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 Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place

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Lawless

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PostSubject: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:38 pm

(CNN) -- An archeological team is set to break new ground in its excavation of an Egyptian temple where doomed lovers Cleopatra and Mark Antony may be buried.

A ground-penetrating, radar survey of the temple of Taposiris Magna and its surrounding area, west of Alexandria, was completed in March, following three years of digging, according to a statement from Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Taposiris Magna is one of the ancient towns located on Lake Mariut, which is today called Abusir.

According to the council, the radar revealed three possible spots of interest where a tomb might be located. Recently, the team discovered a large, previously unknown cemetery outside the temple enclosure.

"The discovery of this cemetery indicates that an important person, likely of royal status, could be buried inside the temple. It was common for officials and other high-status individuals in Egypt to construct their tombs close to those of their rulers throughout the Pharaonic period," according to the council.

The expedition has so far turned up 27 tombs, 20 of them shaped like vaulted sarcophagi, and seven simple burial chambers that are reached by staircases. Inside these chambers, the team found 10 mummies, two of them gilded.

Other discoveries include an alabaster bust of Cleopatra, and 22 coins bearing her "beautiful" image, according to council Secretary-General Zahi Hawass. The discovery contradicts some recent reports that describe her as unattractive, he said.

"Among the most interesting finds is a unique mask depicting a man with a cleft chin. The face bears some similarity to known portraits of Mark Antony himself," Hawass said.

The love story of Antony and Cleopatra has been a favorite theme for writers and filmmakers. The 1963 Oscar-winning movie of the couple starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who themselves became star-crossed lovers.

Cleopatra ruled Egypt between 51 B.C. until her suicide in 30 B.C., following Mark Antony's naval defeat against Caesar's adopted son Octavian at Actium in the Mediterranean. Mark Antony, once a general in Caesar's army, killed himself before Cleopatra took her own life, after being falsely informed that Cleopatra already had died.

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:17 pm

Funny how explorers can find Cleopatra but still can't find the Titanic. Sad.

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:53 pm

WHAT? They have found the Titanic... in 1985.

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:59 pm

It's all that burned up cookie dough. It's bad for you Heck, bad! I say we have an intervention and you turn it all over to me. I'm here to help you, dude.

It will be interesting to see if it is her tomb. She was one of the most powerful women in history, and imagine all the documentaries that will follow if it is her final resting place.

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:37 pm

I dunno about all this, not just Cleopatra but all these Egyptian things. I know some people will call it Archelogy but IMO it's no more than grave robbing whatever happend to rest in peace
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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:50 pm

Nah, that was something else. The Titanic was never found.

Lodgebo makes a good point. Guess if it's over a millenia then it's not grave robbing. Weird. Wonder what the official cut off is.

Have to admit though, I am really interested in seeing if it is her remains. Such a historical figure. But does that mean in 3009 we dig up George Washington? Guess only if he goes missing.

-HECK!

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:56 pm

Nope... the Titanic has been found!! You really are eating WAAAAAY too much of that cookie dough. If there is chocolate in this, listen to Sherry. She will help you... trust me! Wink


It does seem like, in a sense, to be grave robbing... but, we've learned so much about the history of our world because of archelogy. I would LOVE to go on a dig, some day. It's definitely a passion of mine.

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:05 pm

Don't get him started on the Titanic. You will have your work cut out for you.

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:27 pm

LOL It's okay.... besides this is the Cleopatra thread!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:06 am

Since when do we ever stay on topic in this place?

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:20 am

Nope... no Titanic. Maybe one day it will be found. Hopefully.

I want someone to dig up Billy The Kid. Have a shoot out with his skeleton.

-HECK!

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:45 am

I don't know, Buffy... but, I try.


Anyway... I think that it was be quite interesting if this is her burial site, and we're able to find out more about the history behind the woman of Egypt. I really hope that it is her burial place, and that they can prove this. The fact that they found the coins, with her image on them, and a mask that resembles Mark Antony, is interesting.

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:53 am

Kind of makes you wonder what really went down back in late-B.C. How much of it is just legend.

Odds are the tomb was cleared out hundreds of years ago.

I do find it amazing that we're still finding new chambers in these pyramids.

-HECK!

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:05 pm

There were some damn smart people... making up some ingenious hidden places, for many things. And then, on top of that, most things that were hidden were also buried. So, it becomes "hit and miss" most of the time.

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PostSubject: t   Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:38 pm

HECK! wrote:
Nope... no Titanic. Maybe one day it will be found. Hopefully.

.

-HECK!

http://www.rmstitanic.net/


The ship was found. Heck is obviuosly refering to his personal copy of the movie.

Oh yeah, the Cleopatra thing sounds kool too
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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:01 pm

It's like faith... some people refuse to believe until they see! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:28 pm

at the risk of starting some all out war with Heck I am sure thy found Titanic they just couldnt raise it because it would fall apart or something. Of course Heck could be right if you believe that Titanic never sank at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:45 pm

PLEASE do not get Heck started on the Titanic.
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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:23 pm

I tried to tell them Ems.

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:23 pm

Can we have a titanic discussion in a different thread, and leave this one to Cleopatra? I really don't want to get into a pissing contest over if it was, or wasn't found, sunk or didn't.

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:30 pm

Didn't think there was a pissing contest going on. Just making a joke about a joke about an inside joke. Just ignore.

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:08 am

I just meant in general... and that wasn't aimed at you, Buffy. It was a general comment. That's all.

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:02 am

Well, I just hate how there is this lame urban legend that the Titanic has actually been found. I mean, come on.

After it sunk, that's it, no one has seen it sense. That's what I'm trying to say. After the movie came out everyone thought it had been found.

I know a lot of people who thought the Titanic was found. It's kind of weird.

It's all IMAX movies and stuff. You ever see the end of the so-called "documentary"? They admit it's never really been found. It probably never will be. Lost forever.

I have to pee now.

But... I just can't remember why this gives me deja vu...

Hilarious.

Nymphadora wrote:
Just making a joke about a joke about an inside joke. Just ignore.

And it's a good one, too. Cool

-HECK!

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Last edited by HECK! on Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:03 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:02 am

Looks like this researcher has an interesting story... also it might be months before we know if this is Cleopatra after all...

Mysterious Cleopatra has 21st-century defender

By Ben Wedeman
CNN


ABUSIR, Egypt (CNN) -- Today, I met Cleopatra's lawyer. Well, not her lawyer but someone who is determined to defend the legendary queen against centuries of bad publicity.

Kathleen Martinez is a young archaeologist from the Dominican Republic who has toiled for three years on a barren hillside overlooking the coastal highway linking Alexandria with the Libyan border. According to the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, it's here, at a spot known as Abusir, that the tomb of Marc Antony and Cleopatra might be located.

I met Martinez in a dusty tomb full of bones at the excavation site. She recounted to me that, as a young girl, she listened in on a scholarly discussion in her father's library about Cleopatra.

"They were speaking very badly about her and about her image," she recalled. "I got very upset. I said I didn't believe what they are saying, that I needed to study more about her."

Martinez went on to earn a law degree but continued to be fascinated by the saga of Cleopatra. Four years ago, she managed to convince Zahi Hawass, the untiring director of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, to allow her to start excavating at Abusir.

Her fascination with -- and admiration for -- Cleopatra is intense. The last queen of Ancient Egypt, she told me, "spoke nine languages, she was a philosopher, she was a poet, she was a politician, she was a goddess, and she was a warrior."

In short, Martinez believes, Cleopatra was a woman way ahead of her times.

And given that history is written by the victors -- in Cleopatra's case, the Romans -- her press was somewhat less than complimentary. It was "bad propaganda," in Martinez's words. For that reason, she told me, "I want to be Cleopatra's lawyer."

With Hawass, Martinez is now working on a book about Cleopatra to repair all that damage.

The tale of Antony and Cleopatra has fueled the popular imagination for centuries. Ill-fated lovers were a favorite theme for William Shakespeare, and the Roman noble and the Egyptian queen certainly fit the bill.

Marc Antony was a no less fascinating character than Cleopatra. In his youth, he led a life of heavy drinking and womanizing. According to the Roman historian Plutarch, Antony accumulated debts of 250 talents, the equivalent of $5 million, before reaching 20.

To escape his creditors in Rome, he fled to Greece, where he studied with the philosophers of Athens, before being called to join the Roman legions in the east, then serving under Julius Caesar.

After Caesar's assassination, Marc Antony became embroiled in a series of power struggles and eventually ended up in Egypt.

Egypt was the enemy of his former ally, Octavian, who would go on to become the Emperor Augustus, the first emperor of Rome.

Octavian defeated Antony's forces at the battle of Actium in 30 B.C. Shortly afterward, Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide, he by his own sword, she by a poisonous asp.

Octavian, according to Plutarch, allowed them to be buried together "in splendid and regal fashion." But no one knows where.

The sudden focus on Antony and Cleopatra has also reignited an old debate over the latter's looks. Was Cleopatra a stunning beauty a la Elizabeth Taylor, or somewhat less spectacular?

Researchers from Newcastle University in England claimed in 2007 that, based upon coins found from the period, she was quite homely, with "a shallow forehead, long, pointed nose, narrow lips and a sharply pointed chin."

The same researchers didn't have a very flattering assessment of Marc Antony either, saying he had "bulging eyes, a large hooked nose and a thick neck." No Richard Burton.

This does contradict Plutarch's description of Marc Antony as having "a noble dignity of form; and a shapely beard, a broad forehead, and an aquiline nose [that] were thought to show the virile qualities peculiar to the portraits and statues of Hercules"?

Hawass hasn't had much to say in defense of Marc Antony, but he claims the coins found in Abusir show Cleopatra was "beautiful."

At Abusir, he showed me one of the coins with Cleopatra's likeness. "The only thing you can see here is her nose is a bit big."

That's because, Hawass insisted, "when you draw a face on a coin you cannot draw the beauty of a queen, and therefore I think that the lady who captured the hearts of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony cannot have been ugly."

Egyptians, who are intensely proud of their country and its ancient heritage, may be forgiven for their insistence on this point.

I tend to take the middle ground on this one. Beauty is more than skin deep, and what seems to have captivated Julius Caesar and Marc Antony was not physical but rather inner beauty.

Plutarch wrote in his "Life of Antony" that "for her beauty was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her." In other words, she was plain. Plutarch goes on to write, however, that she was intelligent, charming and has "sweetness in the tones of her voice."

The mystery of what Cleopatra really looked like may never be solved. In any event, it's just one of many mysteries in Egypt.

Others include the obvious ones: How were the pyramids built? Who built them? Why were they built? How old is the Sphinx?

Hawass dismisses with lusty contempt the people who espouse the more fantastic theories (that aliens built the pyramids, that the Sphinx is more than 10,000 years old), labeling them "pyramidiots."

But there are other historical mysteries out there that have yet to be answered.

Some archaeologists are trying to find the tomb of Alexander the Great (who died in Babylon but, according to some ancient historians, was buried in Egypt).

Others are searching for the remains of the lost army of Cambyses -- 50,000 soldiers dispatched on a mission by the Persian Emperor to attack the Oracle of Amon (today's Siwa Oasis in western Egypt) only to disappear during a sandstorm in the Sahara Desert.

There has been plenty of excitement in the past few days over reports that Martinez and her team are about to find the long-lost tomb of Antony and Cleopatra.

Alas, the enthusiasts are going to have to be patient.

The summer residence of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is just down the road from the site. For security reasons, no one is allowed on the hillside where the excavations are taking place from May through November. So unless Mubarak decides to overrule his security detail, the solving of this mystery will have to be put on hold for at least another five months.

We've waited 2,000 years. I guess we can wait a few more months.

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-HECK!

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PostSubject: Re: Researchers may have found Cleopatra's final resting place   Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:10 pm

The reason I rarely post on the board is because it is almost all off topic. It's a total waste of time to enter a tread to read about Cleopatra and have it be about the Titanic.

Anyway, I found the above article very interesting. Marc Anthony's ambition was only rivaled by hers. It has always been a curious thing that her tomb has not been discovered. One has to wonder how much of the information we have about her is legend and how much is real.

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