Taposoris Magna and Cleopatra
Our first stop of the day was a visit to the ruins of Taposoris Magna. This is the location where a team has been excavating for the tomb of Cleopatra for quite a while under the direction of amateur archaeologist Kathleen Martinez.
Here is a little more about her: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/cleopatras-lost-tomb-q-kathleen-martinez/2922/
“Taposiris Temple was established by Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus between 280 and 270 BCE. Huge slabs of limestone, extracted from ancient quarries that are now still in the city, were used to build the monument’s walls. According to Greek biographer Plutarch, the temple denotes the tomb of Osiris, which is the translation of the name.
Most of the remains of Taposiris Magna today date from the Graeco-Roman Period. The temple also contains bronze artifacts related to the worship rituals of Isis: a jug, lamp, balance, statues, and vases, all of which date back to the Roman Ptolemaic period. An ancient church was also found inside the temple, and gold coins dating back to the Byzantine period were found near the temple. ” https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/4/53110/In-pics-Abusir-Taposiris-Magna-one-of-the-most-dazzling
Update from Dr. Zahi Hawass
Dr. Hawass talked to our group for about one hour on the history of Taposiris Magna, which lies 28 miles west of Alexandria. While they have uncovered many artifacts such as pottery and broken statues, they have yet to find the tomb of Cleopatra, but he is still hopeful they will find it someday.
Our next stop was the Citadel. Once we arrived, I exited the bus, and this caught my gaze.
“The Citadel is situated at the entrance of the eastern harbor on the eastern point of the Pharos Island. It was erected on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The lighthouse continued to function until the time of the Arab conquest, then several disasters occurred and the shape of the lighthouse was changed to some extent, but it still continued to function. Restoration began in the period of Ahmed Ibn Tulun (about 880 AD). During the 11th century, an earthquake occurred, causing damage to the octagonal part. The bottom survived, but it could only serve as a watchtower, and a small mosque was built on the top. In the 14th century, there was a very destructive earthquake and the whole building was completely destroyed. ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citadel_of_Qaitbay
Popular field trip location for local Egyptian Children and Young Adults
While I enjoyed walking around and learning more about the history of the Citadel, I really appreciated the warm welcome many Egyptian children and young adults showered on my tour group. Everyone was super respectful and just wanted to learn more about us, take pictures with us, take pictures of us, and vice versa. One group of young adults even stopped and wanted to sing for us. Here is just a little of the lovely girl’s song. She had an amazing voice.
One more day in Alexandria then we head back to Cairo. Stay tuned.
If you enjoy reading my posts about Egypt, STEM, Drones, MIT, mountains, or mysteries I hope you will want to run out and purchase my first book, “Osiris Returns”. With some luck, it should come to market late 2020 / early 2021. Please consider staying in the loop. An email sign-up form is located at the bottom of my home page along with my social media links. Your email will only be used to alert you when my book comes out. I will not use or share your email for any other purpose.
In addition, please feel free to leave me a question, comment, like/dislike below.