Thursday, April 16, 2009

Discovery of new cemetery outside Temple of Taposiris Magna

A radar survey of the temple of Taposiris Magna, west of Alexandria, Egypt, was completed last month as part of the search for the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) expedition excavating the temple and its surrounding area is headed by Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, and Dr. Kathleen Martinez, a scholar from the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Hawass stated that the cooperation between Egypt and the Dominican Republic for the excavation of the temple has been ongoing for about three years. The recent radar survey is the most significant step taken by the team to date. It was carried out by an Egyptian radar team, with American expert Dr. Roger Vickers serving as a consultant. The radar revealed 3 possible spots of interest where a tomb may be located. The expedition has received the results of the survey, and will begin excavating each of these three spots next week.

The most important recent development at Taposiris Magna has been the discovery of a large, previously unknown cemetery outside the temple enclosure. The expedition has found 27 tombs. 20 of them shaped like vaulted sarcophagi, partly underground and partly aboveground. The remaining 7 consist of staircases leading to simple burial chambers. Inside these tombs, the team has found a total of 10 mummies, 2 of them gilded. The discovery of this cemetery indicates that an important person, likely of royal status, could be buried inside the temple.

Photos 34 through 37 are all photographs of finds from Taposiris Magna

BBC News

Archaeologists are to search three sites in Egypt that they say may contain the tomb of doomed lovers Anthony and Cleopatra.

Excavation at the sites, which are near a temple west of the coastal city of Alexandria, is due to begin next week.

Teams working in the area said the recent discovery of tombs containing 10 mummies suggested that Anthony and Cleopatra might be buried close by.

The teams also found a bust of Cleopatra and coins carrying her image.

The archaeologists from Egypt and the Dominican Republic have been excavating at the temple of Taposiris Magna for the last three years.

The Record

Archeologists will begin excavating sites in Egypt next week in an attempt to solve a mystery that has stymied historians for hundreds of years: Where is the final resting place of doomed lovers Cleopatra and Mark Antony?

Archeologists looking for the tombs of the celebrated queen of Egypt and the Roman general, who committed suicide in 31 BC, will begin excavating three sites at a temple where tombs may be located, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a statement Wednesday.

Cleopatra and Mark Antony, whose relationship was later immortalized by William Shakespeare and then in a movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, could have been buried in a deep shaft in a temple near the Mediterranean Sea, the council said.

Archeologists last year unearthed the alabaster head of a Cleopatra statue, 22 coins bearing Cleopatra's image and a mask believed to belong to Mark Antony at the temple.

The three sites were identified last month during a radar survey of the temple of Taposiris Magna, the council's statement said. The temple is located near the northern coastal city of Alexandria and was built during the reign of King Ptolemy II (282-246 BC.)

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