Another amazing discovery has surfaced on the Amphipolis dig, Greece. The missing head of the Sphinx “guarding” the tomb’s entrance was finally discovered inside the third chamber.
The Sphinx’s head is intact, with minimal breakage on the nose. It has a height of 0.60m and it is assigned to the body of the eastern Sphinx. Made of marble, the head has signs of red color on its curly hair (falling onto its left shoulder) that is tied with a white stripe. It carries a pole and archaeologists characterize it as a sculpture of exceptional art. The head was found in a depth of 15cm inside a marble threshold. In addition, fragments of the Sphinx’s wings were discovered in the same chamber. Read more.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Archeologists in Greece have uncovered a rare wooden statue preserved in the muddy depths of an ancient well in Piraeus, the port of Athens.
A Culture Ministry statement said Tuesday that the roughly half-meter (20-inch) high dressed male figure was found without its head, hands and feet, together with broken pottery dating to about 100-86 B.C. It was unclear who the statue might depict.
The piece was found during an excavation of ancient wells in central Piraeus, where a new subway line will be built.
Ancient wooden artefacts are uncommon discoveries in Greece as climate conditions do not favor their preservation. The ministry statement said the well also contained part of an ancient marble statue of a woman seated on a deer. (source)
Archaeologists attempting to reach the next chamber in the Amphipolis tomb have struck a wall of dirt. After cleaning and exposing the mosaic floor in the third chamber, it seems that entering the fourth chamber – or hallway – will take longer than expected.
Removing the tons of earth that block the entrance to the next chamber will be difficult; the now-exposed mosaic needs to be protected. Archaeologists surmise that, beyond the dirt wall, the burial monument will have some sort of downward slope. This passage perhaps leads to an anti-chamber, or a main chamber where the tomb’s occupant is likely to be found. Read more.
The Spanish shipwreck that lies in the sea bottom just off the coast of Zakynthos, Greece, continues to amaze archaeologists with its hidden treasures. The ship dates back to the end of the 15th century and archaeologists have brought to light numerous discoveries that show the greatness of the Spanish navy during that era.
This year’s systematic underwater exploration, conducted by the General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, focused on the central part of the shipwreck and was completed on October 6 under the direction of archaeologist Katerina Dellaporta.
The operation revealed the frames on the west and east sides of the keelson, and part of the tween deck (the intermediate deck). The ship’s wooden frame has been preserved, allowing the study of the transitional art of shipbuilding during the 15th and 16th centuries. Read more.
The imposing mosaic unearthed in the burial mound complex at Amphipolis in northern Greece might contain the best-ever portrait of Alexander the Great as a young man, according to a new interpretation of the stunning artwork, which depicts the abduction of Persephone.
It might also confirm previous speculation that the tomb belongs to Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great.
The mosaic portrays the soul-escorting Hermes, Hades and Persephone. In reality, the mosaic most likely has human counterparts represented in the guise of the three mythological characters, said Andrew Chugg, author of “The Quest for the Tomb of Alexander the Great.”
“I am thinking very much that Persephone should be an image of the occupant of the tomb being driven into the Underworld,” Chugg told Discovery News. Read more.
A Macedonian tomb in Xanthi, Greece, opens its doors to the public tomorrow morning.
The monument remains closed, as there is no permanent security guard on the spot, while those wishing to visit, have to contact the relevant Archaeological Ephorate to arrange for an appointment and tour.
“The tomb is in very good condition. Anyone who wishes to visit, can call our service and arrange for the monument guard to open it for them and for an archaeologist to give them a tour,” said to “thrakitoday” website the archaeologist responsible for the site, Kyriaki Chatziprokopiou. She also stressed that “there are 6 graves of Macedonian type in Thrace but this specific one is the largest and the best preserved, the most elaborate tomb in relation to others who have been discovered.” Read more.
In a press conference following the recent discovery of a stunning mosaic in the Kasta Hill tomb of ancient Amphipolis, Lena Mendoni, general secretary of the Greek Ministry of Culture, and Katerina Peristeri, head of the Amphipolis archaeological team, revealed the latest revelations concerning the progress of ongoing excavations.
Mendoni said that the scene of the abduction of Persephone gives archaeologists great certainty that the occupant of the mysterious tomb is a member of the Macedonian royal family.
“We have also found the scene of the abduction of Persephone in the mural of the so-called tomb of Persephone at the royal cemetery at Vergina, Greece. We have a second display of Pluto and Persephone, in a sacred marriage scene at the backrest of the marble throne found at the tomb of Eurydice, mother of Philip, in Aeges. The scenes are linked with the cults of the underworld, the Orphic cult-descent into Hades and the Dionysian rites. The leader of the Macedons was always the archpriest of these cults. Read more.
This interactive 3D model of the Amphipolis Tomb has been created by Greektoys. Use you mouse to move around the model and zoom in with a mouse-wheel. Click on the various numbers to learn more.