Archaeologists in northern Greece have uncovered a skeleton inside the famed Amphipolis tomb that dates from the time of Alexander the Great, it was announced today by the Greek Ministry of Culture.
The culture ministry said the almost intact skeleton belonged to a “distinguished public figure”, given the tomb’s dimensions and lavishness.
Chief archaeologist Katerina Peristeri said “the tomb in all probability belongs to a male and a general”.
The latest revelations have added to global excitement about the identity of the person entombed at Amphipolis.
“It is an extremely expensive construction, one that no single private citizen could have funded,” the ministry said at a briefing for reporters on Wednesday. “It is in all probability a monument to a mortal who was worshipped by his society at the time.”
The tomb, located 62 miles east of Thessaloniki in northern Greece, dates from the late 4th Century BC when Amphipolis was a major city of the Macedonian Kingdom ruled by Alexander the Great.
Discovered at a depth of five feet below the floor of the third chamber of the burial complex, the tomb contained a wooden coffin and archaeologists found scattered bronze and iron nails, as well as bone and glass fragments – possibly used as decorations on the casket.
The bone remains and any genetic material will be examined by specialists, the culture ministry said.
Earlier stages of the excavation brought to light a magnificent carved stone lion, two sphinxes, two caryatids and a floor mosaic depicting the abduction of Persephone by Hades.