An Austrian archaeologist may have found the bones of Cleopatra’s sister, Arsinoe IV.
Hilke Thur, a researcher based at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, said she believes she has found Arsinoe IV’s bones in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus.
DNA tests were inconclusive, but ancient writings show that Arsinoe was murdered in Ephesus in 41 B.C. by her own sister and her lover, Marc Antony.
Thur said she figured that the body belonged to someone of importance because it was buried within the city. In ancient times, she said, ordinary people were not buried within the city, and that privilege was reserved for aristocrats or others who have done something special for the city.
Thur added that the shape of the building provided another hint that the body may have belonged to someone of note.
“The shape of the building, an imperial grave monument, resembles the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World,” Thur said. “The lighthouse, destroyed centuries ago, was built at Alexandria, on the Egyptian coast, by the Ptolemy dynasty from which Cleopatra and Arsinoe IV were descended.”
According to the Epoch Times, archaelogists begain excavating the ruins of Ephesus in 1904 and found a burial chamber, known as The Octagon because of its shape, that held the bones of a young woman. The skull “had been removed for tests; it disappeared in Germany during World War II. But there are photos of the skull, and notes written down by those who examined it,” Thur said.
Thur also said she believed Arsinoe, who is either Cleopatra’s sister of half-sister, had an African mother. That claim has been disputed.
So why would one of the most famous figures in history want to kill her own sister?
Cleopatra joined Julius Caesar in Alexandria in 48 B.C. to try to stop the rivalries for her throne. Arsinoe built an Egyptian rebellion against her sister, but she was captured and taken to Rome. Caesar then granted Arsinoe a life of exile in Ephesus. But after Caesar died in 44 B.C., Cleopatra and her new lover, Marc Antony, had Arsinoe murdered.
Even to this day, archaeologists are finding more about Queen Cleopatra. In 2009, it was believed that her tomb was discovered in a temple called Taposiris Magna, 28 miles west of Alexandria.
Do you believe the bones of Cleopatra’s sister, Arsinoe IV, have finally been found?