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The Age of Cleopatra45:39
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The real Cleopatra. A new exhibit opens at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. (Click here to see images.) We get the inside story.

A Graeco-Egyptian statue of a Ptolemaic queen found at the site of Heracleion. (Credit: The Franklin Institute, Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation, Christoph Gerigk)
A Graeco-Egyptian statue of a Ptolemaic queen found at the site of Heracleion. (Credit: The Franklin Institute, Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation, Christoph Gerigk)

Our tales of Cleopatra are as exotic and delicious as mythic history gets.  Queen, murderer, vixen, mystic.

Lover of Julius Ceasar and Marc Antony. Cunning, carnal link between East and West.

She was Egypt’s last Pharaoh. The Romans courted and smeared her.  Shakespeare made magic with her suicide.

Hollywood made her Elizabeth Taylor.

Now, a big new exhibit of artifacts pulled from sunken cities makes her live again, with new clarity and force.

This Hour, On Point: we go back to the age of Cleopatra, Egypt’s last Pharaoh queen.
-Tom AshbrookGuests:

David Silverman, guest curator of "Cleopatra: The Search for The Last Queen of Egypt," an exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The show, from National Geographic, runs through Jan. 2, 2011.

Joyce Tyldesley, archaeologist, Egyptologist and lecturer at the University of Manchester in Britain. She's author of "Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt."

Franck Goddio, underwater archaelogist who discovered two lost cities off the Egyptian coast. Some of the artifacts featured in the new Franklin Institute exhibit are from his archaelogical work.

More:

Here is a papyrus featured in the Franklin Institute exhibit. It's signed by Cleopatra:

This papyrus document, signed by Cleopatra, grants tax exemption from sales of imported wine to the Roman businessman Publius Canidius, a friend of Mark Antony. The manuscript, intended for an official in the Egyptian bureaucracy, was prepared by a court scribe. At the bottom of the document, in a rare example of her handwriting, Cleopatra herself added the Greek word "ginesthoi," "make it happen." (Credit: Agyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung)
This papyrus document, signed by Cleopatra, grants tax exemption from sales of imported wine to the Roman businessman Publius Canidius, a friend of Mark Antony. The manuscript, intended for an official in the Egyptian bureaucracy, was prepared by a court scribe. At the bottom of the document, in a rare example of her handwriting, Cleopatra herself added the Greek word "ginesthoi," "make it happen." (Credit: Agyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung)

And here is a map of Alexandria overlayed with new sites identified as part of the ancient world in Cleopatra's era:

After fourteen years of electronic probing and underwater archaeological exploration, the outline of the famous Portus Magnus ("Great Port") and the sites of the main monuments have been clearly established. Here the land surface and ancient port infrastructures of the Portus Magnus have been projected onto a satellite image of modern Alexandria. (Credit: EarthSat NaturalVue; Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation)
After fourteen years of electronic probing and underwater archaeological exploration, the outline of the famous Portus Magnus ("Great Port") and the sites of the main monuments have been clearly established. Here the land surface and ancient port infrastructures of the Portus Magnus have been projected onto a satellite image of modern Alexandria. (Credit: EarthSat NaturalVue; Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation)

This program aired on June 16, 2010.

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