BBC NEWS ARTICLE-2009 – Skeleton of Cleopatra’s Mother and Sister was African

Cleopatra’s Mother was African

They were real People and NOT the semi-Mythical figures portrayed by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor

Cleopatra, the last Egyptian Pharaoh,

renowned for her beauty, was part African, says a BBC team which believes it has found her sister’s tomb.Кlеоpатrа VII

Queen Cleopatra was a descendant of Ptolemy, the Macedonian general who ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great.

But remains of the queen’s sister Princess Arsinoe, found in Ephesus, Turkey, indicate that her Mother had an “African” skeleton.

Experts have described the results as “a real sensation.”

The discovery was made by Hilke Thuer of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Queen Arsinoe

“It is unique in the life of an archaeologist to find the tomb and the skeleton of a member of Ptolemaic dynasty,” she said.

“That Arsinoe had an African mother is a real sensation which leads to a new insight on Cleopatra’s family and the relationship of the sisters Cleopatra and Arsinoe.”

They lived at a turbulent time when the Roman empire was extending its power across the Mediterranean.

Cleopatra established alliances with the Roman leader Julius Caesar and, after his assassination, with his political supporter, General Mark Antony, to whom she was married…

“Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony – they are all iconic figures from history,” said archaeologist Neil Oliver who presents the BBC documentary.

“It’s almost impossible to remember they were real people and not the semi-mythical figures portrayed by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

It was like a splash of cold water in the face to be confronted by them as human beings, ” he continued.

“When I stood in the lab and handled the bones of Cleopatra’s blood sister – knowing that in her lifetime she touched Cleopatra and perhaps Julius Caesar and Mark Antony as well – I felt the hairs go up on the back of my neck.”

“Suddenly these giant figures from history were flesh and blood,” said archaeologist Neil Oliver.

There was plenty of sibling rivalry between Princess Arsinoe and her powerful sister Cleopatra – many believe the queen ordered Mark Antony to murder her sister.

The film examines the life of Cleopatra – who had an affair with Julius Caesar – including her murderous intentions towards Arsinoe.

Cleopatra: Portrait of a Killer is on BBC One at 9pm on 23 March 2009.

Cleopatra had African ancestry, skeleton suggests



4 thoughts on “BBC NEWS ARTICLE-2009 – Skeleton of Cleopatra’s Mother and Sister was African

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  1. Most of the articles about this mention that the head proported to be

    Arsenoe’s disappeared int the 1920s and the gestimated reconstruction was made from measurements taken then.

    Cleopatra , in response to an attempted coup by Arsenoe, had her exiled to Ephesis and later strangled.

    Earlier, her father, Ptolemy Auletes (the fluett player) had her other sister, Berenice stangled for the same thing.

    She had attempted to take over the Kingdom while Ptolemy was in Rome.

    Cleopatra supported her father which lead to her full historic Name, Cleopatra VII Philopater.

    It is difficult to say what she looked like.

    All of the roman coins of the period held a likeness with a sharp nose, thin lips and protuberent chin.

    Given the current evidence, it appears that she could be credibly played by anybody with the possible excepton of a

    Blonde, Blue-Eyed Scandanavian.

    1. Welcome, Thanks for your comment.

      This article is actually about the fact that Cleopatra and her Sister Arsinoe had a African Mother.

      It reads, Queen Cleopatra was a descendant of Ptolemy,

      the Macedonian General who ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great.

      But remains of the Queen’s sister Princess Arsinoe, found in Ephesus Turkey,

      Indicates that her Mother had an “Africanskeleton, which would conclude an

      African Origin for their inherited mtDna,

      As for the facial features you speak about on the roman coin;

      (held a likeness with a sharp nose, thin lips and protuberent chin)

      This process can not be used to distinguish one ethnic group from another,

      In fact Africans has a very broad range of facial characteristics and body plans etc..

      [Axumite coinage from King Edubis 227-235 CE]

      As One Mainstream Anthropologist puts it:

      “The living peoples of the African continent are

      Diverse in Facial Characteristics, Stature, Skin Color, Hair Type/Form, Genetics, and other Characteristics.

      No One Set of Characteristics is More African than Another”.

      For Example:

      Sometimes even the Horn of Africa
      (Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea) is excluded

      Because of Geography and Language and the fact that some of its peoples have Narrow Noses and Faces.

      However, the Horn is at the same latitude as Nigeria, and its languages are of African Origin.

      The latitude of 15 degree passes through Timbuktu, surely in “sub-Saharan Africa,”

      As well as Khartoum/Nubia in Sudan; Both are North of the Horn.

      Another false idea is that supraSaharan and Saharan Africa were Peopled after the emergence of

      “Europeans” or Near Easterners by Populations coming from Outside Africa.


      In closing i would like to add that the African-Asiatic people comes in all Skin Tones and Complexions from

      Dark Skin, to Medium Brown Skin, Reddish Brown, Even lighter skin tones associated with Europeans, Spanish,

      Mediterraneans and Middle Eastern etc.

      I did not post this article to say what Cleopatra, Arsinoe and her African Mother would have looked like.

      No matter their Features and/or Color Complexion, Maternally and Genetically they are 100% of African Origin

  2. I all ways try to focus on the things I knew to be fact and just wait until more

    Evidence came out as far as that matter because alot of people just discounted the fact that she

    could of actualy had Dna of of African Origins

    1. Welcome Michael, and thank you for your comment

      And yes, most people seem to bypass information that is clear as day..

      This article should be self explanatory about Cleopatra, Arsinoe and their African Mother...

      Thanks Again..

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