Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt
Zahi A. Hawass
National Geographic Books
, 2010 - History
- 255 pages
Who was Cleopatra? Her very name evokes images of romance and mystery. In 50 B.C.E., Alexandria was the Mediterranean's most magnificent city, a center of culture and learning--and the seat of power for Egypt's last pharaoh and most famous queen, Cleopatra VII, who partnered with both Julius Caesar and his successor, Marc Anthony. Her tragic story has been told over and over, by interpreters ranging from Shakespeare to Elizabeth Taylor. Now, Zahi Hawass and fellow archaeologists bring the queen and her city back into vivid view. Over the past 15 years, French archaeologist Franck Goddio, in conjunction with Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, has combed ancient submerged sites in the vicinity of Alexandria, revealing artifacts from tiny gold coins to colossal statues and stelae. This book combines his recent finds with the most important Cleopatra artifacts from museums in Cairo and Alexandria, resulting in a fascinating display of ancient Egypt in the fateful days before its final conquest by Rome. Statues of gods and sphinxes, likenesses of kings and queens, offerings and liturgical objects, items from daily life, the trappings of warriors, ceramics, jewelry, and coins--this dazzling collection of treasures, saved from the sea, brings back the humanity, culture, and beliefs of the people who created and used them. Readers will retrace the exciting expeditions of the marine archaeologists who pursued these objects with discipline and passion. Learn what history has to tell us about the life and character of the fabled queen and her patron goddess, Isis. Marvel at the restored Naos of the Decades, the world's first astrological calendar, long displayed in pieces on different continents...and now reconstructed for the first time since antiquity.