Monday, March 2, 2015


THE head archaeologist working at the mysterious large tomb at AMPHIPOLIS in Macedonia, Greece, says there is little chance that Alexander the Great's bones are there if, indeed, they were ever buried there.

Instead, she held out tantalizing possibility that the MOTHER OF ALEXANDER or possibly Roxana the WIFE OF ALEXANDER or even his male lover Hephaestion may have been entombed there.

Speaking out after weeks of silence, she indicated it was time to shift the focus away from the headline-making claim by Greece's former prime minister that this was "most certainly" the LOST TOMB OF ALEXANDER.

"We need to focus on the monument, not the bones, which for me are not that important. You cannot receive accurate dating from a skeleton. For me the skeletons are meaningless. They are misleading our research," said KATERINA PERISTERI, head of the archaeological excavation team in Amphipolis.

She noted that 550 bones of men, an old woman, a child and even a horse were found when they opened the tomb, and that the space was such a jumble that the archaeologists could not come to any conclusions. 

"The tomb looters had ravaged everything. You see, they were looking for the great treasures in the burial chamber, causing enormous damage."

Regarding the skeletons that were found, the Greek archaeologist notes that several hypothesis have been made.

"The skeletons may be sacrificial remnants, or even the remains of looters. Besides, we found skeletal material in more than one place."

Analysis of the scattered remains now shows that they belong to:

  • One woman over 65 years old.
  • Two men around 35-45 years old each, the younger of whom may have suffered fatal knife wounds.
  • One infant.
  • One adult person (male or female) who had been cremated.

In addition, non-human bones were found, probably those of a horse.

Peristeri said that they found skeletal material belonging to a man who may have been the original inhabitant in the tomb, very close to the floor. The body belonged to a man who stood at 1.60 meters in height (5 ft. 2 in.), whose bones had been shuffled by looters. 

However, Peristeri believes that if the original tomb owner had been a very important person such as Alexander, then his bones would have been stolen.

No armour, helmet, clothing or any other treasures were found with the skeletal remains scattered amongst the remnants of a wooden coffin at the bottom of a deep limestone block pit.

But there are strong indications from the evidence that the elderly woman was the principal occupant of the tomb and the person whose fame and importance merited the grandeur of its decorations and its enormous dimensions:

1. The fact that the bones of the elderly woman were the main bones found concentrated near and within of the original pit grave in the depth range 7.8m to 8.9m below the chamber floor (lower that the distributions of the bones of the other individuals) and that hers is the most complete skeleton including the skull is suggestive that she was the pit's original occupant and that the other individuals were satellite burials above hers

2. The statues of female sphinxes at the entrance to the Amphipolis tomb echo the sculptures of female sphinxes incorporated in the thrones of two late 4th Century BC queens of Macedonia, including the throne of Alexander's grandmother Eurydice. Both were found in the Royal Cemetery at Aegae.

3. The caryatids appear to be priestesses of Dionysus and cult activities connected with Dionysus are particularly associated with leading queens of Macedon in the late 4th century BC (especially Olympias).

4. The Persephone figure in the mosaic would appear to represent the principal occupant, in which case she should be an important queen of Macedonia.

5. Two Macedonian queens may have been killed at Amphipolis in the late 4th Century BC according to surviving ancient accounts: Olympias in 316 BC and Roxane in 310 BC.

The skeletal remains and bits of wooden debris were interspersed by iron and copper nails along with ivory and glass decorative adornments for the coffin.

The discovery of skeletal remains raises almost as many questions as it answers, since wood was not thought to have been used for royal coffins in the time of Alexander the Great. Royals were cremated in Ancient Greece.

However, it could be the body of a non-royal person ... such as Alexander's lover Hephaestion.

The announcement comes weeks after the archaeologists uncovered mosaic flooring of the second chamber ... revealing the Abduction of Proserpine/Persephone by Pluto. 

The symbolism of the MOSAIC, which was discovered in the second chamber along with CARYATIDS, vastly increases the chances that this tomb houses a member of the Macedonian royal family.

Alexander sailed from Amphipolis to Asia. 

However, it is almost certain that his tomb is located in Alexandria, since people such as Julius Caesar, Hadrian and Antinous are supposed to have visited his burial site there.

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