Antony, were inside a temple called Tabusiris Magna, 30 kilometres from the port city of Alexandria in northern Egypt.

Until recently access to the tomb has been hindered because it is under water, but archaeologists plan to drain the site so they can begin excavation in November.

Among the clues to suggest that the temple may contain Cleopatra's remains is the discovery of numerous coins with the face of the queen.

According to Hawas, Egyptologists have also uncovered a 120-metre-long underground tunnel with many rooms, some of which could contain more details about Cleopatra.

Born in Rome, Mark Antony was a military general and commander, as well as supporter of Julius Caesar. He was also Cleopatra's lover and bore him a son, called Caesarion.

After Julius Caesar's assassination in March 44 B.C., Antony formed a triumvirate with Octavian, also known as Augustus, and Marcus Lepidus.

Civil war ensued in Rome due to disagreements between Antony and Octavian, who was Julius Caesar's heir and who later became Rome's first emperor.

Antony was subsequently defeated by Octavian and he later committed suicide.

Cleopatra, who came to power at 18 years of age, was once the ruler of Egypt and considered the last of seven queens of the same name.

She was famous for her intelligence, her beauty and her political power.

Cleopatra who also bore Mark Antony twins, committed suicide after his death in August 30 B.C.




 

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