Greek archaeologists have gradually unearthed an “amazing” ancient tomb in northern Greece in recent months which has sparked scenarios this week that it could be linked to Alexander the Great and his family.
Answers to the mystery might be revealed in coming weeks, as the excavation in the ruins of ancient Amphipolis, about 550 km north of Athens, continues, archaeologists in charge of the dig said on Wednesday.
“We are standing before an amazing tomb,” archaeologist Katerina Peristeri told Greek national news agency AMNA on Wednesday, avoiding to fuel hopes that it could be the burial place of the ancient Greek leader or his wife Roxana and their son Alexander IV.
Greek archaeologists have so far unearthed the entrance of the tomb which is guarded by two Sphinxes, each two meters tall. A spectacular lion discovered near the 497-meter-long and three-meter high marble surrounding wall also indicates that the person buried inside was important.
The size of the structure is unprecedented in Greece and it has been dated back to the 4th century BC, when Alexander’s reign was coming to an end. The Macedonian king died in 323 BC in Babylon, the modern Iraq, after conquering a major part of the ancient world stretching to India and Egypt. However, his final resting place remains a mystery for centuries.
Peristeri and her colleagues said that they are anxious to get inside the tomb, but they stressed that they proceed carefully and will not speed up the work under the pressure of publicity.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Culture Minister Costas Tassoulas who also visited the site this week suggested patience until archaeologists are ready to make their final announcements regarding the identity of the person buried inside, but noted that regardless of the answer it is a significant finding.
Archaeologists who are involved in the latest round of the excavation work, which started two years ago, have implied that most likely another high ranking Macedonian general was buried in the site.