Remains of Cleopatra's sister found in Ephesus?

The remains of a woman who may have been Cleopatra’s sister have been found in Turkey, according to reports published on the softpedia news website. Identified as Arsinoe IV, the bones were analyzed but scientists have not been able to issue a conclusion.

Remains of Cleopatra's sister found in Ephesus?
Arsinoe IV was allegedly killed by Cleopatra at an age younger than 20 [Credit: Universty of Dundee]
Arsinoe IV was allegedly killed by Cleopatra and Mark Anthony in 41 B.C. in the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, a Greek city now located in Turkey’s Aegean region.

The burial place was searched by Viennese archaeologist Hilke Thur and her team. Thur told the Charlotte News-Observer that she found the remains in niches in a grave chamber in the Octagon, a funerary monument located in the center of Ephesus.

“The site of the Octagon has a grave chamber. It was opened in 1926, but the opening was very small and no one entered it until later on. The skull had been removed for tests and it disappeared in Germany during World War II. But there are photos of the skull and notes written down by those who examined it. In 1985, the back side of the chamber became accessible and I rediscovered the skeleton – the bones were in two niches. The body was removed and examined. The bones were found to be those of a woman younger than 20 – 15 or 16, perhaps,” Thur said.

Remains of Cleopatra's sister found in Ephesus?
Bones found in a grave chamber at the Octagon in Ephesus are believed to belong to Cleopatra's half-sister Arsinoe IV [Credit: News Observer]
She thought the octagonal monument might hide the remains of royalty because of its resemblance to the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

As the bones are 2,000 years old, DNA testing on them has proved inconclusive, Live Science news reported. Thur hopes that alternative testing methods can be used to continue the investigation.

 “I don’t know if there are possibilities to do more of this testing. Forensic material is not my field. One of my colleagues on the project told me two years ago there currently is no other method to really determine more. But he thinks there may be new methods developing. There is hope,” she says.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [March 01, 2013]

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