Cleopatra’s mystique has puzzled historians for centuries, as nearly all evidence of her rule was either destroyed by Roman conquerors or pushed by earthquakes into the Mediterranean Sea. “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt,” a new exhibition from National Geographic opening at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute this June, documents the efforts of National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Zahi Hawass and underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio to piece together her history. The exhibit documents their collective research, which has uncovered over 150 artifacts–from tiny gold coins to 15-foot-high statues that adorned her grand palace–that are bringing them closer to solving the riddle of the lost queen, whose burial site has still never been found.
The National Geographic News Watch Blog has an interview with NG Fellow Fred Hiebert about the exhibit and Cleopatra’s pivotal role in Egypt’s shift from Greek to Roman rule. Tickets went on sale for the exhibit this week, and it will officially open on June 5th.
Archaeologists found the sphinx during excavations in the ancient harbor of Alexandria. By Jérôme Delafosse courtesy Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation
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