Cleopatra's mom probably was African--black sub-Saharan African on her mother's side if she and her sister Arsinoe had the same mothers. They shared the same Greek/Macedonian father. Check out the article, BBC NEWS | Also in the news | Cleopatra's mother 'was African'. See the uTube video, Cleopatra's sister Arsinoe had African ancestry - YouTube. Egyptians and Nubians in ancient times had been marrying one another, say most archaeologists.
The only problem is scientists found Cleopatra's sister having African features, but don't know whether the two sisters had the same mother. Cleopatra also had two brothers. And the scientists conclusion is based on African skull shape from drawings of a skeleton found in a tomb in Ephesus, Turkey assumed to hold the bones of Cleopatra's teenage sister, Arsinoe.
Now why would it be important to find out how many African genes Cleopatra's sister had? Would it have any affect on future films about who plays the role of Cleopatra or her sister?
The documentary, "Cleopatra, Portrait of a Killer," aired today in Sacramento on Dish Satellite Network TV from 11 to noon. It also aired back in 2009 on TV stations. See the documentary also on uTube, Cleopatra: A portrait of a killer (part1/6) - YouTube.
Notice how many times Hollywood had the opportunity to make a Cleopatra film and use a woman with an African mother and a Macedonian/Greek father? You have actresses such as Claudette Colbert, Elizabeth Taylor playing Cleopatra, but not African women that more closely resembled Cleopatra or her sister, Arsinoe in restored facial features, actresses that would have looked more like the original Cleopatra and her sister such as Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, or Halle Berry, for example. See, Cleopatra's sister Arsinoe reconstructed. | Mathilda's Anthropology.
There was even a TV version of Cleopatra a few years ago played by a South American actress. But why not star an African or part-African actress to more likely resemble a more realistic picture of the real Egyptian queen? Also see, Nature News Blog: Cleopatra: maybe African, maybe not.
According to that article, no one knows whether Cleopatra had the same mother as her younger sister. Perhaps one had an African mother and the other a Greek mother. So if no one knows, it's a guess, based on her sister's facial measurements, say scientists.
A BBC documentary is claiming that the famous Egyptian queen Cleopatra may have been at least part-African, rather than Greek, according to that article. The claim hinges on a skeleton that scientists say could be Cleopatra’s sister Arsinoe. And archaeologists say some ancient historians claim that Cleopatra's sister, Arsinoe is suspected of being murdered on the orders of her sister. The teenage girl's remains were found at an impressive tomb called ‘The Octagon’ in Ephesus, Turkey.
The tower at the top of the tomb resembles the lighthouse at ancient Alexandria, which was burned during the Roman occupation in the first century. For decades, African American women have been vying for an African or part African actress to play the part of Cleopatra in a film or play.
What happened is that Cleopatra's sister's tomb was found in the 1920s. Photos and drawings of the skull were preserved so that a 3-D model could be made showing African features of the sister. But the original skull itself is missing, and only the photos and drawings of the skeleton of Cleopatra's younger sister remain. Three dimensional modeling software restored the facial features to the photos of the skull that were first turned into 3-D images by scientists who restore faces through computer simulation sculpture. The resulting image looks like a black African woman with features intermediate between sub-Saharan East African and southern European.
The Times reports that the skull was reconstructed by forensic anthropologist Caroline Wilkinson, using measurements taken in the 1920s. Why scientists are saying Cleopatra's sister is part African (sub-Saharan Black African) rather than Berber or Arab north African is that the skull has a very long head shape seen in ancient Egyptians and modern black Africans similar to what you see today in East Africa.
Modern Egyptians have a shorter head shape, similar to many Middle Eastern people such as Syrians who have in many cases short, flat heads instead of very long, very narrow heads like you see among the tall African Masai tribe in Kenya, for example or modern Ethiopians and peoples of Somalia. However, Mary Beard, professor in classics at Cambridge, strikes a cautionary note on her blog.
The history pits Arsinoe, Cleopatra's sister as having been killed as she walked up or down the steps of a pagan temple in Ephesus, Anatolia (modern Turkey). She supposedly is buried in the Octagon, a tomb that was found in the 1920s, dated to the first century B.C.E.
The problem is there is not enough writing in the tomb to link the princess to that tomb. So who's in the tomb? It's based on the theory that the tomb represents the lighthouse of Alexandria in shape, which is supposed to symbolize the Roman burning of Alexandria's lighthouse.
The skull is missing since it was somewhere in Germany during the second world war and disappeared in the bombing. So all that's left are the drawings of the skull and face. How accurate are the measurements of the skull by the first excavators from the 1920s? The skeleton shows a young girl age 15 to 17 or 18. But did Arsinoe die at that age or survive into her twenties?
Scientists don't know whether Cleopatra and Arsinoe had the same mothers. All is known is their father was King Ptolemy, descended from a Macedonian general that once fought with Alexander the Great in his Greek and Macedonian military might as he conquored Egypt around 300 BCE. The ethnic analysis needs to get down to the DNA, for example the mtDNA to find out whether Arsinoe is African, part African, or is related to Cleopatra via mother or father.
Assuming, perchance that the sisters had the same mother, Hollywood could do well or any other producer in choosing a part-African actress to play the sister. Cleopatra also had two brothers. But no one knows who the mothers of this royal family were unless the skeletons are analyzed, measured, and their DNA looked at.
According to a BBC team, Cleopatra, the last Egyptian Pharaoh, renowned for her beauty, was part African, says a BBC team which believes it has found her sister's tomb. Naturally, each ethnic group will claim Cleopatra as one ethnic group or another.
Remains of the queen's sister Princess Arsinoe, found in Ephesus, Turkey, indicate that her mother had an "African" skeleton. The discovery was made by Hilke Thuer of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Sibling rivalry existed between Cleopatra, her sister Arsinoe, and her two brothers. The documentary reported that Cleopatra had her sister and her two brothers done away with so she could be the last Egyptian Queen before Rome took over Egypt in ancient times.