What did Cleopatra, Egypt's last pharaoh, really look like?

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Cleopatra VII may have been the most famous woman in the ancient world. She was the last of a dynasty that ruled ancient Egypt for around 300 years, from the death of Alexander the Great to the rise of the Roman Empire. 


Her face has been immortalized on a handful of artifacts from the ancient world, including coins and a relief. Perhaps the best known depiction of her is a relief at Dendera temple in Egypt that shows her alongside her son Caesarion. 

But despite these ancient depictions, we actually know very little about what the ancient world's most powerful woman looked like. In recent years, that controversy has centered on a contentious topic: What color was Cleopatra's skin?

Period10 Aug 2023

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleWhat did Cleopatra, Egypt's last pharaoh, really look like?
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletLive Science
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    Producer/AuthorOwen Jarus
    PersonsAndrew Kenrick