The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities have introduced the unimaginable discovery of a rock-cut tunnel deep beneath floor within the space of the Taposiris Magna Temple, west of Alexandria in Egypt. The large tunnel, which has been described as a ‘geometric miracle’ stretches over 1,300 meters (4,265 toes). The realm has been beneath investigation within the seek for the long-lost tomb of Queen Cleopatra .
The tunnel was found 13 meters (43 toes) underground by the Egyptian Dominican archaeological mission of the College of San Domingo, headed by Dr. Kathleen Martinez. In the course of the excavations and archaeological survey of the tunnel quite a few ceramic vessels and pots have been discovered beneath mud sediment, in addition to an oblong block of limestone. Two heads manufactured from alabaster have been additionally discovered close to the temple, one in every of which dates to the Ptolemaic interval.
One of many statue heads discovered close to the Taposiris Magna Temple. Credit score: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
A part of the tunnel was discovered to be submerged underwater and this helps the idea that foundations of the Taposiris Magna Temple are additionally underwater. Not less than 23 earthquakes hit the Egyptian coast between 320 and 1303 AD, which might clarify the collapse and submergence of a part of the Taposiris Magna Temple.
The architectural design of the newly found tunnel resembles the magnificent Tunnel of Eupalinos on the Greek Island of Samos, which is taken into account probably the most essential engineering achievements of the Classical world.
Archaeologists investigating a bit of the newly found tunnel in Taposiris Magna. Credit score: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
Taposiris Magna, The Nice Tomb of Osiris
Taposiris Magna, which is a reputation that means “nice tomb of Osiris”, is an historical metropolis established by the pharaoh Ptolemy II between 280 and 270 BC. After Alexander the Nice conquered Egypt in 332 BC and established Alexandria, the town of Taposiris Magna grew to become a middle for the non secular competition of Khoiak. The Khoiak competition revolves across the legend of the god Osiris, who was murdered by his brother Seth, and revived by his sister-wife Isis, who conceived their son Horus.
The temple at Taposiris Magna was devoted to Osiris, who was worshipped by Greek leaders in Egypt who honored the previous traditions.
Inner view in direction of South of the Osiris Temple in Taposiris Magna. ( CC BY SA 3.0 )
The Closing Resting Place of Cleopatra?
For the previous 14 years, Dr. Kathleen Martínez has been the pinnacle of excavations at Taposiris Magna. The discoveries made throughout that point have made her increasingly sure that she is near the long-lost tomb of Cleopatra VII and her lover Mark Antony . The well-known historical Egyptian queen’s proposed ties to the location has introduced it to worldwide headlines as new and intriguing finds and documentaries are made concerning the web site each few years.
There have been many notable discoveries in the course of the excavations. For instance, in 2010, an enormous headless granite statue of a Ptolemaic king was unearthed. Dr. Zahi Hawass believes that it in all probability belonged to Ptolemy IV and was devoted to the god Osiris, stressing the hyperlink between the traditional web site and the well-known historical Egyptian god. Martinez mentioned that the excavations have additionally discovered a stupendous statue head of Cleopatra, together with 22 cash bearing her picture.
Behind the temple, a necropolis was found, containing many Greco-Roman model mummies who have been buried with their faces turned in direction of the temple. This implies it’s possible the temple contained the burial of a big royal persona, like Cleopatra.
Might the newly discovered underground tunnel lead archaeologists nearer in direction of the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony? Solely time will inform!
Prime picture: The underground tunnel discovered beneath Taposiris Magna. Credit score: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
By Joanna Gillan