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Ligia Cabus

Researchers claim: found Cleopatra's sister

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*Snip*

Face of a princess? A 3D computer model of the face of Arsinoe made from remains discovered in Ephesus which archaeologists believe were hers

An archaeologist who claimed to have found the bones of Cleopatra's murdered half-sister says they are pinning their hopes on new forensic techniques to conclusively identify the remains.

It was claimed that the remains of Princess Arsinöe IV, who was murdered more than 2,000 years ago on the orders of Egypt's queen Cleopatra, were the first relics of the Ptolemaic dynasty to be identified.

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Edited by Still Waters
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I thought DNA taken from bones was typically found on the inside of the bones so outward handling isn't going to be much of an issue.

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I thought DNA taken from bones was typically found on the inside of the bones so outward handling isn't going to be much of an issue.

Besides, unless I'm mistaken they've never found Cleopatra herself, so how are they going to compare DNA?... Ptolemy? Were his remains found?...

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Has always bemused me how people back in ancient and not so ancient times would just kill their family members if they annoyed them. :(

Was this the norm, way back then? Were there no Walton type families, fgs?

Edited by Eldorado

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Has always bemused me how people back in ancient and not so ancient times could just kill their family members if they annoyed them. :(

Was this the norm, way back then?

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Why is this back in the news? It was a stupid theory last time it made the media rounds (2009), and it's just as stupid now.

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I thought DNA taken from bones was typically found on the inside of the bones so outward handling isn't going to be much of an issue.

You're correct. Who knows how many people have handled archaeological bones? The desire is to drill into long bones to the inner recesses where marrow was formed. There's no chance of contamination then. Also desirable is the interior of teeth.

Besides, unless I'm mistaken they've never found Cleopatra herself, so how are they going to compare DNA?... Ptolemy? Were his remains found?...

That's one of the great mysteries of ancient Egypt: no tomb or burial has ever been found for any of the 300 years of Ptolemaic rulers, Cleopatra included. Zahi Hawass was running around for a while and claiming that he was getting close to finding Cleopatra's tomb, which made for interesting media footage but was quite short on facts. But that was Hawass's nature, and he no longer holds any position in Egypt.

I'm wondering if the least they could do is see if the DNA of these human remains is consistent with an individual hailing from northern Greece (i.e., ancient Macedon). I don't know what more they can do.

I think this was the topic of a History Channel special some years ago. I'm surprised it's still out and about.

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Hi Kmt_Sesh,

I think Cleopatra VII's mausoleum is under 25 foot of water in Alexandria Harbour, underwater excavations are difficult to say the least, so it is unlikely we will find her body, but we can hope!

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Raising-Alexandria.html

http://egyptsites.wordpress.com/2009/03/03/alexandria

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2009/dec/23/cleopatra-mausoleum-discovery-alexandria

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Posted (edited)

Regarding the DNA, here's the abstract to a paper presented in 2009:

Arsinoe IV of Egypt, sister of Cleopatra identified? – Osseous and molecular challenges. F. Kanz, K. Grossschmidt, J. Kiesslich.

Arsinoe IV of Egypt, the younger sister of Cleopatra, was murdered between the ages of 16 and 18 on the order of Marc Antony in 41 BC while living in political asylum at the Artemision in Ephesus (Turkey). Archaeological findings and architectural features point to the skeletal remains found in the socalled Oktogon – Heroon in the center of ancient Ephesus – to being those of Arsinoe IV. Respective remains were dated and investigated by forensic osteology, radiology and ancient DNA analysis to assess identification: Radiocarbon dating (VERA-4104) isolated the period between 210 and 20 BC (94 % prob.). Morphological features suggest a female with an estimated body height of 154 cm (+/- 3 cm) and 217 with limbs in good proportion to one another. Epiphyseal closure and histological age estimation (femoral cross sections) revealed a consistent age at death between 15 and 17 years. The whole skeleton appeared to belong to a slim and fragile individual (soft tissue reconstruction was applied and compared to ancient sources). Stress markers, like Harris’ lines were absent and no sings for heavy workload or pre- or perimortal traumas were found. Ancient DNA analysis was carried out for several bone samples. No nuclear DNA was detected, most likely due to diagenetic factors and storage conditions. Endeavors to find mitochondrial DNA are currently in progress. Investigations could neither verify nor disprove the theory on the origin of the remains. However, after successful mtDNA typing a maternal relative reference sample would be required for final identification.

Clearly contamination is not a problem--they haven't found any DNA at all.

Edited by Everdred

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