The terminology of the archaeologist of Amphipolis!

The excavation of the tomb of Amphipolis brought to our many "new vocabulary" words, unknown until today, from the terminology used by archaeologists.

Mars Mentizi

Journalist – historical researcher

On the occasion of the excavation in the Tumulus of Amphipolis a series of words unknown until today, words archaeological, came in everyday life. The hear, read and many times we use it. Archaeology like any other science has its own terminology. Going for some words, you were loved, as loved lately and the history of the place, as a result many dozens of dusty historical books to "descend" from the shelves and read.

We can say that it is a "small archaeological dictionary", used in connection with the excavation in Amphipolis. Words that for many still remain unknown, even though included in every press release issued for the excavation.

In order to understand what we read, We host, in alphabetical order, some key words that we have come across many times so far in the notices of the excavation.

Bracing: It is mounting a vertical wall which is in danger of collapse. It should be noted that the principle of retaining walls is the so-called ' triangulation ', i.e. adding a diagonal support, as the hypotenuse in a right angle that forms the wall to the ground.

Upper Structure: This is the upper part of an architectural element.

Impairment of cross-section: An expression that we saw in press releases of the Ministry of culture as the characterisation of the situation of the roof of the third Chamber, where observed that briquettes are trickier.

Pigtails: Are curls. The met in the headdress of Karyatidon.

Cornice: Is the famous eaves. That is the part of the roof of a building which overhangs and protects embossed representations or other items below this.

Geodetic methods: These are the methods to determine the exact geographical location using conventional measurements and GPS system.

Geostatic triggers: Are the pressures on a building by the constant shifts of ground.

Black and white decoration: It is the colored painting decorating. More often than not used in depictions of human forms but in shapes and other compositions.

Phrenic Wall: It is the intermediary wall with some kind of opening. In the case of Amphipolis, as phrenic refers and the gate with Sphinxes.

Domos: Is a series of stones, by which consist of a wall.

Boxing: It is essentially the square column constraint and other items, whose recession risk based because based on flimsy ground.

Balancing pressures: The meaning of this phrase in the excavation involves the careful removal of soil from both sides of the walls, so the pressures exerted on the walls of the soil's weight balanced and not in danger of collapse.

Pilaster-Capital: Is the upper part of the stanchion. In the case of Amphipolis, at the entrance of the monument we have decorated capitals with additional terrain that resembles a capital.

Culmination: It is the artifact on top construction or manufacturing

Architrave: Oblong piece of marble that rests on the upper end poles and bridges the gap between them.

Backfill: Is the accumulation of new layers of soil up on older.

Backrest: place the seat where supports the back of he who sits

Eswrrachio: This is the inner curve of the ceiling on the maximum amount of.

Lentigines: the flattened sections covering the nail heads or construction that mimics for decorative purposes.

Crush load: This is the weight that is applied vertically and threatens the joists with snap.

Voussoirs: Is properly shaped stones that make up a curved roof.

Dome: Is the roof of the "lodge", with wooden lattice cross-section.

Doorframe: This is essentially the total input – a door construction.

Scaffold: It is known to all scaffold.

Ilywdis sand: Very fine sand found in riverbeds

Katachwsi: It is the cover of monuments and other items with soil.

Kothornos: Type of shoe with thick soles that was then tied in front with laces and fit in both feet

Daughter: It is basically another name of Karyatidas, Emphasizing the newness and purity.

Molybdochoisi: It is to support two marble parts with intermediate link from pencil, which poured in liquefied form in appropriately shaped holes, as those who are on the shoulders of Karyatidon, in the neck and on the wings of Sphinxes, etc..

Splint: In the case of Amphipolis, the splint basically includes wooden beams with frothy investment limit shifts of tholitwn the roof of monuments.

Ntisilidiko: This is the sculpture tool, as the chisel with which formed the impressive and elaborate details of statues, as the veins.

Fresco fresco: Is the relief decoration and painting technique formed while the mortar is fresh.

Uprights: This is the nested marble lined with marble slabs placed on the outer side wall vertically.

Excavation: part of the soil dug deep

Pilasters: Are the pillars on either side of the doors.

Doorframe: It is very simple for the frame of the door – entrance.

Pessary: It is basically rectangular column. In the case of Amphipolis was used many times the expression ' inherent with pillars "for the caryatids, that means that the statues and pillars are a single body.

Pole: It is a kind of head cover, something like Hat. The pole of Karyatidon in Amphipolis of Amphipolis distinguished under the architrave.

Folds: Is the ripple of cornea in statues.

Tuffstone: This is limestone rock with discontinuous surface, full of small holes.

Rosette: Is the decorative rose to capture a floorplan.

Trench Straggistiki: Is the circumferential Groove for the water runoff of rain.

Movie: It is oblong decorative, color expression.

Masonic symbols: symbols of artificial – manufacturers of the era

Sealing wall: This is a relatively rough stone construction, unrelated to the architecture of the monument, with the sole purpose of shielding from the potential intrusions.

Tumulus: It is essentially Tomb, over whom they have added large quantities of soil.

Coffered: Is the indentation created between cross-beams.

Cheiridwtos: Is the makrymanikos, and used for tunics of Karyatidon in Amphipolis.


«Gods, Myths, Heroes ' the new campaign of the Ministry of Tourism (VIDEO)

«Gods, Myths, Heroes ' the new campaign of the Ministry of Tourism (VIDEO)

The Gods, Myths and heroes of Greece are the key elements on which the production of new communication campaign for tourism, presented by the Tourism Minister Madam Olga Kefalogianni in the context of the international fair of tourism World Travel Market on Monday in London, presence of crowd tourist operators and visitors.

Every Greek destination is birth place of an ancient God, each party in Greece hides a myth, a magical story, the energy that is even today live, the Minister said during the presentation of the video.

In her speech at the World Travel Market Olga Kefalogianni, stressed that Greece is a particularly powerful, Global recognized brand name, Noting the timelessness and the klassikotita of Greek tourism and pointed out the themes that are developed in order to cater to the interests of the modern and selective visitor. "The communication strategy, We keep all the basic features that we have established as a global tourist destination and today we choose to highlight additional components and features that has our region», Mrs Kefalogianni. And he added that "any place in our country, hide a legend, a magical story, the action of which is live until today», highlighted.

[youtube = 315]


What happens in Amphipolis;

What happens in Amphipolis; Just the Anaskaftikan 25. What lurks in the remaining 133 m.;

The time that the funerary monument of Amphipolis in Kasta strongly resists the Hill to give answers as to the identity of the deceased and the many innovations that distinguish its construction, the scripts find ground to foyntwsoyn and spread with speed.
The first born is what happens at the bottom of the Hill. Its diameter is 158,4 m. and the excavation covers hardly 25 m. in a straight line. In the remaining 133 m. What lies; May lie beneath the Hill Kasta several funerary monuments;
The second has to do with the change of tack that occurs primarily from the excavation team, which although initially talks about sealing the monument construction time, on the basis of new data – the identification of the head of the Sphinx in the third Chamber, the broken marble door and the wear on the mosaic with the abduction of Persephone – considers something many had supported from the outset: that stamping and the walls were subsequently katachwsi the erection of the monument.
The point is though when this happened. In addition it creates fertile ground for even a script that has already found many followers: that the monument was used more than once in different phases and may be visited, at least until the point where the door.
End, the anamochleymeni situation of the floor clearly in the third Chamber allows to formulate the opinion that someone's treasure Tomb robbers in search caused the disaster of the floor and is not hiding something remarkable under limestone.
Mih. Tiberius: Maybe not never know the ' occupant ' of Amphipolis
"I think we are near the end of the excavation", says the scholar and Emeritus Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, k. Michael Tiberius.
"I don't believe that under the ground of third Chamber – the fourth area is no other Hall. I do not believe that there is another underground space. I think that from now on there is no something else», notes Mr. Tiberius on developments of excavation work on the monument of Amphipolis which, as we all know, revealed that there was no Fourth Chamber, leading the efforts to have now shifted under the floor of the third Chamber.
"There might be a situation where you don't never know with certainty who was buried in’ This grave ", also he tells us. Tiberius, the who has raised speculation that the monument can be ' hosted ' the General of Alexander the great, Nearhos, or that the grandiose monument can be built for the wife of Alexander the great, Roxanne and their son, Alexander D '. "I remind you that these are all speculations. Only speculation can become ", It establishes the main Tiberius.
For the same, the principal is safe and that the funerary monument dating to the late 4th-early 3rd century b.c.. X. "The fact that the floor of the Tomb seems compromised-, This is due to the efforts of tymbwrychwn that their presence is more than just strong from the beginning that started to reveal this monument», CITES himself. And reminds: "There is no Fourth Chamber have said for too long. I'd say, of course, that does not exist in 95% but because this monument has many new items, Let a percentage 5% to exist».
What can hope, well, now the excavation team; "If the Tomb robbers fled the Larnaca and left bones or bone fragments, then maybe we can learn the sex of a tenant or occupant of the Tomb. Hence, If you found something, This may be in the soil of the third Chamber. We may find there some trace of the dead. Something that had no value for the body-snatchers ".
Truth, will be disappointed if there are no other findings and does not reveal the identity of the resident or residents of the Tomb;"I'm very disappointed because; ΄Isa – equal, others will be disappointed because they did a bunch of scripts. This monument, Thus or otherwise, It is unprecedented for the science of archaeology. ΄Edwse and will give many new items. See, of course, and the results of the excavation. If the excavation is done in a scientific way. Because I highly doubt – when I see mpoyltozes in the excavation – if it is scientific excavation».
Paliadeli: We all have responsibility for expectations that cultivated in Amphipolis
"We are all partly responsible for the rise of expectations from Amphipolis, but this does not diminish the value of finding» Chrysoula Paliadeli said, Professor of archaeology.
The Chrysoula Paliadeli argued that "from the beginning it seemed that the Tomb be tampered, the image was clear» the Professor stressed and added that with you "finish and the investigation into the soil in the third Ward and if you can't find other elements closes the excavation".
For the supposed passage beneath the floor of the third Chamber, Ms. Paliadeli said that "so far all we have is broken pieces without seeing a building leading to the crypt".
"If it is true that the last wall is sealed you have to come to terms with the idea that the monument ends there, This does not mean that the same tumulus no other graves», He said Ms. Paliadeli and added that he hopes will find the Memorial bones and this will give us the possibility to get closer to the identity of the deceased and of the monument.
"If we don't find bones or bone fragments, to substantiate at least the number of the dead, i.e.. If you are going for one or more or for sex, i.e.. If it is male or female, as well as age, then the tomb of Amphipolis is a monument that will be looking for its owner " and hastened to point out that even if the monument is not attributed to a specific historical person, It is anyway unique to the size, the form and decoration of.
Athanasios Nakasis: Made many mistakes in the excavation of Amphipolis-if you look better, you will find other graves
The Honorary Chairman of ancient monuments Restorations, Athanasios Nakasis, estimated that there are other graves in the tomb and added, inter alia, that was not done properly the excavation. Specific, Speaking at the SKAI said that "If you look in the tumulus Kasta, Maybe other tombs found, larger, and maybe Leo to be associated with another monument of Amphipolis».
Indeed, did not agree with the assessment that there may be a vault beneath the floor of the 3rd. "There is no precedent of the Macedonian tomb with underground kamaroskepastoy. I don't think that there is something underneath, to tell you the truth. Is everything,What we see. This assessment was from last week», stressed by Mr. Νακάσης.
"If you do not find an inscription, If there is no Epigraphic given, Maybe not never know for whom he made the monument. The Tomb must have a relationship with someone who lived and raised in Amphipolis», added.
At The Same Time, Mr. Nakasis estimated that there have been multiple attempts at sylisis of the Tomb. "The first picked up the precious and the next were looking for treasures beneath the floors. New mosaic bash and find something. Probably hit the floor and listened to is like hollow pricked does is something hidden ".
"This monument is typical Macedonian Tomb. So is almost everyone. If it's family tomb, should have put others in. We could if we made incisions on the walls, and specifically in their foundations, to find when built each of them. The shells that were there would give the date built the wall. Don't forget that archaeology has gone too far and accurately counts 2 years. So we could speculate who is buried there. Every season is characterized by a layer. When the ancients manufacturers decided to construct the tomb and put soil, This was the first building. It was the same with the body-snatchers and go saying. We could know when it became the first grave robbing. But when soils are removed in bulk, the findings are then muddled and have no archaeological value than commercial. However not extinguished hopes…», stressed by Mr. Νακάσης.
"In this huge tumulus that there should be other and larger tombs. Leo of Amfipolis may not regard this dead but others or someone bigger», He said o k. Athanasios Nakasis. "The mound of Vergina is half of the tuba in kamaroskepastoys and has three Amfipoli graves» added.
Hiding other tombs;
"Logically there must be another Tomb in Tomb, not inside a hill of diameter 158 m. to have covered only the 25 m. "says in the new Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology excavation experience. "Even under the tumulus where Philip's tomb was found in Vergina, there were three other graves, two of them had despoiled " Adds.
"The question is how much percentage the tumulus is artificial and how much is natural rock» mentions other specialty academic teacher of the same. "The existence of enclosure, however, leaves open the possibility of going for a clump of graves ' highlights.
From the side of, the Director of classical Antiquities Katerina Romiopoulou notes: "To have a clear answer should become a magnetic diaskopisi, that will show at what point should the excavation team to ' hit '».
Is not, though, the only technology that can speak for the contents of the Tomb. "One solution would be to ' shaved’ the surface of the hill over the precincts, to determine if juts something» continues Ms. Romiopoulou, While the Emeritus Professor supplement: "Like the webs of exeichan road (r.r.: of the runway before entering) This funerary monument».
The question of whether the underground area beneath the floor of the third Chamber, They excavated this time, can hides a crypt full of treasures and responses, Ms. Romiopoulou responds:
"There are no such caches in Macedonian tombs dating at least to the time of the monument, IE at the end of the 4th or early 3rd century. e.g.. Perhaps it is just a downhill or Nestor more soft natural rock. If cache should have walls. If there was a golden Larnax is not going to be spared from the Tomb robbers. If they were wooden won't have nothing left, only studs. However, with so many surprises so far has given this finding should not exclude anything "highlights.
Another question that remains unanswered is whether the Tomb belongs to a dead or if it was polyandrio or Memorial Cenotaph.
"Have another form of such monuments," explains Professor Emeritus University of. "This is usually either a pit or a large hall. But we don't have anything like this in Amphipolis. This view was expressed because of Leo that was considered by the excavators that belongs to the tumulus. But there is no tomb Leo. And Chaironeias and Amphipolis are associated with dead on battlefield, but were not at the top of mound».
The view was expressed in the news release of the archaeologist NERIT Kostas Soyeref, who stresses that "should be checked the yard of the tomb of Amphipolis, in order to determine whether there are other graves».
He recalled that at the tombs of Goats happened the same, While written with the excavation team's view regarding the possibility of a floor in the third Ward and below and new room.
Also, Mr. Soyeref pointed out that in the grave of Amphipolis it may be either the son of Alexander the great, the Alexandros, either the Aristwnas, Commandant of the Macedonian leader.
P. Faklaris: In Amphipolis became parade tymbwrychwn
The tomb of Amphipolis is sylimenos without no doubt, indicates the Professor of Classical Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, p. Faklaris. Indeed, Professor in an interview with Star spoke of "tymbwrychwn" parade.
"From the beginning it was clear that the tomb was despoiled of Amphipolis. By spring I in my classes say to my students that if they found the Tomb will be sylimenos. I appreciate that has looted at least twice and talk anyway for tymbwrychwn parade».
As proof of his tomb sylisis Professor mentions the "disruption" in room two floors but also the damage to Mosaic, which returns to the tymbwrychwn effort to find treasure digging.
Mr. Faklaris also says that there is a third Chamber and are not going to find anything, After the precious objects will have definitely gotten the Tomb robbers.
Note that you will not ever found the name of the deceased in the grave, Since there is no inscription, While States with certainty that it is not buried there King.
Cenotaph in favour of Alexander the great heros
"The empty booths and the impasse in which the excavation was found, strengthens the version on kenotafioy heros in favour of Alexander the great ' estimates by the American archaeologist Dorothy King and adds that "it is a monument that was not used again for any other, as this would constitute a sacrilegious act».
"The booths, probably, used by some worshiping community of Alexander the great, While he waited for the repatriation of the mortal remains of. The objects contained in the Tomb, It should have been removed before transferring the backfill, which was to prevent the collapse of the monument ", staff blog writes the well-known archaeologist. news section

Stamatis Spanoudakis: “A thanks in Amphipolis” (VIDEO)

By posting the great song “He lives and reigns” that is from the first disc of Alexander the great, the great artist wrote : “A thanks in Amphipolis” and “broke” each record in notifications and like.

Stamatis Spanoudakis, Indeed, the continued “Thanks” of, by posting what he had written on the second disc of Alexander the 2008, as a prologue to the second job:

To letter to Alexander:

“A letter to Alexander, op’ opportunity of my second drive’ This: “Roads that are not perpatises”. It is time that you wrote and your tha΄thela to explain why I write again now, Thirteen years after that first, symbolic, for me at least, A letter letter., that gave me a lot of power and went into the streets, that maybe it always was my own, but don't ' Cha figured as then. It took the form of the secret, but your presence so intense, to understand and to go.

It is roads that are too perpatises and others, not perpatises.
These secondary I to thee “pour», walking for awhile now, Mazi Sou.
Internal roads, roads of fantasy and fairytale, roads of the East, roads of the West. The Silk roads, but also of the Byzantine Empire, streets of suspicion of the true God and streets of healthy certainty. Streets of affection, streets of love, roads sweat, pain and blood roads. Streets life, death roads and streets, anastasimoi.
These roads may not find them all in my music, but it's definitely, incised forever in my soul. Because the music is “art "and art and crafts and has unfortunately logic (human tools, in which child hesitate to trust the really important in my life). But soul is true blast, pure and eternal. This listen. And forgive, that in approaching once again and try to get in touch, only with my own weapons, music and my words.
You Know, I live in an age, that the “poetic licence ' tends to be replaced by the “Terminal ' and every historical Moro-neoellinas sees history, as they're dictating the antiquated, and usually self-serving, I think of. So, I feel now, more than ever, the need, to continue to “cuddle with my music and you, But what,What else is really yours and ours.
WHAT,What is, It was and always will be, Greek.
I say our own, Why, Thank goodness, We are many who think so and my hope is that it will become more and more. Because the truth has this. Quietly and secretly gathers around her “real faces ", waiting time, or man, to look.
So, and your opening again for my little soul, to leave, Unfortunately in the hands of people, not in’ loved and not to understand.
But mostly to leave to safer museums on Earth. Our hearts

With much love
Stamatis Spanoudakis 2008

[youtube = L9kGlwrL3E8&w = 420&h = 315]

What is the next “step” the archaeologists on excavations of Amphipolis

While excavation work is progressing in Amphipolis and time that culminates the agony for the occupant of the Tomb, the surprises from the Tumulus Kasta succeed one another and cause once again thrill.

According to what he gave on Friday published in the Ministry of culture established the existence of stamping by pwrinoys stone flooring. There are the parts of the floor which are in contact with the side walls, the excavation team believes that the pwrinoi stones in the third and last Chamber of the monument are, eventually, horizontal wall sealing. “During excavation, as we have already mentioned, showed the existence of stamping by pwrinoys flooring stones» referring inter alia to the Friday announcement.

At the same time the announcement mentions that during his fourth space apochwmatwsi found the existence of an artificial pit-trench- on natural soil rather uncommon schist, 4Ch2 surface, 10 m., which the Ministry insists not to characterize crypt.

However, the existence of trench-which has dimensions of a large room- Sparks new concerns in the scientific community. The Honorary Curator Katerina Romiopoulou speaking on free press explained: “There is no other example in Macedonian Tomb. To find that indeed it is artificial excavation must be found inside an element. If you don't find anything inside will stay as excavation by semicolons ". At The Same Time, told the newspaper The New: “If the rock chipped to do the excavation, who can the did and why; Does contain some box, Larnaca or bed; Cases only we can do once we're not experts on treasures of Pirates of the Caribbean. Because most opposite in this monument are like the Aladdin. We go with the lamp but we don't know what we will find».

Another archaeologist wonders: “This is cache that was created during the construction of the monument or did for applicator dug in retrospect to place there the marbles, as the head and feathers of the Pharaohs "; According to the publication of the free press, such thinking suggests that the creation of the trench may coincide with the creation of wall sfragistikwn “were raised to protect the monument from vandalism. Terms for being “applicator» in the third Ward recently asserted and Professor of Archaeology at the ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY of THESSALONIKI Chrysoula Paliadeli.

It should be noted that the new development concerning the excavation of the now lifted and any doubt that the Tomb might not have been looted by Tomb robbers. The point is though when invaded the monument. The sylisan more than once; When sealed; How found the door under the floor; The sandy earth entered by human hand;

“The unfortunate thing is that there has been neither a mobile discovery, a currency, a shell, especially in the third ward " Commenting on the New experienced archaeologist. “It is possible to spend their Tomb robbers and not broke a vase; Not dropped something; It is as if someone is too sweeping and erase traces», Adds.

National Geographic: Persephone keeps the "key" for the occupant of the Tomb

The "key" for the occupant of the tomb is the fresco of Amphipolis with Persephone, According to a recent article in National Geographic As reported by the post., Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, pictured in mosaic, gives a new item "key" in mystery about the occupant of the Tomb.
l_14841-The tomb of Amphipolis, as National Geographic, located near the Aegean port used by Alexander the great to the fleet of. Archaeologists date the Tomb to the last quarter of the fourth century b.c., probably placing the construction of the fractious period after the death of Alexander the 323 e.g.. All this has sparked intense speculation that the tomb was built for someone nearby or relative. The Ministry of culture and sport of Greece announced at a press conference Thursday that the recently discovered the image of Persephone which resembles a similar one found in the Royal Cemetery at Vergina, where are buried the father of Alexander the great. This discovery, made by Lina Mendoni, General Secretary of the Ministry of, connects the tomb of Amphipolis with Royal ancestry of Alexander the great. "The political symbolism is very powerful," pointed out. the new finding raises hope that the Tomb will add another chapter in the tumultuous history of the ancient Macedonian Royal House. "Without a doubt," said archaeologist Katerina Peristeri, principal investigator of the Tomb Amphipolis "the deceased was extremely important person."The figure of Persephone is identified when the Peristeri and colleagues of cleaned the floor of one of the Chambers of the Tomb. The Peristeri was reluctant to make any guesses about the identity of the owner of the Tomb by these new data. However the Jan Goyorthnigkton, classical scholar at the University of Missouri, in Columbia, believes that it is likely that the Tomb belongs to a woman, After the mosaic presents a woman who is driven to the underworld. If this proves, added, the tomb is likely to host the Roxane, wife of Alexander the great, or the mother of Olympiad. both women sentenced to death when one of the generals of Alexander, Kassandros, took over the throne of ancient Macedon according to Worthington however, We don't know for sure which of these two women may lie in the Tomb. classical texts which survive indicate that Cassander murdered Roxanne and her son in Amphipolis the 310 e.g., so it is very likely, He said Worthington, that could be the tomb of Amphipolis. From the other, There are other elements that suggest strongly to the Olympiad. Alexander was meant to proclaim his mother goddess, as the female goddess in chariot of Hades. Extra, the Olympics continued to hold important political force, even after the death of Alexander. Although murdered by cassander and his allies could be honored with such a grave.


Stathis Gotsis and Olga Sakali

For the excavation in Amphipolis have written and said many far. And certainly more will follow, καθώς η αρχαιολογική έρευνα θα προχωρά. However, the importance of finding and outcome of relevant scientific debate, looks like you have already formatted the conditions that will leave their mark in future archaeological site stuff.

The embrace of an ongoing excavation (particularly in its early stages) the Prime Minister is certainly novel, as well as the communicative noise that erupted thereafter. It was not however random phenomena. It is now apparent that the a priori connection of the monument to Alexander the great (or ... even with the circle of) tapped by the rulers as an excellent opportunity to exercise policy, both internal (at a time when some believe that the restoration of the national morale can overcome the social consequences of long-term policy mnimoniaki) external and against an opponent nationalism, even as diplomatic upgrade of paper the country's international image.

Regardless of the communicative benefits may temporarily confer in Government camp, the case of Amphipolis tends to establish a new model of excavation research and management of monuments. Firstly, the same finding virtually ' blackmailed ' to fulfill expectations (and prophecies) both as to the nature, dating and its content and the pace with which will "reveal the secrets and the resident's identity». Under these conditions, invoking the principles of conduct strikes as one about emmonikos and certainly outdated reason a scientific Guild. The proposed new model has been formed: preliminary assumptions are godsend trapping the very course of research, While the ' value ' of find is determined by its ability to connect with a narrated glorious national past, branded persons or impressive wealth. End, the excavations must proceed quickly or be adapted to times serving short-term pursuits.

The Government's interest in the case of Amphipolis just reinforces this new model excavational research and management of monuments, while attempting to obscure the politics exerted on monuments, as reflected in the effort lasting weakening of the archaeological service, both through institutional interventions as well as under-financing and ypostelechwsis of. It was the first Government Samara, Besides, He downplayed the 2012 the Ministry of culture to the General Secretariat of the Ministry of education, While the longer he culminated the Ministry planned to work, According to the new body of, by syrriknwmenes on 40% organizational units of.

In fact, of course, the obsolescence of the monumental wealth of the country which does not meet the requirements of the "model of Amphipolis ' is from years here: recorded in the abandonment of dozens of archaeological sites and monuments, the degradation of archaeological research, the way in which they managed even exceptional historical value findings (with best example the monumental set of Byzantine Thessaloniki that was revealed at the Metro station at Venizelou). Current developments auguring the consolidation of such a direction.

In the "model of Amphipolis», though, adopted, at the same time, and a new type of communication management, just to serve the objectives for which has already been mentioned. Triggered a wide-ranging public debate on the archaeological find, which is fed regularly with informational material from the communication organ of representation neokopo of excavation, but with statements by politicians. The objections of the Association of Greek Archaeologists and other, how the emerging situation poses dangers for the smooth and proper conduct of scientific excavation, contradicted by the seemingly plausible argument that this is an "open" excavation and that it is useful to have full public information. However, how "open", i.e. accessible really is an excavation through press releases that contain specific terminology; What is the procedure for becoming a partaker of a scientific process consuming incomprehensible information causing AWE and confusion; How much wiser becomes the non-initiated reader or viewer that rather "being driven through the overload of information», When the dictum of Umberto Eco;

In space, Moreover, public archaeology, the concepts of ' open ' excavation, «Open» museums and archaeological sites describe entirely different communicative actions, structured and targeted efforts of active public participation in interpretative recruitment procedures and understanding of past societies. In this area and experience already exists in our country.

The excavation of Amphipolis, Therefore, It is not "open". Not only because, as is reasonable, No one has physical access to it, beyond those directly involved, but because the communicative management did not contribute in any way nor the public acquaintance with the past and the residues of materials or, much more, familiarity with issues in methodology and interpretation.

If there is eventually a crucial question, It's not who is buried in the grave or when dating the find, But if the "model of Amphipolis ' will prevail in Greek archaeological fact. And this question does not only concern the specialists.

Stathis Gotsis is historian, President of Club Officials MINISTRY Single Attikis, Mainland and Islands and Olga Sakali President of the Association of Greek Archeologists.

Is the mother of Alexander the Great in the Tomb at Amphipolis?

The recently discovered sphinxes guarding the entrance to the Lion Tomb beneath the great mound at Amphipolis in Macedonia were unveiled on August 12th 2014 during a visit by the Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras. They may be telling us more than has yet been realised about the occupant of this newly excavated tomb and its connections with other important Macedonian tombs of the period. That they are indeed sphinxes, rather than griffins or winged lions, is shown by the fact that both originally had human female breasts in the chest area. Despite the fact that these breasts, together with the heads and wings, were removed by deliberate mutilation at some time in the past, published photos clearly show the stone starting to protrude at the rims of the damaged patches (Figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1. The sphinxes recently revealed sitting above the tomb entrance at Amphipolis
Figure 2: Close-up of the right-hand sphinx
The tomb has been dated to the last quarter of the fourth century before Christ (325-300BC) by the archaeologists, led by Katerina Peristeri. This was the period immediately following the death of Alexander the Great in 323BC. Sphinxes are not particularly common in high status Macedonian tombs of this era, but, significantly, sphinxes were prominent parts of the decoration of two thrones found in the late 4th century BC tombs of two Macedonian queens in the royal cemetery at Aegae (modern Vergina) in Macedonia. The first of these was found in the tomb attributed to Eurydice I, the grandmother of Alexander the Great. Carved sphinxes were among the decorations of its panels until they were stolen by thieves in 2001 (Figure 3).
Figure 3. The throne of Eurydice I and its panel with sphinxes
Secondly, a marble throne was found in another royal tomb close by the tomb of Eurydice I by K. A. Rhomaios in 1938. It was in pieces, but has since been reconstructed (Figure 4) and it has sphinxes as supporters for both arm rests and also royal Macedonian starbursts at the head of its back panel. Archaeology has shown that this tomb was never covered by the usual tumulus, so it may never have been occupied. It dates roughly to the end of the 4th century BC. Both of these tombs are from a section of the royal cemetery dominated by high status female graves and therefore known as the “Queens’ Cluster”.
Figure 4: The throne of a late 4th century BC queen from the Rhomaios tomb at Aegae
It therefore seems that sphinxes were a particular symbol of late 4th century BC Macedonian queens. But why might Macedonian queens have associated themselves with sphinxes? One possible answer emerges from Greek mythology. Apollodorus 3.5.8 wrote: Laius was buried by Damasistratus, king of Plataea, and Creon, son of Menoeceus, succeeded to the kingdom. In his reign a heavy calamity befell Thebes. For Hera sent the Sphinx, whose mother was Echidna and her father Typhon; and she
had the face of a woman, the breast and feet and tail of a lion, and the wings of a bird. So the sphinx was the creature of Hera, Queen of the Gods and wife of Zeus. It is well known that the kings of Macedon traced their descent from Zeus via Heracles (e.g. Diodorus 17.1.5 and Plutarch, Alexander 2.1), that they put depictions of Zeus on their coinage and that they associated themselves with Zeus quite generally. They celebrated an important festival of Zeus at Dion and the people of Eresus in Lesbos erected altars to Zeus Philippios (M. N. Tod, A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions 2, 1948, no. 191.6) – possibly indicating the divinisation of Philip II in the guise of Zeus. If the Macedonian king posed as Zeus, it would consequently hardly be surprising if his senior queen became associated with Hera, the mistress of the sphinx.
The sphinxes at Amphipolis may therefore be interpreted as suggesting that the occupant of the tomb was a prominent queen of Macedon. Do we know from the historical record that any such queen died at Amphipolis in the last quarter of the 4th century BC? There are in fact two such candidates: Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great and Roxane, his wife. The situation regarding Roxane is straightforward: she was killed on the orders of Cassander together with her 13-yearold son, Alexander IV, whilst imprisoned at Amphipolis in 310BC (Diodorus 19.52.4 & 19.105.2). The location of the death of Olympias is less clear, the only good evidence being the account of Diodorus 19.50-51. After Olympias surrendered to Cassander in the spring of 316BC at Pydna, he immediately sent troops to seek the surrender of her troops at Pella and at Amphipolis. Pella duly capitulated, but
Aristonous at Amphipolis initially refused compliance. Therefore Cassander had Olympias write him a letter ordering him to surrender. After he had done so, Cassander immediately arranged the murders of both Aristonous and Olympias. Although Olympias’s whereabouts at this point are ambiguous, it would seem very unlikely that Cassander did not himself go to Amphipolis with his army, given that
these events took weeks to transpire. If so, it would seem likely that he took Olympias with him, rather than leave her alone in another part of freshly re-conquered Macedonia, potentially to be rescued by her supporters. Therefore there is a good chance that Olympias too died at Amphipolis.
The tombs of Alexander’s father, Philip II, and of his son Alexander IV, were unearthed under another enormous mound in the royal cemetery at Aegae by Manolis Andronicus in the late 1970s. There are some interesting parallels between this pair of tombs and the new finds at Amphipolis. Firstly, elements of the painted decoration of the architectural elements at Amphipolis are a near exact match to such decoration in the tomb of Alexander IV at Aegae (Figure 5).
Figure 5. Painted decoration in the tomb at Amphipolis (left) and the tomb of Alexander IV (right)
Secondly, a spaced line of 8-petal rosettes newly discovered in the Amphipolis tomb provide a close match for the similar lines of rosettes that decorate the edge bands of the gold larnax from Philip II’s tomb at Aegae (Figure 6). Olympias will of course have been involved in arrangements for the entombment of her husband.
Figure 6. The line of 8-petal rosettes found at Amphipolis match the rosettes on the larnax of Alexander’s father
Thirdly, the lion monument that once stood atop the great mound at Amphipolis was reconstructed on the basis of its fragments by Jacques Roger and his colleagues in an article published in 1939 (Le Monument au Lion d’Amphipolis, BCH 63, pp. 4-42). There are close parallels between the façade of this monument and the facades of the tombs of Philip II and Alexander IV (Figure 7). Note also that the simulated roof edge at the top of the façade of the tomb of Alexander IV matches the simulated roof edge above the rosettes in the Amphipolis tomb (Figure 6).
Figure 7. Roger’s reconstruction of the façade of the Amphipolis monument (left) compared with the facades of the tombs of Philip II and Alexander IV at Aegae.
Finally, it is interesting to note that the freshly revealed floor of white marble fragments fixed in a matrix of red cement in the vestibule of the tomb at Amphipolis has an exact match in a patch of flooring revealed in the late 4th century BC royal palace at Aegae (Figure 8).
Figure 8. Floor section of marble fragments in a red cement matrix in the royal palace at Aegae (left) compared with the similar floor in the vestibule of the Amphipolis tomb (right)
On this evidence I consider Olympias to be the leading contender at the time of writing (6/9/2014) for the occupant of the magnificent tomb at Amphipolis currently being excavated with Roxane also a strong possibility. It should be recalled that the tomb mound has a diameter of 155m, larger even than the Great Tumulus at Aegae and posing the question of whom the Macedonians would conceivably have spent this much money and effort upon commemorating, Olympias is by far the most convincing answer at present. Although it is true that the ancient accounts say that she was unpopular at the time of her death, it is nevertheless clear that she was only really unpopular with Cassander’s faction, whereas Cassander himself was sufficiently worried about her popularity as to arrange her immediate death in order to prevent her addressing the Macedonian Assembly (Diodorus 19.51). Furthermore, her army under Aristonous stayed loyal to her cause long after she herself had surrendered.
Ultimately, her cause was seen at the time as identical with the cause of Alexander himself, so it was in a sense Alexander whom they honoured by building his mother a spectacular tomb. If it were objected that Cassander would not have allowed the construction of a magnificent tomb for his enemies, Olympias and/or Roxane, I would note that Cassander probably did permit the entombment of Alexander IV at Aegae, since his tomb seems to have been constructed during Cassander’s reign. I also see no cardinal reason for Cassander to have denied his enemies burial and it does not appear
generally to have been the practice that rulers did not allow the entombment of dead enemies at the time. Counter examples are numerous, e.g. Arrian 3.22.1 wrote: Alexander sent the body of Darius to Persepolis, with orders that it should be buried in the royal sepulchre, in the same way as the other Persian kings before him had been buried.
It is especially interesting and pertinent that another pair of monumental late 4th to early 3rd century BC freestanding female Greek sphinx sculptures was uncovered by Auguste Mariette in excavating the dromos of the Memphite Serapeum at Saqqara in Egypt in 1851 (Figure 9). These sphinxes are a very good parallel for the Amphipolis sphinxes and Lauer & Picard in their 1955 book on the Greek sculptures at the Serapeum argued that they date to Ptolemy I. A semicircle of statues of Greek philosophers and poets was also uncovered by Mariette in the dromos of the Memphite Serapeum near to the sphinxes (Figure 10) and Dorothy Thompson in her 1988 book on Memphis Under The Ptolemies suggested that the semicircle had guarded the entrance of the first tomb of Alexander the Great at Memphis. I elaborated on this idea in my article on The Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great
published in Greece & Rome in April 2002. Later, in the 2nd edition of my book on The Quest for the Tomb of Alexander the Great (May 2012), I wrote in the context of discussing the semicircle: “In 1951 Lauer discovered a fragment of an inscription in the neighbourhood of some other Greek statues [including the pair of Greek sphinxes] standing further down the dromos of the Serapeum. It appears to be an artist’s signature in Greek characters of form dating to the early third century BC. It therefore
seems likely that all the Greek statuary at the Serapeum was sculpted under Ptolemy I, hence these statues were contemporaneous with Alexander’s Memphite tomb.”
Figure 9. The sphinxes found by Mariette in the dromos of the Serapeum at Memphis
Figure 10. The relationship between the semicircle and the sphinxes at the Serapeum
These monumental pairs of sphinx statues from the late 4th to early 3rd century BC may prove to be virtually unique to the Amphipolis tomb and the probable Serapeum tomb. (The only similar sphinxes I have yet discovered are the pair decorating an end of the lid of the “Lydian sarcophagus” found together with the “Alexander sarcophagus”, belonging to Abdalonymus, in the royal necropolis at Sidon.) If so, it greatly reinforces the connection of both the Amphipolis tomb and the Serapeum with Alexander. It potentially reinforces the dating of the Serapeum sculptures to Ptolemy I (which has been much disputed, though on scant evidence). It also directly connects the Greek sphinxes of the Serapeum with a royal Macedonian tomb of the late 4th century BC located in Macedon, thus boosting the candidacy of the Serapeum as the site of Alexander’s initial tomb, later moved to Alexandria. It is even possible that Olympias commissioned the sphinxes found at the Serapeum in order to decorate the tomb of her illustrious son at Memphis.

Andrew Chugg
Author of The Quest for the Tomb of Alexander the Great and several academic
papers on Alexander’s tomb (see