Friday, 05 March 2021

Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society

ON Saturday, December 12, Dr Chris Naunton, TV presenter, author, Egyptologist and new president of the Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society, gave his inaugural lecture to a fully booked Zoom audience on “Cleopatra: tomb, baths and birth house”.

It is well known that Cleopatra’s tomb remains undiscovered — it may now beunder the sea off the Alexandrian coast or at Taposiris Magna, an intriguing temple site with many burials but, so far, not hers.

The still standing remains of the birth house (a ritual feature of the temple site at Armant, where she was recorded in wall reliefs), was — to the amazement of the audience — demolished in the 1860s for the stone blocks to be re-used to build a sugar refinery.

Finally, a sunken series of tunnels and rooms — now located in a container/lorry park adjacent to an Alexandrian port — was once thought to be her baths but is now thought to be a burial catacomb for local wealthy Alexandrians.

In fact, there is little building work left in Egypt to attest to her apparently wealthy reign.

Non-members of the society can register for any of the forthcoming zoom events via the website, www.tvaes.org.uk, a few days before the event.

Francesca Jones

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