Tunnel found under temple may lead to the tomb of Egypt’s last pharaoh Cleopatra


A tunnel has been discovered hiding beneath Egypt’s ancient Taposiris Magna Temple, or ‘Great tomb of Osiris,’ which may lead to the long-lost tomb of Egypt’s last pharaoh Cleopatra.

The carved rock, which is being hailed as a ‘geometric miracle, stretches for more than 4,80 feet, measures about six feet high and is said to resembles the magnificent Tunnel of Eupalinos on the Greek Island of Samos that is revered as a One of the most important engineering achievements of the Classical world.

Archaeologist Kathleen Martinez of the University of San Domingo has been convinced for more than a decade that Cleopatra, and her lover Mark Anthony, was laid to rest within the temple and the tunnel could be the path to this discovery.

Martinez told Heritage Key that there is a one percent chance the queen is buried there and if she is, this will be ‘the most important discovery of the 21st century.’

The tunnel sits about 43 feet underneath Egypt’s ancient Taposiris Magna Temple, or ‘Great tomb of Osiris, located outside ancient Egypt’s capital Alexandria

Experts believe Cleopatra made plans for herself and Anthony to be buried at a temple called Taposiris Magna in order to imitate the ancient myth of Isis and Osiris

The archaeologist believes that, after Mark Anthony killed himself following defeat to Octavian but before her own suicide, Cleopatra put detailed plans in place for them both to be buried there, in echoes of the myth.

She previously told National Geographic: ‘Cleopatra negotiated with Octavian to allow her to bury Mark Antony in Egypt.

‘She wanted to be buried with him because she wanted to reenact the legend of Isis and Osiris.

‘The true meaning of the cult of Osiris is that it grants immortality. After their deaths, the gods would allow Cleopatra to live with Antony in another form of existence, so they would have eternal life together.’

The carved rock, which is being hailed as a 'geometric miracle, stretches for more than 4,80 feet and measures about six feet high

The archaeologist believes that, after Mark Anthony killed himself following defeat to Octavian but before her own suicide, Cleopatra put detailed plans in place for them both to be buried there

The carved rock, which is being hailed as a ‘geometric miracle, stretches for more than 4,80 feet and measures about six feet high. Archaeologists are hopeful that Cleopatra’s and her lover Mark Anthony’s remains are at the end of the tunnel

Cleopatra ruled from 51 BC to 30 BC - right up until the day she died

Cleopatra ruled from 51 BC to 30 BC – right up until the day she died

Martinez may now be on the right track after uncovering the tunnel carved in rock that sits about 42 feet below the temple.

Teams working at the site found a part of the tunnel that was submerged under the Mediterranean water, a number of pottery vessels and pottery tractors were found under the mud sediment, as well as a rectangular block of limestone, and a blind completion. 

The research team believes that the Taposiris Magna Temple’s foundations, located near the ancient Egyptian capital of Alexandria, are also underwater due to at least 23 earthquakes hitting the Egyptian coast between 320 AD and 1303 AD.

Martinez also uncovered several important artifacts inside the temple including coins bearing the images and names of both Queen Cleopatra, Alexander the Great and a number of beheaded statues, and statues of the goddess Isis, as well.

Cleopatra, often known as the world’s first celebrity, was the last of a long line to Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt – descended from Greek general Alexander the Great.

She ruled from 51 BC to 30 BC – right up until the day she died.

Cleopatra became Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt, upon the death of her father, Ptolemy XII, and her brother was made King Ptolemy XIII at the same time – the siblings ruled Egypt under the formal title of husband and wife. 

The queen, however, traced her her family origins to Macedonian Greece and had no Egyptian blood.

To gain support among the ancient Egyptian people, Cleopatra was also proclaimed the daughter of Re, the Egyptian sun god. 

Ancient statues of the goddess Isis were also uncovered at the site (pictured), along with coins bearing the images and names of both Queen Cleopatra and Alexander the Great - the two were companions

Ancient statues of the goddess Isis were also uncovered at the site (pictured), along with coins bearing the images and names of both Queen Cleopatra and Alexander the Great – the two were companions 

Cleopatra fell in love with Mark Anthony, who was Julius Caesar’s great-nephew and heir to the Roman empire following his great-uncles murder. 

However, Anthony married to mend a strain alliance with another ruler named Octavian and upon marrying Octavia, Anthony left his new wife to spend time with Cleopatra, according to the History Channel.

According to Octavian’s propagandists, the lovers were then married, which violated the Roman law restricting Romans from marrying foreigners. 

Octavian declared war on Cleopatra and Anthon, defeating them both. 

Cleopatra took refuge in the mausoleum she had commissioned for herself, which led rumors to spread that she had killed herself.

Anthony died in Cleopatra’s arms after fatally stabbing himself, before she also committed suicide – reportedly by letting a poisonous snake bite her.

Octavian returned to Italy where he became the first Emperor of Rome, while Cleopatra and Anthony were buried in Egypt.

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