A MYSTERIOUS tunnel discovered beneath an Egyptian temple may lead to the long-lost tomb of Cleopatra.
The 4,800-foot passage — which is about 6 feet tall and contains two stone heads — was excavated by a group of archaeologists, who dubbed it a “geometric marvel.”
The discovery was part of the University of San Domingo’s Egyptian Dominican Archaeological Mission led by Dr. Kathleen Martinez.
Last week, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced the successful mission, revealing that Martinez and her team had uncovered the 4,800-foot tunnel.
It was found underground “during archaeological excavations by the mission in the area of the Temple of Tapozeries Magna, just west of Alexandria.
For years, Martinez has believed that Egypt’s last female pharaoh, Cleopatra, may have been buried in the temple along with her lover, Mark Antony.
Speak with inheritance keyMartinez said, “This is the perfect place for Cleopatra’s tomb.
“If there is a one percent chance that the last queen of Egypt could be buried there, it is my duty to search for her.
“When we discover the tomb it will be the most important discovery of the 21st century.
“If we don’t discover the tomb…we have made great discoveries here, inside the temple and outside the temple.”
Cleopatra VII was born in 70 or 69 BC. Born and ruled Egypt for almost 30 years as a co-ruler.
After her death, Egypt was annexed by its Roman rulers, effectively ending the 3,000-year-old Ancient Egyptian Empire.
Pharaohs often built huge tombs to be buried in, but given her status as a prisoner of Rome at the time of her death, Cleopatra was likely given a quiet burial in a austere tomb.
Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt, is one of history’s most celebrated rulers, but her final resting place remains an unsolved mystery.
Some experts believe that the beautiful temptress was buried in Alexandria, where she was born and where she reigned for most of her life.
Others suggest she was buried at the ancient site of Taposiris Magna.
The city of the same name around the temple, which is 48 km from Alexandria, was an important port city in Cleopatra’s time.
Citing preliminary studies, the ministry claimed the tunnel was eerily similar to Greece’s Eubilinos Tunnel – which served as an aqueduct – but that Egypt’s was longer.
The ministry described the discovery as a “geometric marvel”.
Inside the tunnel, archaeologists found two heads “made of luster,” each about 6.5 feet tall.
“One of them belongs to a person from the Heroic Age, and the other is probably a statue of the Haunting Father,” the ministry said.
Martinez told LiveScience.com that they also found coins and the remains of statues of Egyptian deities in the tunnel.
During their excavations and surveys, the archaeologists found that part of the tunnel was “submerged,” according to the ministry.
There they found pottery and a “rectangular block of limestone” beneath the mud sediment.
Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities confirmed that the discovery of part of the tunnel underwater confirmed archaeologists’ suspicions that part of the temple’s foundation is also underwater.
Archaeologists’ work on the temple was difficult because at least 23 earthquakes struck the region between 320 AD and 1303 AD – causing part of the temple to collapse.
Before that, however, the team uncovered important artifacts inside the temple, including coins bearing the names and images of Cleopatra VII and Alexander the Great.
They also found several decapitated statues and the statues of the goddess Isis, the ministry said.
In addition, archaeologists have uncovered a network of tunnels from King Mariout Lake in Alexandria to the Mediterranean Sea.
Excavations and surveys of the temple are still ongoing, according to LiveScience.com.
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/news-tech/9695579/egyptian-tunnel-discovered-under-temple-mysterious-stone-heads/ Lost tomb of Cleopatra “may be hidden at the end of the mysterious tunnel” found under the ancient Egyptian temple