Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Is there a map showing the whereabouts of Beatrice and the Lost Sarcophagus?
Briefly, the ship vanished in the autumn of 1838 while bringing back the sarcophagus from Egypt to its new home in the British Museum. Many theories have been put forward as to what happened and many wreck sites have been claimed. But I have never seen it suggested that a map exists of the wreck site - and from what seems to have been a reputable source.
The Museo Egipcio de Barcelona (The Egyptian Museum in Barcelona) is a private museum financed and run by the Jordi Clos Foundation. Every so often, stories arise that the Foundation is preparing to search for the sarcophagus. Its favoured location for the wreck is the near the Spanish deepwater port of Cartagena.
In May 1995, the director of the Clos Foundation, Adolf Luna, was interviewed in the Spanish newspaper El Pias. While discussing a plan to search for the wreck he speculates that there may have been other Egyptological treasures on the doomed Beatrice.
He says the planned hunt is "serious, is not a treasure hunt." The newspaper says the Foundation has a document - a map - which tells them where the wreck is. (La fundación, dice, dispone de un documento, "un mapa", que les ofrece garantías sobre el lugar del naufragio).
Luna is then quoted as saying: "If I did not have reliable data, we would not risk it." ("Si no fuera porque disponemos de datos fiables, no nos arriesgaríamos.")
Map or no map, for whatever the reason the search did not happen. Whether this map actually exists remains, for the moment, unknow.
See El sarcófago de Micerino (El Pais) and El mapa de la 'Beatrice' (El Pais)
For the story so far, see The Lost Sarcophagus, Ancient Egypt magazine. December/January 2009.
See also: The Lost Sarcophagus of Menkaure: a novel approach to the mystery and Lost Sarcophagus: Search Update