What was the reason for burying Cleopatra with snakes in her tomb?

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By Kristy Tolley

The Fascination with Cleopatra

Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt, has captured the imagination of people for centuries. Known for her beauty, intelligence, and political savvy, Cleopatra’s legacy has been shrouded in myth and legend. She ruled Egypt during a time of great upheaval and her tragic death has only added to her mystique. In recent years, the discovery of her tomb has provided new insights into this enigmatic queen.

Cleopatra’s Legacy: Myth and Reality

Cleopatra has been the subject of numerous films, books, and plays, but separating fact from fiction is not always easy. Historians believe that she was a skilled diplomat who navigated the turbulent political waters of ancient Egypt and Rome. She was fluent in several languages and was known for her wit and charm. However, her romantic relationship with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony has often overshadowed her political accomplishments, leading to the portrayal of Cleopatra as a seductress and a femme fatale. Despite this, her legacy as a powerful and independent ruler has endured.

The Discovery of Cleopatra’s Tomb

For centuries, the location of Cleopatra’s tomb was a mystery. In 2009, an Egyptian archaeologist discovered a site that was believed to be the burial place of the queen. The tomb was located in the ancient city of Taposiris Magna, about 45 km west of Alexandria. Excavations began in 2010 and in 2019, researchers announced that they had found evidence of two burial chambers that may have belonged to Cleopatra and her husband, Mark Antony.

Surprising Discovery: Snakes in Cleopatra’s Tomb

One of the most surprising discoveries in Cleopatra’s tomb was the presence of several snakes. The snakes were found in a chamber that contained a granite sarcophagus, which was believed to have belonged to the queen. The snakes were identified as Egyptian cobras, which were revered in ancient Egyptian culture as symbols of royalty and protection.

The Importance of Snakes in Ancient Egyptian Culture

Snakes played an important role in ancient Egyptian culture. They were associated with several deities, including the goddess Wadjet, who was depicted wearing a cobra on her forehead. Snakes were also believed to have healing powers, and were often used in medical treatments. The presence of snakes in Cleopatra’s tomb may have been a nod to her status as a powerful queen, or a symbol of protection for the afterlife.

Cleopatra’s Relationship with Snakes

There is evidence to suggest that Cleopatra had a close relationship with snakes. According to some accounts, she wore a gold bracelet in the shape of a snake, which was believed to have been a symbol of her royal status. She was also known to have used snake venom in her beauty treatments.

The Symbolism of Snakes in Ancient Egypt

Snakes were seen as symbols of protection, wisdom, and rebirth in ancient Egyptian culture. They were often depicted in tomb paintings and sculptures, and were believed to guide the deceased through the afterlife. The presence of snakes in Cleopatra’s tomb may have been a symbolic gesture, meant to ensure her safe passage into the next world.

The Connection between Cleopatra and the Goddess Wadjet

The cobra was closely associated with the goddess Wadjet, who was believed to protect the pharaohs. Cleopatra’s connection to the goddess may have been why the snakes were included in her tomb. Some historians believe that Cleopatra saw herself as a reincarnation of the goddess, and may have wanted to be buried with her symbol.

The Role of Snakes in Egyptian Funerary Rituals

Snakes were often used in Egyptian funerary rituals. They were believed to protect the deceased, and were often placed in tombs to ward off evil spirits. The inclusion of snakes in Cleopatra’s tomb may have been a way to ensure her safe passage into the afterlife.

A Final Tribute to Cleopatra’s Power and Status

The inclusion of snakes in Cleopatra’s tomb was a final tribute to her power and status as a queen. The presence of these revered creatures was a symbolic gesture, meant to ensure her safe passage into the next world.

The Legacy of Cleopatra’s Snake-filled Tomb

The discovery of Cleopatra’s tomb has shed new light on this enigmatic queen. The presence of snakes in her tomb has given us a glimpse into the symbolism and beliefs of ancient Egyptian culture. It has also highlighted Cleopatra’s status as a powerful and influential ruler.

Conclusion: A Mysterious and Enigmatic Queen

Cleopatra’s legacy continues to fascinate people around the world. Her story is one of political intrigue, romance, and tragedy. The discovery of her tomb, and the presence of snakes within it, has only added to her mystique. Cleopatra remains a symbol of power, beauty, and intelligence, and her impact on history continues to be felt to this day.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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