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Cleopatra of Egypt: from history to myth
Fragment of a basalt Egyptian-style statue of Ptolemy I
Founder of Cleopatra's dynasty
The founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty ruled Egypt as Ptolemy I Soter ('Saviour') with his sister-wife, Berenike I, until his death in 283 BC. At his death he left a very prosperous kingdom. He also founded the Museum (Mouseion), a cultural centre for scholars and artists, and established the famous library at Alexandria.
It is said that this scultpure was found in the lining of a well in the Nile Delta. It was acquired by The British Museum with a number of other objects, but unfortunately the site was not named and it has been suggested that the story of its discovery was fabricated to increase interest in the piece.