Athens.- Chief archaeologist at the Ancient Amphipolis monumental tomb excavation Ekaterini Peristeri on Saturday cautioned people to be patient and wait for the results of bone and other analyses related to the skeleton found this month at the site.
“Be patient, anthropologists will tell us, we cannot make any references to particular names,” she responded to questions during an open event held at the ministry of Culture in Athens to present the results of the last two seasons of excavation, 2012-2014.
Intervening, Culture Secretary General Lina Mendoni said that the skeleton, found in the third chamber of the tomb, “was found scattered both inside and outside the funerary pit. The skull was found some distance from the pit, the lower jaw was found right outside it, and most of the skeletal material was found within the pit. If one looks closely, they will see the large bones of legs and arms, ribs and parts of the spine and the pelvis, which is very fragmented, and which prevents archaeologists from identifying the sex of the person.”
The event included a question and answer period. Some of the points made by the speakers are as follows:
Engineer Dimitrios Englezos noted that the tomb pit, which is in the third chamber (the fourth area, counting from the entrance of the sphinxes), predates the main monument. He also said that earthquakes did not appear to have damaged the tomb significantly, and attributed the good condition of preservation to the excellent design and because it has been filled up with sandy earth in antiquity.
The monument was open to the some public viewing and dated to the last quarter of the 4th century BC. The excavators and specialists said there were objects found such as ceramics (black-figure vases, no red-figure ones), along with coins of Alexander III. The filling with earth is concurrent with the construction date of the walls built to seal the tomb, and the holes in the vaults over the dividing walls were not made by looters but used to fill the monument with the earth.
No writing has been found, while some letters like “E” and “A” inscribed on parts of the retaining wall surrounding the monument (peribolos) appear to have been made by masons, as they date to the era when the peribolos was built.
The discussion was coordinated by University of Athens Professor of Classical Archaeology Vassilis Lambrinoudakis and Cycladic Museum of Art director Nicos Stambolidis.