South view of Osiris Temple in Taposiris Magna. Photography: Koantao / Creative Commons

Egypt’s Taposiris Magna – dedicated to Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead – still has some secrets to give up, as archaeologists have uncovered a mysterious rock tunnel beneath the ancient temple.

The site has been under investigation for the last 20 years, with Dominican lawyer and archaeologist Kathleen Martínez leading the project. The team made some remarkable discoveries during that time, not least in 2021, when they uncovered 16 burial chambers and a pair of gold-tongued mummies.

(c) The Egyptian General Authority for Tourism Activation

This newly discovered tunnel had been buried by mud and seawater for hundreds of years after a series of earthquakes led to the partial collapse of Taposiris Magna – a town constructed between 280 and 270 BC by Ptolemy II. Located in Alexandria, the site was a busy trading hub until the 7th century and home to the Temple of Osiris. Some believe it may also be the location of Cleopatra’s tomb.

Martinez proclaimed the 1,305-metre-long,  2-metre-high structure an ‘engineering miracle.’

Her team also unearthed alabaster busts, ceramics and coins with the image of Cleopatra and has raised hope that more secrets are yet to be discovered, including perhaps the burial chamber of the storied queen and Anthony, following their defeat by Octavia (later renamed Emperor Augustus).

[h/t Art News]

Left: a bust of Cleopatra. Right: A stone column that supports the 6-ft-high tunnel
(c) Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Archaeology

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