Was she mummified? Is her her burial site still undiscovered? Would actually finding her be bigger than discovering Tutankhamun’s tomb?
It doesn’t look like it’s ever been found, no.
As I understand it, Tutankhamun wasn’t particularly important, historically; the reason finding his tomb was so important was that it was largely intact, and still contained a huge trove of amazing art and treasure.
Since Cleopatra continues to be such a well-known figure, if they were to find her tomb, it’d be huge news.
It would be interesting from a historical perspective. But it wouldn’t have the kind of treasure that was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. Cleopatra was the last queen; she was buried while Egypt was under Roman occupation. Octavian had no reason to bury a fortune with a recently defeated enemy.
Did the Ptolemy dynasty follow Egyptian burial practices all that much? Ater all, she was the first to learn to speak Egyptian, IIRC.
Some, iirc - it was somewhat of a mixed tradition. But the Hellenes shared the practice of material funeral tributes for the rich and powerful. Probably not quite as lavish as the ancient pharaohs. The Ptolemaic state was heavily dependent on mercenary troops, so after the initial post-Alexandrian flush* specie would have been valuable enough to the state not to go completely overboard. Still, I’m sure plenty of neat gold and silver ornamentation was probably mixed in with the normal assortment of fancy urns, fine statuary and steles.
*When everyone was living large on the looted wealth of the Persian state. The somewhat backwards Persian economic system had been hovering up coin with only minimal re-circulation for centuries. As a result the treasure stored up at Persepolis would have apparently put the loot of Ali Baba’s 40 thieves to shame.
That’s not really the case - he is important because of Atenism and the subsequent return to polytheism.
Also, his (step)mom was a little famous in her own right.
King Tut reigned long before Cleopatra; indeed he was (slightly) closer in time to the Building of the Great Pyramid than Cleopatra was to him. For this reason, I think his New Kingdom tomb would surely have far more archaeological significance than one from the Ptolemaic Kingdom.
I see that Wikipedia mentions the conjecture that the cessation of mentions of “Nefertiti” simultaneous with the elevation of a Pharaoh of unknown ancestry is because she chose to reign under the male name Smenkhkare.
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King Tut is sometimes conjectured to have reigned at the time of the Exodus — it might not be coincidence that Tut’s father created a monotheistic religion at the same time Moses did. The Anubis Shrine in Tut’s tomb has similarities to the Ark of the Covenant described in the Torah.
This has led to some “conspiracy theories.” Howard Carter’s team was effectively financed by the Rothschild family. (And in fact the first person to enter Tut’s Antechamber after so many millennia was the granddaughter of Alfred Charles de Rothschild!) Some of Tut’s treasures went missing including, supposedly, some papyrus scrolls.
I’ve never heard of Tut being a famous or important king in his own time. My understanding is that he was an underachiever, with a brief reign and an early death. He was also subjected to damnatio memoriae as later rulers tried to eradicate records of him. The only reason Tutankhamen is famous today is because of his fabulous and mostly undisturbed tomb. Were it not for his tomb treasures, Tut would be an irrelevant footnote.
Also, I’d like to +1 the point about Cleopatra being veeeery far removed from what we think of as “Ancient Egypt,” not just chronologically but also culturally. Her tomb has not been discovered. Even if it was, it would almost certainly not be anywhere near the splendor of Tut’s. Tombs recovered from that period have contained coins, bronze statues of Greek Gods, and alabaster busts. Nifty stuff, but nothing like the earlier Egyptian pharaohs.
IMHO, Cleopatra is remembered today mostly for being a literary character, rather than an actual person. She is alive in our mythology for sleeping with famous dudes, not because she was a powerful or effective ruler.
His maybe Mom, maybe StepMom.
ETA Mixed up post
The exodus* is most likely to have occurred around about the time of Ramses II reign. The Merneptah Stele and the biblical mention of Pithom and Ramses make that the only possible time period. Any earlier and you run into the problem of Egyptian rule in Canaan.
*Or whatever event it’s based on.
I’d better provide a cite for that.
Does anyone know an easy way to copy/paste from a Google Book?
Hence the parentheses.
He wasn’t really important in his own right. He succeeded at the age of nine and probably died when he was 19. He was most likely just a puppet for his vizier, Ay, who eventually succeeded him.
As has been said, he is known today mainly because virtually all other royal tombs from that era were looted. He died unexpectedly and was apparently buried in some haste. One can only imagine what the splendor of the burial of a major pharaoh who had been planning his funeral for decades might have been like.
Tut’s tomb may have escaped discovery exactly because he was such a minor figure, and succeeding rulers tried to erase him and his entire family from history because of his father’s heresy.
Which is what makes the whole family “historically important”. If not “important, historically”. I don’t view the two as synonymous.
Tut’s significance might be compared to Edward VI following Henry VIII, with the difference that he tried to preserve his father’s religious changes rather than reversing them.
I’m always amazed by the fact that more time passed between the building of the Great Pyramids and Cleopatra’s reign than from Cleopatra till now.
Just wait a while, and that will sort itself out.
IIRC other than the fortune in grave goods Octavian/Augustus allowed Cleopatra the traditional burial rights.
HIs tomb was preserved because it was forgotten. Early after his death, thieves broke in but it appears they were caught and the local priests tried to tidy things up as best they could and fill in the hole in the walled-in entrance. He died suddenly, one speculation was that this was a minor tomb perhaps for Nefertiti, and repurposed in haste when he died suddenly and early; it’s only a short few feet into the rooms, whereas most other tombs go a hundred feet or several hundred to get to the burial chamber.
Then a few pharaohs later, they built another pharaoh’s tomb just up the hill from his, and the diggings were dumped over the entrance and hid it. People forgot it was there.
During the end of the New Kingdom, there was a time of civil war and one of the king/priest leaders of the upper kingdom actually “mined” the tombs of the pharaohs, what hadn’t been stolen already, to finance his war. So a lot of the mummies form the Valley of the Kings, and those of a lot of other notables, were found in collective mummy dumps in some tomb tunnels near Valley of the Kings, stripped of any valuables the looters could find. X-rays of those mummies have yielded a few gold artifacts the looters missed inside the wrappings.
But fortunately for us, nobody remembered where Tut’s tomb was, so its treasures survived intact.
Evidence seems to be that when Ankhaten died, his religion died with him. Part of the motivation for the “new religion” was an attempt to remove the power and wealth of the priesthood. you can imagine that the lands and incomes dedicated to the various temples gave the local priesthood inordinate riches and power as each ruler paid into trust funds of a sort to preserve their own afterlife comforts. Much like Henry VIII and the monasteries, it was a convenience of religious and financial motivation plus power struggle that got Ankhaten to create a new religion and appropriate the old one’s assets. But, the old priesthood recovered everything after he died; so whether Nefertiti repurposed herself as a man-pharaoh or not, by the time Tut took over it was business as usual for the old priesthood.