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Archaeologists try to identify owner of Amphipolis tomb, as excavation continues

English.news.cn   2014-09-14 01:38:43

ATHENS, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Archaeologists have been trying to identify the owner of the tomb in the Casta hill in the ancient city of Amphipolis in northern Greece this week, as the excavations at the massive Alexander the Great era burial site gradually continued.

Last weekend, when two beautiful Caryatids sculptures came to light, anxiety over the identity of the deceased buried in the monument scaled up.

Archaeologists continued methodically their work, by removing slowly the soil on the Caryatids and trying to enter the third chamber after adopting the necessary measures in order to prevent a cave-in.

The third chamber was believed to be the last section of the magnificent Amphipolis tomb that dates back to the early Hellenistic era.

All the exquisite discoveries made since August, from the sculpted 5 meter high lion sculpture, the two spectacular sphinxes to the two dazzling Caryatids recently unearthed, indicate that the owner of the tomb was very important and from Alexander's close inner circle.

Professor of History and Archaeology in the University of Cyprus Theodoros Mavraganis believes that the tomb belongs to Hephaestion, one of closest friends' of Alexander the Great, with whom he had been brought up.

Hephaestion was a Macedonian nobleman and a general in the army of Alexander and accompanied him to his ten-year campaign in Asia.

Another assumption implies that the burial place belongs to one of Alexander's admirals named Nearchos, who was associated with the ancient city and was exiled there by King Philip II.

He reached until the south coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean and after the death of Alexander the Great he sided with the camp of Antigonus.

The third scenario is that in the tomb were buried Alexander's Persian wife, Roxana, and his son, Alexander IV, who were banished to Amphipolis and murdered there in around 310 B.C.

According to historical records, two members of the royal family that died in Amphipolis in the late 4th century B.C. and possible owners of the tomb were Olympiad, the mother of Alexander, and his sister Kassandra who was murdered under General Kassandros' order.

Though Alexander the Great himself was believed to have been buried in Egypt in 323 B.C., there are also those who believed that this is his tomb.

"The monument shows that this tomb belongs to a prominent person. Who was more prominent than Alexander?" historian and author Sarantos Kargakos said to local media.

Until archaeologists give the final answer to the enigma of who is buried in the tomb, speculations are flying.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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