The tomb of Antony and Cleopatra, the burial of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII remains undiscovered from 30 BC, somewhere in Egypt.

The Lost Tomb of Antony and Cleopatra

The lost tomb of Antony and Cleopatra, the burial of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII remains undiscovered somewhere near Alexandria, Egypt from 30 BC. 

According to historians Suetonius and Plutarch, the Roman leader Octavian (later renamed Augustus) allowed their burial together after he had defeated them. Their surviving children were taken to Rome and raised as Roman citizens.

Story of Marc Antony and Cleopatra

The last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, Cleopatra ruled from 51 B.C. to 30 B.C. She met Antony for solidifying a political alliance and they fall in love. Antony divorced her wife to spend his life with Cleopatra. They spent 10 years of life together and had three children.

In 32 BC, Octavian persuaded the Roman Senate to declare war on Cleopatra of Egypt. This was for the rivalry between Octavian and Cleopatra’s lover Marcus Antonius, commonly known as Mark Antony. He was angered with him because the previous wife of Antony was Octavian’s sister.

Octavian defeated the forces of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in Alexandria on August 1, 30 BC. The lovers made a desperate escape to Egypt. As Octavian’s forces invaded Alexandria, Antony and Cleopatra both decided to kill themselves.

Antony stabbed himself with a sword after he got false word that his lover was already dead. Upon discovering Cleopatra was still alive, Antony asked to be brought to her to die in her arms. 

Once he died, Cleopatra managed to commit suicide through poison — allegedly through the forced bite of a poisonous snake called an asp.

According to Roman historians Suetonius and Plutarch, the victorious Octavian allowed Antony and Cleopatra to be buried together inside the tomb that they had already begun. 

Plutarch wrote that Octavian had given orders that Cleopatra’s “body should be buried with that of Antony in splendid and regal fashion” and that Mark Antony had been cremated.

Is the tomb of Antony and Cleopatra found?

Reports in 2008 and 2009 focused on an announcement by the noted Egyptologist Zahi Hawass that he might find the tomb in Taposiris Magna, a temple to Osiris, located west of AlexandriaEgypt

Excavations carried out by Kathleen Martínez have yielded ten mummies in 27 tombs of Egyptian nobles, as well as coins bearing images of Cleopatra and carvings showing the two in an embrace. 

In January 2019, a debate emerged over the possibility that the discovery of the tombs was imminent, attributed to remarks by Zahi Hawass at a conference at the University of Palermo

The Egyptologist denied the news in an article in the newspaper Al-Ahram, affirming that the thesis that the tombs were in Taposiris Magna was not his but that of Kathleen Martínez, and that he did not believe Martínez’s hypothesis because “the Egyptians never buried inside a temple”, given that “the temples were for worshiping, and this was for the goddess Isis. It is therefore unlikely that Cleopatra was buried there.”

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