Ancient Tomb Guarded by Sphinxes in Greece

Significant Ancient Tomb Guarded by Sphinxes Unearthed in Greece

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Archaeologists in Greece have uncovered the entrance to a vast ancient tomb guarded by two sphinxes, adorned with frescoed walls, and surrounded by a nearly 500-metre long wall carved from marble, according to a news release in the Greek Reporter

The unique burial monument, which dates from 325 to 300 BC, is the largest ancient tomb ever discovered in Greece and is believed to belong to a very important figure in history. Plans are to enter the tomb next month, when hopefully the identity of the tomb owner will be revealed.

"It is certain that we stand before an especially significant finding. The land of Macedonia continues to move and surprise us, revealing its unique treasures," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Tuesday during a visit to the site.

Excavations on the massive burial mound, which is located on Kasta Hill, Amphipolis, in the country’s Macedonian region about 100km northeast of Thessaloniki, first started in 2012, and have focused on uncovering the impressive marble wall surrounding the tomb.

Ancient mound in Amphipolis - tomb

A partial view of the site where archaeologists are excavating an ancient mound in Amphipolis, northern Greece. Credit: Alexandros Michailidis/AP

More recently, the archaeologists discovered a wide path leading to a tomb where the entrance is guarded by two statues of sphinxes carved from marble.

Entrance to the tomb on Karna Hill, Amphipolis

Entrance to the tomb on Karna Hill, Amphipolis, guarded by two marble sphinxes

Experts believe a five-meter-tall lion sculpture, known as the Lion of Amphipolis, previously discovered nearby once stood atop the tomb. The famous lion monument, which was found in 1912 by the Greek Army in the Strymonas River, is one of the best preserved monuments from 4th century BC. Archaeologists believe that it once stood at the highest and most central point of the Kasta Hill mound. It now stands next to the old bridge over Strymónas River, on the street Amphipolis-Serraiki Akti.

The Lion of Amphipolis

The Lion of Amphipolis, which dates to the same period as the newly discovered tomb, is believed to have once stood atop the burial mound at Karna Hill, Amphipolis .

Local media have been quick to speculate on the owner of the tomb, with Alexander the Great being the prime candidate.  Alexander the Great died in 323 BC under mysterious circumstances and the location of his tomb is one of the great mysteries of antiquity. However, a Culture Ministry official said there was no evidence to suggest a link to Alexander the Great.

It could be possible that the tomb belongs to a Macedonian royal. Amphopolis was also the birthplace of three famous admirals from the Macedonian period – Nearchus, Androsthenes of Thasos, and Laomedon (a close friend of Alexander the Great).

Many will be waiting in anticipation of the opening of the mysterious tomb and finally learning the identity of its owner.

Featured image: The tomb entrance guarded by sphinx on Karna Hill, Amphipolis, Greece.

By April Holloway

Comments

In the article it is stated: "believed to belong to a very important figure in history". Really, you think perhaps that such an elaborate and richly adorned tomb would have been for the local homeless?? I just can't stand those kind of ambiguous statements from so-called officials. Doe sit make ten look more cautious, or just plain dumb??
Its like this new trend in the news claiming anything is "alleged - or allegedly" what is up with that??

aprilholloway's picture

Some elaborate tombs simply belonged to people who were extremely wealthy. It doesn't mean they played an important role in history.

If words like 'believed' and 'allegedly' are removed, then the writer is usually accused of making claims and assertions without evidence.  

It's absolutely an amazing find. This tomb of 500 meter circumference, has incredible architecture.

I mean. Zoom into this image: http://www.statesmen.gr/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/amphipolis-p6050621-5...
Or this one: http://www.iefimerida.gr/sites/default/files/tafos5.jpg

It's huge. And I have been to The royal tombs of Vergina 300-400 km to the west. A superb Unesco heritage site and one of the Greatest finds in the last 50 years. But this Royal tomb in Amphipolis that awaits to be opened is over 10 times larger! The last 5 years many incredible finds have been done in Greece. And since last year the Amphipolis is a new one of the greatest kind. It's an Archaeological thriller

rbflooringinstall's picture

The tomb probably just belonged to some extremely wealthy person who had the money for super fancy burial. Its interesting to see how life and death was in the ancient world.

Peace and Love,

Ricky.

i like the information of newly excavated huge tomb extremly

angieblackmon's picture

can't wait to find out what they discover next month!

love, light and blessings

AB

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