Revealing the Past: Uncovering Cleopatra's Mummy from the Roman Era Skip to main content

Revealing the Past: Uncovering Cleopatra’s Mummy from the Roman Era

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The preserved remains of a young woman known as Cleopatra, residing in Ancient Egypt during the Roman Period circa 100 to 120 CE, provide a fascinating insight into the historical context of ancient Egypt during the Roman occupation.

In contrast to the famed Cleopatra VII, this Cleopatra, at the age of 17, did not hold a position of rulership. Instead, she was identified as the daughter of Candace, belonging to the Cornelius Pollius family, and serving as the Archon of Thebes during the reign of Emperor Trajan.

The detailed engravings on her burial site indicate that Cleopatra died at the youthful age of 17 years, 1 month, and 25 days, a conclusion reinforced by the density of her skeletal remains.

Unfortunately, the precise reason behind her premature death remains elusive, although it was not unusual for young individuals to meet such fates in antiquity.

Cleopatra VII was preceded by six other individuals bearing the name Cleopatra in Egyptian history. It is plausible that this young woman was named in honor of the renowned Cleopatra VII.

Despite living in an era heavily influenced by Roman culture, Cleopatra was mummified following ancient Egyptian customs. Her linen wrappings were intricately adorned with depictions of revered deities such as Isis, Nepthys, Anubis, and the Goddess Nut.

This touching observation highlights the Egyptians’ steadfast dedication to their cultural heritage and spiritual convictions, despite the evolving trends and influences across the Mediterranean region during the dominance of the Roman Empire.

Cleopatra, the 17-year-old “daughter of Candace,” was unearthed in Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Thebes. Accompanying her burial site were numerous offerings, among them a fragile string of berries, an enchanting garland or wreath serving as homage, and a finely crafted wooden comb.

Presently, Cleopatra’s eternal rest is preserved in the British Museum, where her compelling presence continues to enthrall the curiosity of both visitors and academics.