Monday, September 8, 2014


THE mystery surrounding the large tomb at Amphipolis in Macedonia has deepened amid discovery of two caryatid column-statues which suggest it may be a queen's tomb ... and not the LOST TOMB OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT.

Caryatids are columns which are carved to depict a "maiden of Karyai" an ancient city. While a common feature of temples, they are seldom found on the tombs of Ancient Greek men.

However, they have been found on the tombs of queens and princesses.

That raises the tantalizing possibility that the tomb at Amphipolis could be the tomb of Alexander's mother Olympias or his wife Roxane.

While it is unclear where Olympias died, Roxane was killed on the orders of Cassander together with her 13-year-old son, Alexander IV, whilst imprisoned at Amphipolis in 310 BC.

It is possible that Cassander took Olympias with him and his army to Amphipolis and that both women were murdered there.

All of that is only speculation at this point, and it could still turn out that the tomb is that of someone entirely unrelated to Alexander or any of his relations ... or that the tomb is empty and bereft of any indication of who its occupant might have been.

Even so, the two caryatids are a major find in themselves.

They were found after removal of sandy soil in the area in front of the second septal wall. 

There, beneath the marble architrave, between marble pilasters, the two exceptional caryatids of Thassian marble were discovered.

The face of the Caryatid in the west survives almost intact, while the eastern is missing its head. 

The caryatids have rich curls that cover their shoulders, while they wear a sleeved tuned. 

The right hand of one and the left of the other were "blocking" entrance to those who would enter the tomb. There were also traces of blue and red colour found upon the marbles. Broken-off pieces of the statues were found strewn on the soil, such as a palm portion and smaller finger fragments.

While Greek officials are hoping this will be the archaeological find of the century, experts warn that the tomb may turn out to be a huge disappointment.

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