Tomb of Antony & Cleopatra

The long-lost Tomb of Antony and Cleopatra, the burial crypt of Mark Antony and Cleopatra (VII), from 30 BC, remains unknown somewhere near Alexandria, Egypt. According to historians Suetonius and Plutarch, the Roman leader Octavian (later renamed Augustus) permitted their burial together after he had defeated them. Their surviving children were taken back to Rome, to be raised as Roman citizens.

Shakespeare described the entombment in the voice of Augustus in Antony and Cleopatra, Act V, scene ii:

No matter what the senate’s wishes be,
She shall be buried by her Antony:
No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
A pair so famous. Thus I covenant
To honor these in death, in life my foes,
Who by their own hands ‘scaped a world of woes.

Reports in 2008 and 2009 focused on an announcement by the noted Egyptologist Zahi Hawass that he might find the tomb in the Taposiris Magna, a temple to Osiris, located west of Alexandria, Egypt, in excavations with Kathleen Martinez that 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. So far, the tomb remains elusive, but the temple excavations continue, with additional sites below the surface identified using ground-penetrating radar in 2011.

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