For the Right Price, Guests at a Luxury Retreat in Egypt Can Help Archaeologists Hunt for Cleopatra’s Long-Lost Tomb

Last year, archaeologist Kathleen Martinez unearthed hidden tunnels at a temple in Alexandria.

An Ancient Egyptian tomb foorway is seen in the temple in Luxor, Egypt. Photo courtesy of The Luminaire

Guests who can fork over at least £11,950, about $15,365, can spend a day tracing the work of archaeologist Kathleen Martinez on her hunt for Cleopatra and Mark Antony’s long-lost tomb.

The activity is part of luxury expedition company The Luminaire’s six-day experience in Egypt that includes allowing guests to observe a live excavation and restoration work carried out inside a labyrinth of ancient passageways at the Great Temple of Osiris, Taposiris Magna.

Participants will be able to explore shafts and tunnels that the archaeology team previously uncovered and observe what the company called “cutting-edge robots” being used to digitally map the area and create three-dimensional models of the structures Martinez believes guards Cleopatra’s tomb.

Egypt’s ministry of tourism and antiquities announced in a news release last year that an archaeological team headed by Martinez had discovered a tunnel carved into rock about 43 feet under the surface of the ground during an excavation near the temple in Alexandria.

Mustafa Waziri, Egypt’s secretary general of the Supreme Council for Archaeology, said the tunnel is about 6.5-feet high and nearly a mile long.

The archaeologists believe part of the foundation of the temple is submerged underwater and that tunnels collapsed under pressure from earthquakes and tidal waves. Martinez believes these tunnels could lead to Cleopatra’s tomb.

The luxury expedition company The Luminaire is offering a six-day experience in Egypt that includes allowing guests to participate in live excavation and restoration work at the temple believed to house the tomb of Cleopatra. Photo courtesy of The Luminaire

The luxury expedition company The Luminaire is offering a six-day experience in Egypt that includes allowing guests to observe live excavation and restoration work at the temple believed to house the tomb of Cleopatra. Photo courtesy of The Luminaire

The Egyptian authorities called the find “noteworthy” because artifacts were found including coins bearing the photos and names of Cleopatra and Alexander the Great, as well as a number of statues of the goddess Isis, among other objects.

The travel itinerary also includes a behind-the-scenes peek at new discoveries at Saqqara, Egypt’s largest archaeological site, on a private-access visit. Guests will also be shown an exclusive preview of the Grand Egyptian Museum before it opens.

For lodging, guests will stay two nights at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza followed by three nights at Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano.

Those looking to pay a little extra will be granted private access to the Oracle Temple of Amun in the remote UNESCO-protected Siwa Oasis and a stay at an “off-grid hideaway,” according to the company’s website, as well as see the Great Sphinx with lectures directed by a local Egyptologist.

 

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