Home Science Archaeologists Hunting For Cleopatra’s Tomb Uncover a “Geometric Wonder” Tunnel : ScienceAlert

Archaeologists Hunting For Cleopatra’s Tomb Uncover a “Geometric Wonder” Tunnel : ScienceAlert


Beneath a temple in the ancient ruined town of Taposiris Magna on the Egyptian coast, archaeologists have uncovered a broad, breathtaking tunnel that authorities are referring to as a “geometric miracle”.


Through ongoing excavations and exploration of the temple, Kathleen Martinez of the College of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and colleagues uncovered the structure 13 meters (43 toes) underneath the floor. The 2-meter tall tunnel experienced been hewn via an amazing 1,305 meters (4,281 feet) of sandstone.


Its style, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, is remarkably very similar to the 1,036-meter Tunnel of Eupalinos – a 6th century BCE aqueduct on the Greek island of Samos. Frequently referred to as a marvel of engineering, the conduit was unprecedented in design and building in its day.

Though the Taposiris Magna tunnel is not without having equivalent, its engineering is nevertheless just as spectacular.

The tunnel resembles a further, older tunnel from historic Greece that was made use of to transport drinking water. (Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities)

Parts of the Taposiris Magna tunnel are submerged in water, however putting aside its resemblance to the Eupalinos Tunnel, its goal is at present unknown.

Martinez, who has been performing in Taposiris Magna because 2004 in research of the misplaced tomb of Cleopatra VII, believes that the tunnel could be a promising direct. Formerly, the excavations have yielded clues that appear to issue to the well known queen and the very last of the Ptolemies.

Taposiris Magna was launched about 280 BCE by Ptolemy II, the son of Alexander the Great’s renowned basic and a single of Cleopatra’s forebears (she herself dominated from 51 BCE until eventually her loss of life by suicide in 30 BCE). The temple, the staff believes, was focused to the god Osiris and his queen, the goddess Isis – the deity with whom Cleopatra courted a potent affiliation. Cash bearing the names and likenesses of Cleopatra and Alexander the Great have been found there, as properly as figurines of Isis.

The tunnel is hewn from the Egyptian bedrock. (Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities)

Burial shafts made up of Greco-Roman burials have also been observed in the temple. It’s attainable that – if they’re to be identified there at all – Cleopatra and her partner Mark Antony may have been interred in similar tombs.

It is too early to convey to if the new tunnel could lead to these prolonged-shed tombs, but long run operate could yield a lot more info.

The subsequent stage will be checking out the nearby Mediterranean sea. Involving 320 and 1303 CE, a series of earthquakes strike the coastline, producing component of the temple to collapse and be swallowed by the waves. In addition, excavations experienced formerly unveiled a network of tunnels stretching from Lake Mariout to the Mediterranean.

Alabaster heads have been also located at the temple site. (Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities)

Irrespective of whether or not the tombs are identified, a comprehensive excavation of these ruins could tell us extra about the mysterious historical city. The tunnel has presently yielded some treasures: pieces of pottery, and a rectangular block of limestone.

As then-Minister for Antiquities Zahi Hawass said 13 decades back, “If we uncover the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, it will be the most vital discovery of the 21st century. If we did not uncover the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, we produced major discoveries in this article, inside of the temple and outside the temple.”

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