Cleopatra, mixed African-European?


This is the trailer of the film Cleopatra, with the last pharaoh played by (white) Elizabeth Taylor.

According to new research, she may have looked more like Halle Berry.

Cleopatra reconstruction

From Egyptology News:

ARCHEOLOGISTS and forensic experts believe they have identified the skeleton of Cleopatra’s younger sister, murdered more than 2,000 years ago on the orders of the Egyptian queen.

The remains of Princess Arsinöe, put to death in 41BC on the orders of Cleopatra and her Roman lover Mark Antony to eliminate her as a rival, are the first relics of the Ptolemaic dynasty to be identified.

The breakthrough, by an Austrian team, has provided pointers to Cleopatra’s true ethnicity. Scholars have long debated whether she was Greek or Macedonian like her ancestor the original Ptolemy, a Macedonian general who was made ruler of Egypt by Alexander the Great, or whether she was north African.

Evidence obtained by studying the dimensions of Arsinöe’s skull shows she had some of the characteristics of white Europeans, ancient Egyptians and black Africans, indicating that Cleopatra was probably of mixed race, too. They were daughters of Ptolemy XII by different wives.

Taposiris Magna: here.

Will Angelina Jolie play Cleopatra? Here.

A thesis from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) argues that Queen Arsinoë II ruled ancient Egypt as a female pharaoh, predating Cleopatra by 200 years: here.

9 thoughts on “Cleopatra, mixed African-European?

  1. Answer me this please, how could Cleopatra be an Ancient Egyptian and Black African? First of all an Egyptian represents a place of where a person comes from, Egypt. Like an American comes America. So, since Egypt in on the continent of Africa, what does that make Cleopatra? A Black African! I rest my case.

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  2. Hi Debbie, the sentence “ancient Egyptians and black Africans” is originally from The Times daily in London; quoted, first by Egyptology News, then by me. So, it is The Times’ responsibility.

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  3. look at king tut the hieroglyphics shows u he a dark skinned black the mask thick lips niga nose and the white devils still draw and reinact him as being an white or arab artifacts dont lie devils do 🙂

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  4. This is ridiculous. First of all darius bnlevy u need to learn your history. Cleopatra was not of African decent. She wasnt even of Egyptian decent. She was macedonian. Her line came from a completely different one to that of Tutankhamun’s who was of the 18TH DYNASTY. And also, there is no absolute proof that Tutankhamun was black either. The people of the African continent even today differ in colour and ethnic background. Egyptians today do not call themselves black. There is so little evidence about race and ethnicity in Ancient egypt that i think this article can be contended on many levels. For one thing, the skull to the skeleton found at Ephesus is not available for feature analysis to see the ethnicity of the tomb owner. Another fact is the lack of scientific isotope analysis which can place a person’s home country. Plus the major factor against this is the fact that there is no proof that this tomb belonged to Arsinoe.

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  5. Re #4: indeed the founder of the dynasty, Ptolemy I, came from Macedonia. However, almost three centuries had passed since then. For instance, Cleopatra’s father, Ptolemy XII, was an “illegimate” son of Pharaoh Ptolemy IX and an (African Egyptian) court lady. Which makes Cleopatra both Macedonian and African Egyptian. She was also the first Ptolemy dynasty ruler to speak the Egyptian language fluently; maybe having learnt it from her grandmother.

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  6. Pingback: Egypt’s Cleopatra, the last pharaoh, and her hairstyles | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Female pharaoh Hatshepsut picture discovered | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: Redbad, my unusual film review | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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