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Cleopatra's tomb may have been discovered after breakthrough find at secret tunnel in Egypt

Poppy Bilderbeck

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Cleopatra's tomb may have been discovered after breakthrough find at secret tunnel in Egypt

An archaeologist has spoken out about a discovery which could end up being the 'most important of the 21st century'.

Kathleen Martinez and her team from the University of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - who make up the Egyptian Dominican Archaeological Mission - recently discovered a large tunnel while excavating the temple of Taposiris Magna, located just west of Alexandria, the second largest city in Egypt.

The tunnel stretches a whopping 4,281 feet - over 12 football pitches - and has led to great scientific excitement over the possibility of it uncovering where the tombs of the last Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra - and her lover Mark Antony - are buried.

The tombs of Cleopatra and Antony have been speculated as being located in the temple of Taposiris Magna.

Taposiris Magna temple's name means 'great tomb of Osiris'.

Martinez told National Geographic: "Cleopatra negotiated with Octavian to allow her to bury Mark Antony in Egypt. She wanted to be buried with him because she wanted to re-enact the legend of Isis and Osiris.

"The true meaning of the cult of Osiris is that it grants immortality. After their deaths, the gods would allow Cleopatra to live with Antony in another form of existence, so they would have eternal life together."

The tunnel measures the length of over 12 football pitches. Credit: The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
The tunnel measures the length of over 12 football pitches. Credit: The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

The tunnel is cut from rock and is 13 metres (42 feet) underground and two metres (6.5 feet) high, according to a statement released by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

"Two heads made of alabaster were found near the temple, one of which is for a person from the Ptolemaic period, and the other is likely to be a statue of Abu the horror

"Dr. Kathleen Martins, head of the mission, explained that initial studies indicate that the architectural design of the discovered tunnel is very similar to the design of the Yubilinus Tunnel in Greece," the release states.

Coins were also found in previous excavations imprinted with Anthony and Cleopatra's names and images, as well as statues, some of the goddess Isis - all viewed as 'important artefacts'.

Statues and coins were also discovered at the site. Credit: The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
Statues and coins were also discovered at the site. Credit: The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Archeology, Dr Mustafa Waziri, has branded the recently discovered tunnel as being 'a geometric miracle,' as reported by the Evening Standard.

Part of the tunnel is also still waiting to be explored due to some of it being under the water of the Mediterranean Sea.

If the tunnel leads to Cleopatra's tomb, Martinez and her team's discovery could end up being considered 'the most important discovery of the 21st century,' as stated by former head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr Zahi Hawass.

The tunnel has been called 'a geometric miracle'. Credit: Heritagekeymedia/ YouTube
The tunnel has been called 'a geometric miracle'. Credit: Heritagekeymedia/ YouTube

However, despite Martinez viewing the temple as the 'perfect place for the tomb of Cleopatra,' the archaeologist admits it's only one percent likely the discovery of the tunnel could actually lead to Antony and Egyptian's last Queen.

So don't get your hopes up just yet.

Featured Image Credit: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities/World History Archive/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: World News, Science, YouTube

Poppy Bilderbeck
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