Amphipolis: Who Has Questions?

I'm going to do a post today about Amphipolis, to try to answer some of the questions people have asked and make a few other observations, but ... first the supermarket and laundry and ...

... and I will continue to try to answer questions asked in each post's comments, but if anyone has any other questions, please do continue to post them and I will do my best to answer them if I can!


  1. what we learn from the caryatids regarding dating of the tomb?, thank you for your interest to answer questions

  2. Hello Dorothy,

    could you please provide your timeline of events regarding: Construction of the tomb, it being used or re-used, its backfilling and the construction of the sealing walls. Not so much in terms of accurate dating, but more in terms of sequence of events: is the backfilling contemporary to the construction? Is the sealing wall contemporary to the back-filling etc. ?

    I am asking because through informal statements made by Ms. Peristeri it has been implied that the back-filling and the sealing walls were protective measures against the looting of the tomb (and therefore contemporary to its construction?)

    Thank you

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  4. 2nt. soil and diaphragm walls are later from the grave?, from the construction of the grave not seem to be place from the basic architect

  5. Hi, is it the case much more work went into the circular
    wall than the tomb itself? I mean, it's a wall of huge radius
    with tons of marble.

  6. Hello Dorothy,

    Obviously limits to sensible speculation until it's been fully excavated, but are there parallels from elsewhere, whether Macedonia itself or the wider Hellenistic world, for the steps down and then the two (?) antechambers which require backfilling to deny access?

    Sorry if it's 101 stuff; all I know is there an awful lot I do not know!

  7. Dorothy, I have read on the web that one commentator is convinced that the tomb is Alexander's. He says that it took two years to complete it and then the body was brought from the East. He says that the body in Alexandra was just a mummy that Ptolemy grabbed. Basically he says the ancient accounts aren't true and are full of 'tales'. How should we regard the ancient texts that we rely on that relate to Alexander's burial site? I suppose we shall soon find out if this tomb changes history. If it is Alexander's that would create a huge public sensation. That would be GREAT to get the public - and kids - talking about history and archaeology.

  8. This is where I am reading - what do you think of his most recent post:

    Also, thank you so much for your wonderful blog - it's a great resource and a wonderful gift to us amateurs and enthusiasts.

    One last question - do you expect the caryatids to be fully painted?

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  10. Dear Dorothy, thanks for offering to answer questions. Here are some, maybe not always specific to Amphipolis, but useful for us non-experts to get some basic context information. No need to answer everything of course, even answering one would be great.

    a) What are the different dating methods one may use for sites like Amphipolis, or for the tombs like the ones at Aegae, and how accurate or uncertain they are?
    b) Do we have examples of large scale archaeological monuments which we only found out about after these have been excavated, as there was no historical reference (direct or indirect) to them?
    c) There are many theories out there about the occupant of the Amphipolis tomb, some talk about Alexander despite the numerous references for his burial at Alexandria. Do we have examples in archaeology were historical references proved to be misleading?
    d) There was a nice article few weeks ago about "tales of tomb looting" (here in greek: http://www.thetoc.gr/politismos/article/istories-tumbwruxias-me-aformi-tin-amfipoli). In that article, Angeliki Kottaridi describes how the tomb of Phillip escaped looting, saying that after the plundering of many other royal tombs by the Gauls, Antigonus Gonatas reinforced the great tumulus. Is that based on a historical reference or is it an assumption (because I can't find a reference). What I found is that Pyrrhus became extremely unpopular among Macedonias for letting the Gauls do what they did (plus for leaving them unpunished, afterwards). Was that maybe a motivation for sealing at least the important Macedonian tombs, like the one of Amphipolis, and could this explain the assumed later date of the filling (compared to the date of its construction)?
    e) Here are photos that came up recently after the Amphipolis excavation became front page news: http://prntscr.com/4o7nq0
    These are supposed to be soldiers from WW1 period at the north of Greece, near Amphipolis, having some... fun with archaeological sites and skulls. In one of the photos we see an Amphipolis type on tomb entrace, which is walled up, like at Amphipolis (no idea which site is actually that). But walling up seems to have some common elements as the one we saw in front of the sphinxes at Amphipolis. Was that a common practice for Macedonian monuments?
    f) How can there be so much certainty for the connection of the Amphipolis monument with Deinocrates, when we have no real evidence (except for some rough descriptions) of how details of his works looked like, and when we have even no idea about this architect's whereabouts after Alexander's death? Unless there is an inscription found, how can Peristeri claim that this is "100% from Deinocrates"?

  11. Planet this photos are bulshit from soldiers

  12. Hello Dorothy,

    Do You think that this very tomb is much bigger than the three discovered chambers and that there could be another door in the last- wall, regarding to the size of the tumulus which is huge? I know that we are not in a Rider Haggard novel, but....

    Best Regards!

  13. Hopefully this post - http://phdiva.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/quick-answers-about-amphipolis_20.html - answers some of the questions ... and I will try to answer the rest later. You guys are very very enthusiastic!


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