Fa­mous tomb of Alexan­der lan­guishes due to Greek cri­sis

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ARCHAEOLOG­ICAL NEWS -

A year af­ter be­ing hailed as one of Greece’s great­est ar­chae­o­log­i­cal finds, the largest tomb ever dis­cov­ered in the coun­try lies al­most for­got­ten. At the time of its dis­cov­ery, there was spec­u­la­tion that ar­chae­ol­o­gists had found the tomb of Alexan­der the Great (356 -323 BCE) or per­haps some­one close to him such as his mother Olympias or wife Rox­ana. But a room-by-room search of the mas­sive box-like tomb has failed to give con­clu­sive an­swers to date. While clar­i­fi­ca­tion on the con­tents is still wanted, a dis­pute has arisen over the date of the tomb: is it ac­tu­ally Mace­do­nian or built un­der the Ro­mans? Head ar­chae­ol­o­gist, Ka­te­rina Peris­teri, con­firms that the tomb com­plex was built in the fi­nal quar­ter of the fourth cen­tury

BCE, and was used un­til Ro­man times. “The Mace­do­nians sealed it for pro­tec­tion in the sec­ond

cen­tury BCE” she said, adding that a full eval­u­a­tion would be made in the au­tumn. The tomb, mea­sur­ing 500 me­tres in cir­cum­fer­ence and dug into a 30-me­tre hill, was found to con­tain sculp­tures of sphinxes and cary­atids, in­tri­cate mo­saics and coins fea­tur­ing the face of Alexan­der the Great.

Built on the banks of the river Stry­mon, Am­phipo­lis was an im­por­tant city of the an­cient Mace­do­nian king­dom un­der Alexan­der. Alexan­der built an em­pire stretch­ing from mod­ern Greece to In­dia. He died in Baby­lon in 323 BCE at the age of 32 and was buried in the city of Alexan­dria, which he founded. The pre­cise lo­ca­tion of his tomb is one of the big­gest mys­ter­ies of ar­chae­ol­ogy. The Am­phipo­lis tomb’s lo­ca­tion was known in an­tiq­uity, and it is be­lieved to have been re­peat­edly looted fol­low­ing the con­quest of the an­cient Mace­do­nian king­dom by Rome in the sec­ond cen­tury BCE. On 11 Au­gust 2015, the min­istry said sig­nif­i­cant sums of money and time would be re­quired to make the mon­u­ment ac­ces­si­ble to vis­i­tors.

Be­low: The site of Am­phipo­lis lies aban­doned

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