An underground tunnel has been found at Taposiris Magna in Egypt. Which is, ominously, a temple dedicated to Osiris, the god of death. The 6.5-foot-tall, 4,300-foot-long was found 43 feet underground by archaeologist Kathleen Martinez. In addition to the tunnel that sits west of the ancient city of Alexandria, she also unearthed two Ptolemaic-era alabaster statues and several ceramic vessels/pots. Which may or may not be part of the mystery of Queen Cleopatra’s final resting place.
The tunnel was described as a “geometric miracle” by The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in a statement. The tunnel is “an exact replica of Eupalinos Tunnel in Greece, which is considered as one of the most important engineering achievements of antiquity,” Martinez explained. Eupalinos is located on the Greek island of Samos in the eastern Aegean Sea. It was an aqueduct that carried water for more than 1,000 years.
The other cool thing about this tunnel is there is a chance it could lead to Cleopatra’s tomb. During previous excavations, archaeologists found a variety of other artifacts, like coins featuring Cleopatra and Alexander the Great’s names and images. There were also figurines, statues of the goddess Isis, a mummy with a gold tongue, and a cemetery full of Greco-Roman-style mummies all found at the site.
Given this evidence, Martinez believes Queen Cleopatra may have been buried at the Taposiris Magna Temple. The team even petitioned the Egyptian government to conduct research in the area in hopes of finding the long-lost tomb. “If there’s one percent of a chance that the last queen of Egypt could be buried there, it is my duty to search for her,” says Martinez. Historians believe that Cleopatra was buried alongside her longtime lover, Roman general Mark Antony. The issue is no one knows where that burial site is.
Unfortunately, part of this tunnel is now underwater. The running theory for this damage was created by several earthquakes that happened between 320 and 1303 C.E. So it’s definitely no longer under warranty. It is also suspected that these disasters may have caused the collapse of the temple.
So updates on this one may be slow as researchers safely work around the damage. But Nerdbot will keep you posted on updates about Cleopatra’s tomb.