First Accurate Depiction of Cleopatra Created?

December 16, 2008

UK (ChattahBox) – Over the last several centuries artists have attempted to paint the image of Cleopatra, to give a face to the name that has become one of the most famous and mysterious in history. But for the first time we may have finally gotten it right.

After a year of extensive research, Dr. Sally Ann Ashton of Cambridge University has pieced together what she believed to be the true face of Cleopatra (top left), one that differs greatly from the many depictions throughout history.

Pieced together from images on ancient artifacts, including a ring dating from Cleopatra’s reign 2,000 years ago, it is the culmination of more than a year of painstaking research.  It shows her as a woman of mixed race, with dark eyes, hair, and skin, and nice looks, a far cry from the extremes of the unattractive depiction of ancient artifacts (shown below), or the Hollywood version of beauty of modern movies.

Dr. Ashton is scheduled to release the full results as part of a five part documentary.


31 Responses to “First Accurate Depiction of Cleopatra Created?”

  1. Vee on December 16th, 2008 5:06 pm

    The newly discovered dipiction of Cleopatra is BEAUTIFUL. I don’t see what is so “average” about a woman who has beautiful brown skin, eyes and full lips…attributes that a lot of the “modern beauties” strived very hard to achieve.

  2. Derf on December 16th, 2008 6:11 pm

    So now that she is considered mixed she is not suppossed to be attractive. They say we have come along way in racial divide. I don’t think so.

  3. Keen Sol on December 16th, 2008 6:34 pm

    At the very least I knew she didn’t look like Elizabeth Taylor.

  4. Truth on December 16th, 2008 7:21 pm

    did anyone EVER believe that Cleopatra looked european?? if you did, then you were just as foolish as those wanted to portray her that way. just as foolish is the assertion that Cleopatra was mixed with a greek heritage… ummm, excuse me, she was an Egyptian, born into a royal family. royals did not mix with commoners nor other nationalities. in no way do i push “color”, but ancient cultures such as that of Egypt exhibited the moorish qualities of the people of the world, and rarely were they mixed with european nations.

  5. Gouki on December 16th, 2008 7:25 pm

    I think she’s cute,my girlfriend is bi-racial and I think she’s agree. Now they should do one of Jesus to prove he wasn’t the blue-eyed guy artwork depicts him to be.

  6. Stokley on December 16th, 2008 8:09 pm

    Similar to previous entries, Cleopatra was from Egypt, better known as the politically constructed middle east. However, in reality, she was African. To say that Egyptians are NOT African or from the continent of Africa would be similar to saying that people from California, Texas, Florida, New York, or Washington state are NOT Americans. If someone is from a particular continent, let’s say so as opposed to attempting to de-emphasize the cultural and historical importance of the African diaspora. Then again, maybe, I see the world a little differently than some people.

  7. marcus on December 16th, 2008 8:17 pm

    we already know what cleopatra looks like. she’s alive and well and currently
    living as a well known actress and singer/musician. alicia keys

  8. Diane on December 16th, 2008 8:31 pm

    Unfortunatly, this is probably very inaccurate. Cleopatra (at least the one who got mixed up with Caesar and Antony) was of Greek descent which most of the ruling royal families were. She was Macedonian (Hellenistic, or Greek) not Egyptian or African (she may have been born in Africa, but she was not ethnically African) but she did adopt the “look” of the Egyptians that she ruled. She may have been mixed but she certainly wouldn’t have been of African descent because they often had the same racial biases that still exist.

    Sorry to bust your bubbles.

  9. Dustin on December 16th, 2008 8:38 pm

    Just because Egypt is in Africa doesn’t mean much. All Africans don’t look the same, some are lighter than others. Egypt is in the very north of Africa and its native people (not arabs) are lighter skinned.

    Cleopatra was not even fully Egyptian, she was of Greek heritage (European). Her skin certainly would not be as dark as it is shown in this picture.

    The idea that simply because Egypt is in Africa, Egyptians must look as dark as Samuel L. Jackson is simplistic and flawed. All northern Africans have very light skin compared to the darkest Africans. Just like Northern Europeans have lighter skin compared to the Europeans in the very south.

  10. Bryce Godwin on December 16th, 2008 11:11 pm

    I diden’t think Cleopatra was full European anyway she grew up in Egypt and her ancestors on at least her paternal side were mainly Greek, but I doubt too many Greek women traveled to Egypt, so they probably married women that were of north african berber/arab decent probably mixed with sub- Saharan African Egypt was a place of Racial mixing, being inbetween the middle east and Africa, being near the Mediterranean, people have been racially mixing since the begging of time.

  11. Carol L. Moore on December 16th, 2008 11:39 pm

    First of all, Cleopatra was not an Egyptian. Her last name was Ptolemy and she was of Greek descent. So I was really be surprised if she looked anything like this image or was of mixed race background.

  12. Dave on December 16th, 2008 11:53 pm

    Cleopatra descended from a long line of Macedonian (Greek) rulers whose reign over Egypt began in 323 bc with the death of Alexander the Great. That year, Alexander’s Macedonian generals divided his vast empire among themselves, with Ptolemy taking Egypt as his share. Thereafter the Ptolemies ruled from the port city of Alexandria, a flourishing cultural and commercial center that Alexander had founded in 332 bc.

    The above came out of the encyclopedia which makes Cleopatra’s liniage distinctly Southern European.

  13. Wing on December 17th, 2008 12:15 am

    Who really cares what she looked like…will it make any difference for anything????

  14. tigger... on December 17th, 2008 1:30 am

    she’s probably a mixed raced but no one can get closer to tell what she looks like coz even the modern era people look diff in pictures, camera, etc.

    she’s beautiful like the history says to allure those men in power but i strongly believe that she’s very smart coz it takes beauty to lure them but it takes brain to keep them…

  15. lola on December 17th, 2008 2:25 am

    I always imagined her with long dark straight hair and olive skin. Very much like Leonor Varela.

  16. chux on December 17th, 2008 5:59 am

    i believe Dr. Ashton did the right thing, by showing the world who Cleopatra is, in real sence she is dark and from history she is not from Egypt, beause her father is from greek, but as she made have it, she has a dark skin actually, may be when her from rule egypt he took a wife from there,but unknow to people, with dark skin, think about it?
    that is why they say, she is from african which is true.

  17. robert on December 17th, 2008 6:31 am

    she was a queen , if she said she was beautifull who was to doubt her, with out loseing there own head

  18. Pratt on December 17th, 2008 7:08 am

    It’s pretty sad that in this day and age people still find it mentally disturbing that peolple of color ( black people ) have a history of greatness. How some will go to any length to deny the truth. Africa has allways been known as the dark continent, the only reason the Egyptians of today are lighter than the rest of the african populous is because the western world ( white people ) have just about bred them out. Look at the cicillians who are much darker than the rest of Italy and no longer have blonde hair and blue eyes because the Moores constantly raided their Island. Cleopatra was of mixed blood but she definately was a woman of color, Egyptians were darker then and till this day in Italy people of color are consisdered very attractive, unlike in the U.S. where fair skin equates beauty. The reason again why it’s so hard to accept Cleopatra as a woman of color, is because we would then begin to accept that the creators of math , science medicine and philosophy are people of color .

  19. G on December 17th, 2008 7:18 am

    really? who cares? what difference does it make now? she’s long gone, she was born in Egypt located in Africa…………………….so what????

  20. rick on December 17th, 2008 8:02 am

    Good grief so what big deal. G is so right.

  21. newell2003 on December 17th, 2008 10:45 am

    I believe she was of mixed race (African and Greek).
    Most of the people from those times were mixed, because people moved around do to wars. If you do DNA testing on some Caucasians, you will see a small amount of African DNA. Scientist have claimed that the oldest human being was found in Africa and that the human civilization started in Africa.
    Then later people migrated to different regions. How do you think people from India have skin so brown, and some Caucasians can’t tan without burning? It’s in the pigmentation of the skin. Everyone knows that Africans and African Americans can take the sun better than others.

  22. Ted Sofis on December 17th, 2008 11:07 am

    Cleopatra was of Greek Macedonian decent. Her family the Ptolemies ruled Egypt for 300 years form the time of Alexander. Dipictions of her from the period in sculpture and on coins show her with caucasian features. Although she was no beauty, as her sister Arsinoe was reputed to be, she was by all accounts charming and ingaging. She did not look African and certainly did not wear her hair in corn-rows. The women of her time grew their hair long and wore it up. Its a fanciful depiction, but not at all accurate.

  23. Dave on December 17th, 2008 2:14 pm

    Cleopatra’s Palace is still yet to be excavated due the fact that it now lies underwater in the bay of Alexandria, they havebeen picking up artifacts from the
    site that are on the surface, but water conditions are very bad and visability poor.

    But if they do manage to properly excavate the site, then there is a very good chance we’ll find statuary with her likeness, there has been one statue found
    with reasonably good features intact but still in poor condition,

    I find it rather amazing how little people know of Ancient History and how it has ultimately shaped our current world.

    There are a few posters here that know their stuff and one is very well informed but stopped short in their explaination of the lineage of Cleapatra.

    Egypt at this time was ruled by the Ptolemies directly decended from one of Alexanders top generals who took over the region after Alexander, who after a long campaign, died in Alexandria.

    The Ptolemies were obsessed with their blood lines and it was common to even marry your own sister to preserve those blood lines,

    Cleopatra may have been married to her own brother who she had killed after a power struggle, it is very likely there was never any interracial mixing within this ruling dynasty except by Cleopatra herself due to the domination of Rome at the time and her desire to sire a child of Roman blood and help secure her power in Egypt.

    She seduced Ceasar and when he was murdered, she seduced Mark Antony to protect her son sired by Ceasar.

    Rome was outraged by the prospect that Cleopatra’s son could be in line for Emporer of Rome and was subsequently invaded by Rome, Mark Antony and Cleopatra died at this time.

    Mark Antony died from wounds defending Egypt on Cleopatra’s behalf in the battle with Rome.

    Sometimes people trying to make a case for “Color” or African decent should do a little more reading up on their history, Cleopatra was NOT dark skinned or of mixed African blood, she was of Macedonian decent within a family obsessed with the purity of their bloodlines, this wasn’t because of racial preferances, it was all about POWER and the right to rule.

    She was probably the same skin color of the people currently living in Greece at this time, Olive to light skinned.

    She was NOT African…….not there’s anything wrong with that……but she wasn’t.

  24. glen on December 17th, 2008 6:30 pm

    who cares? i dont care. you cannot get a good likeness of her becouse none really exist. this is all made up like black history

  25. Naturalhi on December 17th, 2008 9:36 pm

    I’m just laughing at how sure we all think we are. If she was African, Egyptian, Greek, etc; does it really matter. The truth is we are all connected in some facet. If you look around the world you will find someone who may have feature like another whether black, white, asian, hispanic, indian, arabian; you name it. What’s so bad about being of color or being light or dark. We’re all human. Accept people for who they are and not the stereotypes that have been given over the years. How would you know if she wore her hair in braids or not; as if to say somethings wrong with that? If she wore it straight; is it something wrong with that? My goodness I detect a tone of prejudice in your comment. She was a important person in history. So take it for what it is and quit whining about how she looked and look at what she did!

  26. Pratt on December 18th, 2008 8:44 pm

    Wow!!! I was gonna really go into a rant about black history, in response to glen’s little remark but it would be a waste of energy on someone of that mind set. So wow will have to do, and in closing I will say how scary that remark is and hopefully a car accident will remove you from the gene pool…

  27. Betty George on September 24th, 2009 5:21 pm

    Corn rows indeed!
    Who created this crazy image.

  28. Cody on February 13th, 2010 2:23 am

    People shouldn’t be so outraged towards the idea that she might have been white. So what? It’s O.K. If the point you are trying to make is that skin doesn’t matter, then who cares if she was white? She was from Greek decent, she was olive complected; who cares? She’s no less of a female figure in history because she *wasn’t* black. She shouldn’t represent skin color; she should represent strong women.

  29. Somosuno on April 28th, 2010 10:09 am

    To say that Cleopatra VII was not African because her father was Greek would be the same as saying there are no African-Americans because their paternal ancestry is European. Wake up people. Cut the crap. The only thing that matters is how she self-identified and that is what we will never know. As for her naming being Ptolemy that is not the name of a family but of the character of rule. Ptolemy is being used the same way that Jesus the Christ is called but who would say that Christ was his last name? Apply common sense, if you have any, and keep it simple….I’m just saying….

  30. Jacquanette on April 29th, 2010 4:11 pm

    Cleopatra’s full name was Cleopatra VII Philopator. Not Ptolemy. Ptolemy was actually a first name and the namesake of the family dynasty (Ptolemaic). From what I’ve researched, she was of mixed descent. Yes, her father’s side was Greek. Ptolemy I Soter was the first, and named himself King 305 BC. This was 18 years after Alexander The Great had died and 27 years after Alexander had conquered Egypt. From 305 BC to the birth of Cleopatra VII in 51 BC, there had to have been some mixing between the ruling Greeks and the native Egyptians. While Egyptians aren’t as dark as people from other areas on the African continent. She still would have had darker skin than what she has been portrayed as having. With the discovery of her half-sister, Arsinoe (, it was discovered that she was of mixed race, so it is likely that Cleopatra was as well.

  31. Abram Lyday on July 31st, 2010 7:49 am

    @Mike I’m not quite sure I understand what your saying

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