Cleopatra's Tomb Discovered, Yet Recovery of Her Body Poses Challenges
Renowned archaeologist Zahi Hawass has collaborated with Kathleen Martínez for over a decade in the quest to unveil the secrets of Queen Cleopatra’s final resting place.
Despite significant efforts, including a recent excavation near the Taposiris Magna temple west of Alexandria, Hawass expressed skepticism, stating, “Cleopatra was not buried in this temple at all.” Instead, he believes Cleopatra’s tomb is located underwater near her palace, adding a watery twist to the enduring mystery.
Martínez, a Dominican archaeologist, has been on a mission since 2005 to unearth Cleopatra’s elusive tomb. Last year, her team discovered a sprawling 4,281-foot-long tunnel near the Taposiris Magna temple, hinting at a potential burial site. However, Hawass, after over a decade of joint exploration, remains skeptical about the temple’s connection to Cleopatra’s burial.
In a revelation that adds intrigue to the mystery, Hawass believes, “I really believe that Cleopatra was buried in a tomb that she was built beside her palace. This tomb, now, is located under the water.” The submerged location may contribute to the enduring mystery of Cleopatra’s missing remains. When asked about the possibility that Cleopatra’s final resting place may forever elude discovery, Hawass responded unequivocally, “Yes.”
The enigmatic Queen Cleopatra, who reigned from 51 to 30 BC, has long puzzled historians. Despite historical accounts suggesting her tragic demise by suicide, the exact location of her body and tomb remains elusive. The widely accepted belief is that she took her own life at the age of 39, employing either a lethal cobra bite or a poison-laden sharp object, following the defeat of her army by Roman emperor Octavian. However, the mystery surrounding Cleopatra’s final chapter persists, adding to the intrigue surrounding the ancient queen’s legacy.