Dec 16, 2008

Lifestyle - Cleopatra's image recreated

LONDON: She was famed for her beauty and counted mighty Julius Ceasar and powerful Marc Antony among her conquests but Queen Cleopatra's image remained a mystery with many historians believing that the Egyptian Queen was short and frumpy with bad teeth!

In what could be the most realistic of all the images till now, Egyptologist Sally Ann Ashton believes that a computer regenerated 3D image is the best likeness of the legendary beauty famed for her ability to beguile.

The image has been pieced together from images on ancient artefacts, including a ring dating from Cleopatra's reign 2,000 years ago, it is the culmination of more than a year of painstaking research, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

The result is a beautiful young woman of mixed ethnicity, who is very different to the Westernised version portrayed by Hollywood beauties like Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor.

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," said Ashton.

The picture of the famous queen contrasts with several other less flattering portrayals. For instance, a silver coin which went on show at Newcastle University's Sefton Museum last year showed her as having a shallow forehead, pointed chin, thin lips and hooked nose.

Her lover, the Roman general Mark Antony, fared little better. The reverse side shows him to have bulging eyes and a thick neck.

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