Greece invests 600,000 euros in Amphipolis archaeological excavation in four years
Greece has invested approximately 600,000 euros (766,674 U.S. dollars) in the past four years for excavation works at the ancient city of Amphipolis in northern Greece where a spectacular Alexander the Great era tomb has been discovered this summer, the Culture Ministry said.
Greek and foreign experts agree that the recent findings in the burial complex are of great value which will add to Greece's tourist product in the following years.
However, in a country which struggled hard since 2010 to exit its worst debt crisis in decades through harsh austerity, funding remains an issue.
According to estimates released by the Culture Ministry, during 2010 and 2013 state funding for the archaeological dig reached 240,000 euros.
This year the ministry allocated a further 150,000 euros, while donors joined in. The National Bank of Greece donated 150,000 euros and Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) and Hellenic Petroleum donated 35,000 and 25,000 euros respectively which have not yet been used.
Since August Greek archaeologists have brought to light magnificent statues of sphinxes, Caryatids, a mosaic depicting a chariot and other findings which are dated to the 4th century BC.
The findings have triggered a series of scenarios on the identity of the buried in the tomb. Some experts argue that it was Alexander's mother, wife or son who have been buried in the site. Others suggest it was one of his close aides in the battles to conquer the world, a high ranking official of Macedonian dynasty era.
Archaeologists who are involved in the dig and Culture Ministry officials stress that it takes more time and works to uncover the identity of the buried.