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Arsinoe IV, Cleopatra’s sister

Arsinoe at first was able to hold her ground against the Romans, but she was ultimately defeated after Roman reinforcements were sent in. After her defeat, Arsinoe was spared the traditional murder of prisoners of triumphs in Rome. She was allowed to live in exile at the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.

Dr. Hilke Thur, a Vienna-based archaeologist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences said that she found some ancient writers telling us that in the year 41 BC, Arsinoe IV, the younger sister of Cleopatra was murdered on the steps of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus on the orders of Mark Antony at Cleopatra’s instigation. Cleopatra considered her sister a threat to her power.

Dr. Thur became convinced that the bone fragments found inside the tomb belong to Cleopatra’s sister, Arsinoe. The octagonal shape of the monument is a tribute to the great Lighthouse of Alexandria. The building is dated by its type and decoration to the second half of the first century BC.

Fabian Kanz, anthropologist from Medical University of Vienna, who examined the remains said the skeleton was carbon dated from 200BC-20BC. He was certain the bones were female with slender frame, the age of 15–18, and the lack of any sign of illness or malnutrition also indicate a sudden death.

Caroline Wilkinson, a forensic anthropologist, reconstructed the missing skull based on measurements taken in the 1920s. She said that the long head shape is something you see quite frequently in ancient Egyptians and black Africans.

Since the announcement of Dr. Thur in February 2013, there are many criticisms. The remains seem too young for a woman who would have played a major leadership role in a war. The evidence linking the bones is largely circumstantial. DNA analysis was also done on the 2,000-year old bones, but results were inconclusive.
(Floro Mercene)

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