Finding Lost Tombs

At press time, a team led by archaeologist Leonardo López Luján of Mexico's Templo Mayor Museum was excavating an underground chamber in Mexico City that might hold the remains of an Aztec king. It would be the first royal Aztec burial ever found.

The possibility of such an exciting discovery got us thinking about great leaders whose tombs are still waiting to be unearthed. So in the interest of science, we polled our online readers to find out which historical figure they'd most like to see archaeologists dig up. After some 2,200 voted, it was a rout for a certain Macedonian military genius.

Alexander the Great 47%
History tells us his body was spirited to Egypt after his death in Mesopotamia. If his tomb survives, it may lie somewhere beneath modern Alexandria.

And the rest of the pack...

Genghis Khan 18%
All the witnesses to his funeral were executed, so details are sketchy, but the great Khan's tomb may be in a valley to the east of Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar.

Cleopatra 18%
She may have been buried at the temple of Tabusiris Magna outside Alexandria, a site that is the focus of ongoing excavations.

Hammurabi 13%
Should archaeologists ever work again at the site of Babylon in Iraq, they just might find the city's famous law-giving king there.

Jimmy Hoffa 4%
A horse farm in Ontario was the last place authorities searched for the Teamsters president, but the smart money is still on an end zone in Giants Stadium.

Archaeology Magazine, Originally posted Jan 2008

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