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A Cryptic Incident?

It seems that archaeologists have discovered the graves of Antony and Cleopatra VII!
Mark Antony – considered as a hero in Rome – was an excellent orator and a symbol of the East(ern Rome). Antony was a Roman general – who (for a time) formed an alliance with Octavian – and the two jointly ruled over Rome’s expanding empire. Antony spent much of his time in Egypt.
Queen Cleopatra of Egypt or the woman of surpassing beauty married her two adolescent brothers before enjoying a relationship with Julius Caesar. Later, she married Antony and gave birth to twins – Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene – and a son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. Cleopatra was also a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a Greek family of Macedonian origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great’s demise during the Hellenistic period. Antony and Cleopatra died 2050 years ago! The archaeologists have been searching their graves for so many years. And finally, the Egyptian diggers have claimed that they found the burial crypts of the couple.
Lead archaeologist Zahi Hawass said in the second week of January that the two historical personalities are lying in Taposiris Magna, 18 miles from Alexandria. He also said that the two of history’s most ill-fated lovers were buried in the same grave!


A Roman bust of the consul and triumvir Mark Antony, Vatican Museums

Meanwhile, historians are of the opinion that some ancient coins and gold items could also be found near the grave. They explain that Cleopatra’s husband was a Greek and Ptolemy XIII was the last active ruler of that dynasty. Mark Antony – the famous hero – belonged to the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt. Antony’s defeat to Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus Caesar and his suicide are the two most important events in Roman history. As Antony and Cleopatra led a mysterious conjugal life, historians have immense interest in their graves.


In this oil painting, Cleopatra sits beside the dying Mark Antony

The death of Cleopatra – occurred on either August 10 or 12, 30 BC in Alexandria when she was 39 years old – has become a myth. As per popular belief, she committed suicide by allowing an asp (Egyptian cobra) to bite her. However, Greek and Roman historians claimed that Cleopatra poisoned herself using either a toxic ointment or sharp implement, such as a hairpin. Modern scholars have expressed serious doubt over the validity of ancient reports, involving snakebites as the cause of death, and whether she was murdered or not. Some academics believe that Octavian forced her to commit suicide in the manner of her choosing. Octavian might have allowed for her and Antony to be buried together properly.


The Death of Cleopatra

According to some historians, Cleopatra was an excellent ruler and an efficient administrator. However, she is famous for her beauty! Researchers have expressed hope that they would get more information about the Egyptian queen by digging her grave.
Surprisingly, Hawass – the former Antiquities Minister of Egypt – made a volte-face in the first week of February, saying: “This is completely false information; there is nothing found at all about the tomb (of Antony and Cleopatra).” Hawass clarified that during a recent lecture in Palermo (Italy) he said the tomb was about to be found. He also said that works at Taposiris Magna are being carried out by a team led by Kathleen Martinez. Martinez believes that the tomb of Antony and Cleopatra could be located at the site.

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