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article imageEgypt to search for tomb of Cleopatra

By Richard van der Draay     Apr 16, 2009 in Science
CAIRO – The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and her lover, the Roman commander Marc Anthony, committed suicide in 31BC after they had been defeated in the Battle of Activum
Where they were buried has never been known. But this could be due to change. Several news outlets reported the case.
The head of a statue of Cleopatra and twenty-two coins bearing her likeness have been found near the northern port of Alexandria where Egyptian and Dominican archaeologists have been unearthing the temple of the ancient city of Taposiris Magna. They also found a mask of what is believed to be Marc Anthony.
Last month a number of deep shafts were discovered in the temple. Three of these may have been used as graves. In light of the earlier finds it is possible that Cleopatra and Marc Anthony have been interred here. Next week a start will be made with uncovering the shafts.
The temple was built during the reign of King Ptolemy II (282-246BC). The head of the Egyptian Archaeological Service, Zahi Hawass, said that the finds in Taposiris contradict a recent theory that the Egyptian queen was ugly. He said that both the head and the likeness on the coins were charming and elegant.
Scientists from the University of Newcastle had concluded in 2007 after studying a Roman coin that Cleopatra had not been as beautiful as was always claimed. They said the had had a sharp nose, thin lips and a protruding chin.
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