Cleopatra in Los Angeles

If you’re a history buff, culture nerd, or are interested in the history of the world, may I recommend a visit to “Cleopatra, In Search for the Last Queen of Egypt” exhibit, which has just arrived in Los Angeles.

The Science Center at Exposition Park (USC) is hosting the even until December 31st, 2012, so you have time to plan your visit.

I’ve always been intrigued by the mythical Cleopatra and her rule over Egypt, so this was a cool chance to see authentic artifacts and items of her day that have been around since 300 BC. That’s BEFORE Christ. (Yes, there was a prehistoric time before modern day and facebook.)

It’s almost mind boggling to  imagine her as the most powerful ruler in a world of ruthless men. She was a direct heiress, a  descendant of the Ptolemies, who became Queen of Egypt at 17.  She also spoke Greek, Egyptian, Ethiopian, Aramaic and Hebrew, had a lavish lifestyle, torrid romances and family dramas to spare. You think our telenovelas have wicked storylines, n’ombre no es nada!  Try betrayal, intra-family marriages, and outsmarting the Roman Empire while keeping your beauty intact.

On that note, there is no true image found- yet- of this famously beautiful woman. Los romanos se encargaron de acabar con todas las imagenes cuando pasó a la historia, they got rid of everything, so it’s up to us to try to build an image of her through the coins and artifacts recently found with her profile. Or we could just stick to la Liz Taylor circa 1963 in the film.

So go see it if you have a chance, and I recommend you get your tickets online and save yourself the waiting time at the ticket counter. Take the entire family. Lots of kids were really digging the history stuff.

Two giant granite statues resembling Cleopatra’s ancestors, the Ptolemies are shown at the exhibit.

“Head of Serapis” is a marble sculpture from 2c BC, which is a combination of Egyptian and Greek gods. “By combining Greek and religious figures, the Ptolemies gained people’s trust.”

Canopus is the city where Cleopatra and Marc Anthony went to have fun.  It was the Las Vegas/ “Sin City” of their day.

Recovered gold jewelry from Cleopatra’s time, which was found in recent expeditions under the sea in the area that used to be Alexandria, then capital of Egypt.

A magnifying glass lets you see the outline of Cleopatra’s profile from a gold coin.

It can’t be an Egyptian themed exhibit without a Sphinx in the mix. Here’s one found intact from 1st c BC. “With its human head signifying intelligence and its body of a lion, the sphinx illustrated the intellectual capacity and physical power of the pharaohs. Romans, obsessed with the exoticism of Egypt, imported the tradition to Rome.”

This cool hands on gadget illustrated how a desert sandstorm forms.

What did Cleopatra look like? We all want to know.

The love of Cleopatra’s life was Anthony, and he was also the father to 3 of his 4 children. Anthony also recognized her eldest son, born from her affair with Caesar.

The line of the Ptolemies, Cleopatra’s family tree.

Cleopatra’s image through the arts and film.

5 thoughts on “Cleopatra in Los Angeles

  1. This is a great description of the Cleopatra Exhibit at the California Science Center. I highly recommend it to everyone. It is open all the way to December, 2012. Cris, once again you outdid yourself.

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