The struggle of scientists to construct the “Real Face of Cleopatra” keeps up

Every now and then we are having attempts by scientists to construct the “real face of Cleopatra”, accoring always to each one’s perceptions. We had recently one more attempt taking place by the Egyptologist Sally Ann Ashton who believes “the compute regenerated 3D image is the best likeness of the legendary beauty famed for her ability to beguile“.

You can read the whole article here.

The final result of Dr. Ashton’s perception of Cleopatra’s face is this one.

Dr Ashton, of Cambridge University, said the images, to be broadcast as part of a Five documentary on Cleopatra, reflect the monarch’s Greek heritage as well as her Egyptian upbringing.

‘She probably wasn’t just completely European. You’ve got to remember that her family had actually lived in Egypt for 300 years by the time she came to power”.

Here is my main objection.  Dr Ashton’s conjecture is based on an  misconception.  Firstly, Cleopatra VII was daughter of Ptolemy XII the ‘Auletes’ and Cleopatra V Tymphaena who were also brother and sister. It was a custom among the members of Ptolemaic Dynasty to marry between eachother. Ptolemies were one of the few royal families who continued their dynasty through incestuous marriages. This way,  Ptolemies distinguished themselves from mortals – as egyptian and greek gods did – and appeared as successors to the Pharaohs.  Politically, their incestuous marriages had the effect of strengthening the dynasty, excluding foreign influences. The line of descent was characterised by these intermarriages except by extremely rare cases, such as ie  Ptolemy III Euergetes who married Berenice II, eventhough she was also of greco-macedonian descent and  Cleopatra’s VII paternal grandmother, a cocunbine,  whose identity is not known with certainty. The latter has  brought forward a groundless speculation – mostly by afrocentrist supporters- that this ancestor of Cleopatra VII might be a member of Egypt’s native population. However considering the strict policy of Ptolemies until then, NOT to have been married with any member of the Native Egyptian population it makes the whole conjecture not to hold any ground.

The premise of Dr Ashton’s main argument that “Cleopatra’s family had actually lived in Egypt for 300 years by the time she came to power” therefore she “probably wasn’t just completely European but of  a woman of mixed ethnicity” is groundless.

Sorry Sally, but THIS is NOT the real face of Cleopatra!!!

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Henry Vasquez says:

Great site and great genealogy stuff too, if you have any more on this topic or on the winn family from high wycombe let me know

Pete Proud says:

A friend and myself have been arguing about an issue similar to this one! Now I know that I was right. lol! I’m still tracing my family back if anyone has info of any Winn family members from High Wycombe get in touch!