Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt

The Franklin Institute
222 N. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Mon–Wed 9:30AM - 5:00PM
Last entry at 3:30PM.

Thu–Sun 9:30AM - 8:30PM
Last entry at 7:00PM.

*The exhibit will be closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Dates & Location

The Franklin Institute, one of the nation’s premier learning museums — not to mention the most popular museum in Pennsylvania — hosts Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt, from June 5, 2010 – January 2, 2011.


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About Cleopatra

Cleopatra, the last great pharaoh of Egypt before it succumbed to Roman opposition, lived from 69 – 30 B.C., and her rule was marked with political intrigue and challenges to her throne. She captivated two of the most powerful men of her day, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, as she attempted to restore Egypt to its former superpower status. Later, her Roman conquerors tried to rewrite her history and destroy all traces of her existence. Although her body has never been found, her story survives.

Video courtesy of Heritage-Key

Inside the Exhibition

Told through never–before–seen–artifacts and multimedia components, Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt unravels the mystery of one of history’s most powerful women.

Visitors to the exhibition will be treated to an inside view of the search for Cleopatra through two ongoing expeditions by modern explorers Dr. Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s pre-eminent archaeologist and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and Franck Goddio, French underwater archaeologist and director of IEASM. Goddio’s search has resulted in one of the most ambitious underwater expeditions ever undertaken, which has uncovered Cleopatra’s royal palace and two ancient cities that had been lost beneath the sea for centuries after a series of earthquakes and tidal waves.

The artifacts in the exhibition – ranging from the smallest gold pieces and coins to colossal statues more than 15-feet tall — provide a window into Cleopatra’s story as well as the daily lives of her contemporaries, both powerful and humble. Artifacts on display will include magnificent black granite statues of a queen of Egypt dating from the Ptolemaic era in which Cleopatra ruled, which Goddio’s team pulled from the sea.