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Archaeologists discover tunnel that may lead to the lost tomb of Queen Cleopatra 

Queen Cleopatra was the final ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt before it was overtaken by the Roman Empire

November 9, 2022 4:33am

Updated: November 9, 2022 9:07am

Archaeologists discovered a hidden tunnel under Egypt’s Magna Temple that they think could lead to the long-lost tomb of Queen Cleopatra, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced last week. 

The tunnel was discovered by a team of archaeologists from the University of Santo Domingo near the Temple of Tapozeris Magna, west of Alexandria, according to the ministry. 

The tunnel is located about 40 feet below ground, is 6.5 feet high, and runs for about 4,300 feet, said Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Archaeology. 

Many believe the newly discovered tunnel could lead to the tomb of Queen Cleopatra, the final ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt before it was overtaken by the Roman Empire. 

“Searches for her burial place over time have largely rested upon accounts in Classical sources, e.g. Plutarch, Cassius Dio, Claire Gilmour, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology and archaeology at the University of Bristol, told Newsweek.

“And modern investigations have mostly veered between Alexandria as the capital at the time of Cleopatra VII (including underwater surveys as some of the city has become submerged) and Taposiris Magna, which could have been chosen for its links with the goddess Isis, with whom Cleopatra closely associated herself,” said Gilmour.

The ministry said that previous excavations near the temple have led to the discovery of coins bearing the name of Queen Cleopatra, a possible hint to where her final resting place is located. 

The temple Tapozeris Magna is thought to be an important religious site that was founded in the 3rd century B.C. 

“The huge subterranean tunnel recently announced is a fascinating discovery, though its precise function has still to be clarified,” Roland Enmach, a senior lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Liverpool, told Newsweek. “It would be exciting, but also rather surprising if the famous queen Cleopatra were buried at Taposiris Magna.”