Has the Location of Alexander the Great’s Tomb Finally Been Identified?
The mysterious location of the tomb of Alexander the Great might finally have been confirmed.
Alexander the Great was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon from 336–323 BC and after conquering the Greek city-states he rolled over Persia founding an empire with 70 cities across three continents covering an estimated two million square miles.
Now, a piece of masonry from an ancient tomb discovered in the foundations of St Mark ’s in Venice matching the dimensions of a sarcophagus in the British Museum might confirm the location of the tomb of Alexander the Great, and what’s more, the lost royal burial place of the last native pharaohs of Egypt, and the Greek pharaohs that came thereafter.
An Ancient Corruption of the Truth?
In 2004, scientist and author Dr Andrew Michael Chugg wrote The Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great in which he explained how Alexander the Great’s tomb was initially located near Memphis at the Serapeum complex in Egypt where a temple was built by the last native pharaoh of Egypt, Nectanebo II.
Oddly, this temple entrance was guarded by sculptures of Greek poets and philosophers, including Pindar, Homer and Plato, all of whom are associated with Alexander the Great. The 2004 book made the point that the temple of Nectanebo II at the Serapeum, guarded by Greek statues, is the obvious candidate for an initial tomb of Alexander. Now, Chugg claims, the match of the piece of tomb from Venice for the sarcophagus of Nectanebo II in London shows it was used to entomb Alexander at Memphis.
Alexander’s body disappeared when the Roman emperor banned pagan worship in AD 392 and a tomb of St Mark appeared at the same time in what was previously a region occupied by Alexander’s tomb.
In a 2011 episode of the National Geographic Channel television series Mystery Files, Andrew Chugg claimed that Alexander the Great's body had been stolen from Alexandria, Egypt, by Venetian merchants who mistook it for that of Saint Mark the Evangelist. When they smuggled the remains to Venice, the remains soon after became venerated as Saint Mark the Evangelist in the Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco.
According to Mr Chugg, the shocking inference following his new evidence is that the remains of St Mark the Evangelist within a coffin in the high altar in St Mark ’s in Venice might be that of Alexander the Great.
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The sarcophagus of Nectanebo II in the British Museum. (Image: Andrew Chugg)
Extremely Alluring Dimension
Author Andrew Chugg has recently written The Lost Tombs of the Last Pharaohs, (in, Under the Seal of the Necropolis, Volume 5,) in which he provides a “new confirmatory revelation” presenting the fact that the “118 cm tall” fragment discovered in Venice is “exactly the right height and length” to have formed an outer casing for the sarcophagus in the British Museum associated with Alexander the Great.
While today the British Museum sarcophagus only measures “108cm high”, in the British Museum ’s 1909 Guide Book it is described as having had a height of “118cm” perfectly matching the Venice fragment. The author suggests the sarcophagus was designed to sit in a niche in the floor of the gallery so that it was difficult to see the opposite side, and this hidden side still measures “118cm tall”.
Continuing the spear would make the block the right size for a casing for the sarcophagus. (Image: Andrew Chugg)
Small Changes Sometimes Make The Biggest Difference
The stone block in Venice is damaged and its right hand side is missing, but a lance has been diagonally sculpted on its outer face, from the upper left-hand to lower right-hand corners, which according to the author “makes it clear” that the block was exactly the right size to have formed one side of an outer casing for the sarcophagus in the British Museum, which itself matches the original full height of the sarcophagus.
The features and dimensions of the Star-Shield Block showing how the cavalry sarissa or xyston (a type of lance used by Alexander the Great) can be used to infer the original length of the Block. (Diagram by Andrew Chugg)
Furthermore, grooves running across the rim of the sarcophagus were designed for lifting rods to raise the two lids (casing and sarcophagus) and all these new observations together suggest the other pharaohs' tombs from the last native dynasty will also be found located nearby in Memphis.
Plan view showing how the Star-Shield Block fitted the Nectanebo II sarcophagus as part of a sculpted outer casing. (Diagram by Andrew Chugg)
On 11th February 2020, Dr E. R. O ’Connell, Duty Curator at the Egyptian Department of the British Museum was persuaded by the new research presented by Andrew Chugg to change the wording under the “Curator’s Comments” section on the museum ’s website page for the Nectanebo II sarcophagus.
The subtle but meaningful change is from: “This object was incorrectly believed to be associated with Alexander the Great when it entered the collection in 1803,” to “This object was believed to be associated with Alexander the Great when it entered the collection in 1803,” meaning that after two centuries of skepticism the British Museum is more open to the proposed association between the sarcophagus and Alexander ’s tomb.
The full theory and evidence is presented in Andrew Chubb’s book ‘The Quest for the Tomb of Alexander the Great: Third Extended Edition’ February 2020 (especially the 2020 Preface and Chapter 13).
Top image: Views of the two sculpted faces of the Star-Shield Block in Venice: identified as part of a 3rd century BC Greek tomb by Eugenio Polito in 1998. Source: Andrew Chugg
By Ashley Cowie