The Search for Cleo’s Tomb is on Again!

Brief item from CDN (dated February 14) … just the concluding bit:


Explicó que en su visita al presidente Medina le contó de su experiencia, y le informó que ha recibido los permisos de lugar para iniciar una nueva temporada.

La arqueóloga informó que la investigación comenzó en el año 2005 y que actualmente solo le quedan unos meses para finalizar dicha investigación.

“Será el próximo domingo cuando iniciemos la etapa final, la más importante del proyecto y el Presidente de la República se sintió muy orgulloso y me brindó todo su apoyo”, dijo.

In case you don’t want to press the google translate button, basically Martinez has the permit by now and is digging for at least a month … stay tuned.

Latest on the Search for Cleopatra’s Tomb (2013)

Brief item from Dominican Today … probably not surprising:

The ongoing crisis in Egypt could affect Dominican archeologist Kathleen Martínez’s search for Cleopatra and her lover, the Roman general Mark Anthony.

Martínez said that all government offices in Egypt are practically closed, and she is waiting for a renewal of her permit to continue excavation work.

“At present there is no quorum for the Permanent Supreme Council of Antiquities to meet; it is made up of about 100 university professors and right now they have other priorities, like how to prevent museums from being looted”, she said.

Nonetheless, she is hopeful to be able to renew her search, due to start in mid October or November, continuing until April or May. Martínez said she was not too worried yet because the excavation work is scheduled for October.

If you’re interested in following the whole story, you can work back from our similarly-titled piece last year: Latest in the Search for Cleopatra’s Tomb . Near as I have been able to find out, nothing has gone on dig-wise for a year, but as stated above, that’s probably not surprising, given the ongoing events in Egypt.

Latest in the Search for Cleopatra’s Tomb

Time for the annual update from Dominican Today:

The biggest tomb of mummies, one Cleopatra’s masks and the temple of Isis are a few of the finds of Dominican Republic’s most famous architect, while fending off venomous snakes and scorpions, for which she’s “the only woman who dares enter the labyrinths”

Kathleen Martinez made the revelations Thursday, and noted that her excavation crews, all members of the Bedouin tribes, fear one labyrinth in particular, located at the site of the temple Taposiris Magna “They told me that anyone who goes in there vanishes forever, one snake there is particularly deadly.”

But more than snakebites and scorpion stings, Martinez said the seemingly endless tunnels guard an even deadlier secret. “We even found unexploded bombs, that’s why they fear it, people who went in there were killed by the blasts.”

“The men have to be shown that there’s no danger, so I go down any shaft first,” the arquitect said, interviewed by Huchi Lora on Channel 11.

To neutralize the bombs and even remains of soldiers Martinez affirms are the aftermath of the 2nd World War Battle of El Alamein in that zone, she contacted military authorities. “We’ve contacted the Army, we found remains of Italian and new Zealand soldiers. We’ve turned over more than 60 bombs, some soldiers were burned alive within the tunnels. There’s so much story in those tombs, from the pharaohs to the 2nd World War.”

Among the most harrowing experiences, Martinez says, was a bomb that “we tried to lift out with a winch, but it fell off the bucket and nearly detonated with a few of us still in the tunnel.”

New York exhibit

Martinez also announced the exhibit of her findings at the Metropolitan Art Museum, where Dominicans who live in New York can view them

The architect who has spent more than five years excavating to find the tomb of Anthony and Cleopatra, affirms that among the she artifacts has found are “what we believe is the true face of Cleopatra.”

The added that Egypt’s new government informed her last week that her license to continue the excavations has been renewed.”

… sounds like a scary dig, but am I the only one who thinks that if soldiers and the like were in those tunnels, the likelihood of finding anything is pretty slim? FWIW, there is nothing up at the Met right now which seems like it’s connected to this; we should also note that this past January, Martinez was complaining that many artifacts had been stolen (along with excavation equipment). If you’re new to rogueclassicism, the last time we heard from Martinez was back in January: Latest Development (?) in the Search for Cleopatra’s Tomb; we’ve been following this muchly-overhyped dig at Taposiris for years and you can follow links back …

Latest Development (?) in the Search for Cleopatra’s Tomb

As often, it seems, the only news we get on this is from Dominican Today:

Egypt’s new military authorities have reissued the license to Dominican archaeologist Kathleen Martinez to resume the excavations in the historic search for the tomb of Cleopatra, an investigation that has piqued the interest and obtained the support of the leaders of the United Arab Emirates.

Martinez made the announcement Friday, but also revealed the theft of many of the artifacts she had already unearthed and the “disappearance” of the excavation equipment during the year-long turmoil in Egypt.

She said the process to recover her excavation license has already passed through several departments, “so we are ready to return and resume the investigation.”

Martinez said the she was invited to a private audience by the sheiks of the United Arab Emirates, where its royal facility discussed the project with her.

The attorney turned tomb hunter said on expressing her concerns over the protection of her archaeological finds, the UAE leaders encouraged her to continue her search, “and let the world worry about protecting your discoveries.”

“They invited me and honored me with encouragement to continue with my search,” she said, interviewed by Huchi Lora on Channel 11.

Close to Cleopatra

Explaining the progress in her quest, Martinez was upbeat despite the year-long hiatus forced by the revolt in Egypt. “We found the plaque of the tomb of Isis, this confirms my theory of Cleopatra’s burial site.”

The last we heard on this was a list of assorted folks who are backing the quest now that Zahi Hawass is out of the picture (Latest in the Search for Cleo’s Tomb (Sept 2011) … about a month prior to that, we heard of possible robotic involvement (Cleopatra’s Tomb Update (of sorts) (August 2011)). I’m not sure what this ‘plaque’ is she’s talking about …

Reviews from BMCR

  • 2012.01.44:  Laurianne Martinez-Sève, Atlas du monde hellénistique (336-31 av. J.-C.): pouvoirs et territoires après Alexandre le Grand. Atlas. Mémoires.
  • 2012.01.43:  Marie-Joséphine Werlings, Le dèmos avant la démocratie: mots, concepts, réalités historiques.
  • 2012.01.42:  S. L. McGowen, Sacred and Civic Stone Monuments of the Northwest Roman Provinces. BAR international series 2109.
  • 2012.01.41:  Louise H. Pratt, Eros at the Banquet: Reviewing Greek with Plato’s Symposium. Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture, 40.
  • 2012.01.40:  Eugenio Amato, Xenophontis imitator fidelissimus: studi su tradizione e fortuna erudite di Dione Crisostomo tra XVI e XIX secolo. Hellenica, 40.
  • 2012.01.39:  Roy K. Gibson, Ruth Morello, Pliny the Elder: Themes and Contexts. Mnemosyne supplements. Monographs on Greek and Roman Language and Literature, 329.