Archaeologists Discover Vast Tunnel Under Ancient Egyptian Temple That Could Lead To Cleopatra’s Tomb

Archaeologists have discovered a vast tunnel under an ancient Egyptian temple, which they believe could lead to the long-lost tomb of Queen Cleopatra.

The tunnel, which lies at a depth of around 13m (42ft) below ground, spanning 1,300m (4,200ft) and around 2m (6.5ft) high, was discovered during excavations at a site in the ancient city of Taposiris Magna, west of Alexandria.

Researchers including Dominican archaeologist Kathleen Martínez describe the tunnel as a “geometrical miracle” based on its architectural design, adding that it is very similar to but longer than the Greek tunnel of Jubilinos – considered one of the achievements most important techniques of his time.

They say the tunnel carried water to a population of over 15,000 during its time, similar to the role played by the Jubilinos tunnel in Greece.

Archaeological excavations at the temple site have been complex, according to the researchers.

Indeed, part of the tunnel was discovered submerged under Mediterranean waters and the temple has also been hit by a number of earthquakes throughout history, causing damage.

Scholars date the tunnel to the Ptolemaic period from around 304 BC to 30 BC.

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This coincides with the period when Cleopatra ruled Egypt from 51 to 30 BC. Archaeologists have also found numerous artifacts inside the temple, including coins bearing the images and names of Queen Cleopatra and Alexander the Great, as well as several decapitated statues.

They also found statues of the goddess Isis and designs and figurines of various shapes and sizes.

Cleopatra, who was the last ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt, died by suicide after her husband and the Roman general Mark Antony also committed suicide.

Scholars say Cleopatra had detailed plans in place for her and her husband to be buried together.

Now archaeologists suspect their graves could be found somewhere through the newly discovered tunnel.

“It is the perfect place for the tomb of Cleopatra. If there is a one percent chance that the last queen of Egypt is buried there, it is my duty to search for her,” said Dr Martínez at the Heritage Key blog.

“If we find the tomb… it will be the most important discovery of the 21st century,” she added.

Excavations in the area have also unearthed a network of tunnels stretching from Lake King Marriott to the Mediterranean.

Archaeologists also found 16 burials in rock-cut tombs commonly used in the Greek and Roman centuries.

They also unearthed a number of mummies highlighting features of the backfilling process during the Greek and Roman periods.

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