The Search for Cleopatra’s Tomb: Update

Here’s the latest semi-coherent press coverage from Dominican Today, presented in its entirety lest I forget to add it to the record:

“That’s the mystery of the past, we’ve found doors as small as 20 by 20 centimeters which lead to great chambers,” revealed the Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, regarding the search for Cleopatra’s tomb by a Dominican-Egyptian team.

Zahi Hawas is in the country to receive a decoration in the National Palace and a Doctorate degree from the Catholic University of Santo Domingo in the company of Dominican archaeologist Kathleen Martinez, who leads the team which searches for Cleopatra’s tomb.

“So far only 30 percent of archaeological artifacts and tombs have bee found,” Hawas said of the investigation in his country, despite the constant excavations by teams from around the world. “But with cameras we can now see what’s behind those magic walls.”

The Egyptian scholar said Egypt’s Government seeks to assure that the excavations are transparent and allow people around the world can observe the work. “We also use National Geographic so that everyone can see what we’re doing,” he said Wednesday morning in an interview on Telesistema Channel 11.

A Dominican’s dream

“I saw that it was a dream of Kathleen, I then realized that the place had to be important since no one would have built anything there unless it was for an important figure,” Mawas said.

Whereas Martinez, an attorney-turned-archaeologist who’s proud to proclaim that her work is part of a larger effort by a Dominican-Egyptian team, noted that she convinced the Supreme Council of Antiquities to let her look for Ptolemy’s Temple, near Alexandria, where she’s convinced she’ll come across one of Egypt’s most enduring secrets. “I know inside that I’m close to finding Cleopatra’s tomb.”

She said with Hawas’ support, she has found the largest mummy tomb uncovered so far and among the important sites found, she noted that of the Taposisirs Magna, or the temple of Osiris, and Isis, determined from the gathered evidence in Greek script, which she said reveal the link to Ptolemy

“I halted the Louvre museum’s excavations until they return five Egyptian paintings which they did, and so far 5,000 artifacts have been returned from around the world,” he said, adding that he’s also working for the return of five unique pieces, such as the Nefertiti bust and a Rosetta stone in London’s museum. “I’ve centered by demand on Nefertiti’s bust.”

Cleopatra live

The scholar also invited the hosts of the Telesistema program El Dia, Huchi Lora and Patricia Solano, to transmit the excavation live via Egyptian satellite “to see all the artifacts we’ve found,” whereas Lora invited the scholar to visit the country for a conference on January.

FWIW … Here’s our previous coverage:

The last one there has links to previous coverage of this story (which features another non-archaeologist) …

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem xii kalendas decembres

ante diem xii kalendas decembres

  • Mercatus — time to restock the cupboards after the Jupiterfest!
  • 63 A.D. — shipwreck of St. Paul (by one reckoning)
  • 270 (?) — birth of the future emperor Maximinus Daia
  • 284 A.D. — elevation of Diocletian to the rank of Caesar