Alexander the Great - tomp Greece

Have archaeologists discovered the grave of Alexander the Great?

Archaeologists have discovered an enormous marble tomb fit for a king under a huge mound in Greece and believe that they have unearthed the grave of Alexander the Great.

The elaborate tomb was found at an archaeological site near ancient Amphipolis, about 370 miles north of Athens, and measures an incredible 500 metres in length and 3 metres in height. It’s so big that archaeologists believe it must hold someone of immense importance. 

Although warrior king Alexander the Great was thought to be buried in Egypt, the marble-faced wall of the tomb dates back to the 4th century BC, the period in which Alexander the Great was ruler, and site archaeologist Aikaterini Peristeri has stated that they expect to find “a significant individual or individuals” within the grave.

Alexander III of Macedon, also known as Alexander the Great, was born in Pella in 356 BC and was mentored by Aristotle until the age of 16. He became king of Macedon, a state in northern ancient Greece, and by the age of 30 had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas. Undefeated in all his battles, he is considered one of history's most successful commanders.  He conquered the whole of the Persian Empire but being an ambitious warrior, seeking to reach the 'ends of the world,' he invaded India in 326 BC but later turned back. He is credited with founding some 20 cities that bore his name, including Alexandria in ancient Egypt, and spread Greece's culture east.

It is believed Alexander the Great died of a fever in Babylon in 323 BC, at the age of just 32, before his plans to invade Arabia. There are a number of rumours relating to his burial by according to the history books, his body was laid to rest in a gold sarcophagus filled with honey and taken to Memphis before Alexandria in Egypt where it apparently remained until late Antiquity.

News of the discovery has captured the Greek public’s imaginations and many are hopeful that the grave will intend belong to Alexander the Great. However, Greece’s Culture Ministry is trying to calm the speculation until further information is gathered.  At the very least, the tomb must be an important royal Macedonian grave but many are hopeful that it is much more than that.

By April Holloway

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