Reconstruction of what the monument in the Siwa Oasis would have once looked like

The despairing cry of the tomb of Alexander the Great from the desert at Siwa Oasis

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The following is an article written by Liana Souvaltzi, Archaeologist and Director of the Greek Mission at Siwa Oasis, who we invited to report on her research regarding the discovery of a large monument in the Siwa Oasis that she maintains is the tomb of Alexander the Great. It follows an earlier article about her discovery, which we would recommend reading first – Tomb of Alexander the Great already found, archaeologist claims, but findings have been blocked by ‘diplomatic intervention’ .


The decision to write this article is not an easy one to make because it hurts me so much… My aim is to give the public the opportunity to understand that it has been a crime against this unique monument from the political background of the year 1996, which dealt a fatal blow to this discovery and the scientific work.

The discovery of the Tomb of Alexander the Great, cannot be considered a chance event but it was the result of many years of study and research into a remote area, where no one had previously searched for his tomb.

It took around twenty years of study to find the magic key that would resolve the great mystery of the location of the site of the tomb; this  was the wish of Alexander to be buried at the Oasis of Ammon. This wish and desire had been reported in the texts of the historians of the time of Alexander, such as Callisthenes, Aristobulus, Ptolemy and later writers such as Diodorus and Plutarch.

How would it have been possible for anyone not to carry out an order from the King or not to accomplish the wish of ‘the god’ Alexander?

Valuable information was also obtained from the ascetics of the desert, who reported the existence of the tomb at the oasis and the worship of Alexander as a god, together with Ammon, like Abu Sisoes in the 4 th century AD. Dorotheus, the Bishop of Tyre in the 5 th century AD, and Procopius, a historian of the 6 th century AD, also mention this information.

The excavations, which were purely financed by our team, started in 1989 and the work was stopped in 1996.

The archaeological site is 15 kilometers west of the Ammon Temple, which is in the town of Siwa. The area where the tomb is located is named El Maraki. The tomb complex covers an enormous area of 12,000 square meters, of which 5,000 square meters were excavated.

From the size of the tomb itself, which is 51m long and has an outer width of 10.25m, it is obvious that it could only have been destined for use as a burial monument for the worship of a very important person, such as a king.

The tomb sits on a rock, underneath which lies an enormous gold mine, the first found in the western desert. It consists of an entrance, corridor, and three chambers.

The presence of corner triglyphs reflects the Greek nature of the monument. The architectural features found in the area of the three chambers and the corridor, indicate that the corridor had been built on the inside and had been vaulted and that the roof on the third chamber had probably graded upwards in a form of a pyramid-like shape at the top of which a huge lion was standing.

Corner triglyph found in the monument at Siwa Oasis

Corner triglyph found in the monument at Siwa Oasis. Credit: Liana Souvaltzi

The decorative sculptures of the monument are unique and an excellent example of Classical Greek Art. Representative classical themes were present, such as the astragal, the egg and dart, the eight-petal rosette, leaf-like pieces, and open and closed anthemia.

The lintel from the burial chamber of the tomb showing the eight-petal rosettes, a symbol of Macedonian royalty.

The lintel from the burial chamber of the tomb showing the eight-petal rosettes, a symbol of Macedonian royalty. Credit: Liana Souvaltzi

The presence of special symbols denoting Alexander were also present, such as the hologlyph lions, the eight beamed star, the disk with the snakes, the acorn tree and the Macedonian shields.

Lion head found inside the tomb

Lion head found inside the tomb. Credit: Liana Souvaltzi

An important point was that many of the architectural features that were found, such as the triglyph and horizontal cornice with the mutules (rectangular block above the triglyph), had maintained their original colours – in this case, blue. Some of the metopes (spaces between two triglyphs on a Doric frieze) had maintained their terracotta colour. A few pieces of the friezes saved from the inside of the corridor maintained the colour on the green leaves and the blue on the anthemia which were similar to lotus flowers on a white background.


Roberto Peron's picture

This is absolutely horrible and outrageous!  Opening the inner chamber may well reveal the mummified remains of Alexander the Great and solve a great mystery.  And now the elements are eroding the tomb beyond repair or preservation.  And all in the name of Greek, Israeli, et al politics???  I utterly fail to see how the discovery of Alexander's tomb could upset  anything political.  Of course it would boost Greek nationalism as it well should as it would make them proud.  And then what?  The fall of that utterly WORTHLESS Greek regime that has put it's people in poverty beyond belief thanks to that governments unbridled gambling and mismanagement of public funds!  And as for Egypt?  Does the Egyptian government have no spine left?  They should have told the Greek government to "stick it."  Don't tell me the great Egypt has now been tamed and neutered by the corrupt Greek government.  Oh...I guess they have and hear I thought Gen Asisi was a strong Egyptian leader.....NOT!  

Stuff like this disgust me to no end.  Politics?  BAH!!  

I find it astonishing that an archaeologist can definitively conclude that a mostly unexcavated site is the tomb of Alexander. Liana conveniently omits the fact that a Greek delegation from the Ministry of Culture in the late 90s visited the Siwa site and determined that the inscription on the architrave reads Artemidoros Ammon Ra; not Alexander; furthermore there is a question as to whether even that inscription is authentic.

The Egyptian Government is ill-equipped to maintain and protect the thousands of sites throughout their country as it is, another site such as this that in the best case scenario likely contains merely a lesser general of the Ptolemaic Dynasty and has been looted thousands of years ago simply isnt worth the time,money and effort right now. Its best for this site to remain unexcavated for an indefinite period of time and focus on the inumerable other findings such as Amphipolis Tomb and skeleton( which very likely is a very famous Greek Macedonian Royal) and the million person necropolis recently announced in Egypt.

This desperately needs a follow-up....Have the Egyptian authorities given any statements as to why the have blocked further investigation of the site? Do they have evidence concluding that this is NOT the tomb of Alexander? Such actions need to be challenged, as it is imperative that we seek to find the truth in all things.

From the information provided, it would seem likely that this particular tomb houses the final resting place of Alexander. However, unless a full fledged excavation is carried out, we will never know. Given the need for humanity to finally find out the truth about our origins and our development, I would think that such a potentially important discovery would be thoroughly investigated. I hope and pray that you are successful in getting permission to protect/excavate the area.

Can you use crowd funding to gather the money necessary to preserve the site?

Couldn't have anything to do with all the Vedic artifacts, could it.
Same as all those Vedic artifacts, statues, etc. found in Alexander's father Philip's tomb.

Heeeey, wait a second.. The so-called "known world" had no idea about India, much less Vishnu, before Alexander got there. How could his father have had such things? (flush, flush, flush)


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