An archaeologist said a tunnel discovered under the Egyptian temple could lead to Cleopatra’s tomb

written by Christian Edwards, CNN

Kathleen Martinez, an archaeologist at the University of Santo Domingo, was searching for a missing grave Cleopatra For nearly 20 years. Now she thinks she’s made a pivotal feat.
Martinez and her team uncovered a 1,305-meter (4,281-foot) tunnel located 13 meters (43 feet) underground, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities recently reported. announce Architectural design experts call it an “engineering miracle.”

“Excavations have revealed a huge religious center with three sanctuaries, a sacred lake, more than 1,500 objects, busts, statues, gold pieces, and a huge collection of coins depicting Alexander the Great, Queen Cleopatra, and the Ptolemies,” Martinez told CNN.

Kathleen Martinez has discovered a tunnel that may lead to the lost tomb. attributed to him: Kathleen Martinez-Nazar / The Taposiris Magna Project

“The most interesting discovery is the complex of tunnels leading to the Mediterranean and sunken buildings,” she added. Exploring these underwater structures will be the next stage of her search for the tomb of the lost Egyptian queen – a journey that began in 2005.

“My perseverance cannot be confused with obsession,” Martinez said. “I admire Cleopatra as a historical figure. She was the victim of propaganda by the Romans with the aim of tarnishing her image.”

“She was an educated woman, and she was probably the first to formally study at the Alexandria Museum, the center of culture of her time,” according to Martinez, who said she admired Cleopatra as a student, linguist, mother, and philosopher.

When her husband, Roman general Mark Antony, died in her arms in 30 B.C., Cleopatra committed suicide soon after by allowing a throated bird to bite her, according to popular belief. This moment has been immortalized in art and literature – but more than two thousand years later, not much is known about the whereabouts of their remains.

A series of clues led Martinez to believe that Cleopatra’s tomb may have been located in the Temple of Osiris in the ruined city of Taposiris Magna, on the northern coast of Egypt, where the Nile River meets the Mediterranean Sea.

The most important one was the name itself. According to Martinez, Cleopatra was considered in her time “the human embodiment of the goddess Isis”, with Antony being considered an incarnation of the god Orisis, Isis’s husband.

Martinez believes that Cleopatra may have chosen to bury her husband in the temple to reflect this legend. Of all the twenty temples around Alexandria that she studied, Martinez said, “no other place, structure, or temple combines as many circumstances as the Temple of Tabusiris Magna.”

Excavations have so far revealed more than 1,500 artifacts.

Excavations have so far revealed more than 1,500 artifacts. attributed to him: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism

In 2004 Martinez passed her theory to Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass who was then Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities. Her project was approved a year later.

And after years of searching, Martinez feels close.

Excavations so far have revealed that “the temple was dedicated to ISIS” – which Martinez believes is another sign of a lost tomb nearby – as well as tunnels under the sea.

The search for the lost tomb took Martinez under the Mediterranean.

The search for the lost tomb took Martinez under the Mediterranean. attributed to him: Kathleen Martinez-Nazar / The Taposiris Magna Project

Martinez said she is now at “the beginning of a new journey” – underwater fossils.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Egyptian coast has been hit by earthquakes over the centuries, causing parts of the Magna tamposers to collapse and sink under the waves.

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This is where Martinez and her team look next. And while it’s “too early to tell where these tunnels lead,” she hopes.

If the tunnels lead to Cleopatra, she said, “it would be the most important discovery of the century.”

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