I'm not sure where the question about huge tombs for soldiers came from, but yes there are some - eg the Chaeronea Lion might be either a tomb or more likely a cenotaph built by Philip II for those whose fell in that battle; ditto the later Macedonian Veria monument. War monuments are nothing new, and are well attested in Greek culture ... but I think it is very unlikely that the Lion Tomb at Amphipolis was a communal tomb for dead soldiers. As always, I may be wrong - the tomb has already re-written the text books about that type of Caryatid supporting the architrave with their hands, and who know what else we'll learn!
Again, I still don't know who was buried in the tomb at Amphipolis, and if the archaeologists do know, they're not saying yet. I am afraid that yes I've been to blame for over a year now for the theory that it could have been built for Alexander the Great - and yes, he still seems for a whole variety of reasons, some of which hopefully will become clear, to me to be the best candidate for whom the monument was constructed. He was not buried there as Ptolemy hijacked the body and took it to Egypt, but the tomb and an associated cult could well have continued under the Antigonids at Amphipolis, and various early Diadochs are likely to have wanted, hoped and perhaps even attempted to bring Alexander's body back to Macedonia to emphasise their claim to be his heir. Then someone may have been buried in it - an Antigonid or Lysimachus or a dozen others - or it could have been symbolically left empty as a cenotaph or a reminder ...
No, not 'probably' - the lion was almost certainly visible from the bridge, the town ... everywhere in Amphipolis. It was designed to be seen, hence the huge mound and large base that supported it. The key question to ask is was the tomb inside the boundaries of the town or outside it? Only founders of cities, such at Theseus at Athens - or refounders of cities such as Mausolus at Halicarnassus - could be buried within the city walls.
Although there are other tombs with lions, the lion hunt in an enclosed royal game park was associated with royal iconography under the Persians (eg see the sculptures from the tomb of the Hecatomind Satrap Mausolus) and from at least Phillip II onwards in Macedonian art (see the exterior painted frieze of Vergina Tomb II).
The seated Lion at Chaeronea is linked to the battle Phillip II fought there. The Cnidos lion is reclining and different, but not yet linked to anyone specific.
Could there be more chambers, not just three? Very easily. Also the hole in the wall to the third chamber may well have been structural - Hellenistic architects sometimes put windows into the pediments of very large temples, which may have been partly for cult reasons, but also served to relieve the weight.
As the Greek Ministry of Culture has stated, there are severe structural issues with the third chamber. I pointed out that there were structural issues which led to a crack in the architrave above the caryatids (photo above), and that is one face cracked and fell off (it was found in the back-fill).
There was no tomb quite like this one at Amphipolis, and so the architect may have been more ambitious than ... I currently think that the back-filling of the tomb was to stop it collapsing and to 'preserve' it (ancient Macedonian tombs were not meant to be seen and visited inside anyway) ... and that the back-fill pre-dates the destruction of the super-structure. As always things change in archaeology, and there wouldn't be any point digging if new information didn't either refine our ideas or make us change our minds!
Speaking of changing our minds: the evidence suggests all previous reconstructions were wrong, and the Caryatids did not supported the architrave with one raised arm. They were architectural supports, as the cracks show, and but possibly hand their arms outstretched to each other - their touching hands could symbolise the joining of Europe and Asia by a certain Greek commander? I'll do a proper long post about the Caryatids - and another about the Ionic doorway and third chamber - soon, but yes they look vaguely like Archaic kore, but that's a long art historical explanation which is why the style is called archaising.
For now, see how the lowered arm holding out the drapery ...
better seem in the pair here:
This Hellenistic figure from Miletus now in Izmir copies the roll of fabric diagonally across the body:
[... well, first the drapery becomes an acanthus leaf in this ca. 280 BC Thracian tomb ...]
... is also to be seen in the statue of Tralles-Cherchel type from Cherchel:
... and the Tralles-Cherchel type from Tralles:
... but that in some more classicising variants, such as this one from a pair in Mantua, the hand is made to hold a mask - presumably one of the pair had Comedy, the other Tragedy?
I've been positing for a few years now that there are so many copies and variants of this type that it must copy a famous lost original pair ... but it seems the original may have been found!
Interestingly the raised forearms of this figure type do not survive anywhere except Amphipolis, so whilst we always assumed it went straight up ... clearly the new evidence shows that it did not!
I highly recommend this article to anyone interested in the earlier excavations of the Amphipolis Lion, which was found thrown into the river some way from the Kastra Hill - The Pride of Amphipolis | From the Archivist's Notebook:
Betsey Robinson Betsey A. Robinson, Professor of History of Art at Vanderbilt University, here contributes to The Archivist’s Notebook an essay about the history of the reconstruction of the Lion of Amphipolis in the 1930s and the people who spearheaded it; she also reminds us of recent work by the American School in the area in 1970.
And the date of the tomb ...Εἰπέ, λέον, φθιμένοιο τίνος τάφον ἀμφιβέβηκας, βουφάγε; τίς τᾶς σᾶς ἄξιος ἦν ἀρετᾶς;Anthologia Palatina 7.426.1-2 (Trans. M. Fantuzzi & R. Hunter)
Tell, lion, whose tomb do you guard, you slayer of cattle? And who was worthy of your valour?
The lines above, by Hellenistic poet Antipater of Sidon, are as much of a tease today as they were when Oscar Broneer quoted them in The Lion Monument at Amphipolis in 1941.
Yes, I am aware of this, and I am aware of her subsequent claim that the tomb must post-date 40 BC because there were no Greek Caryatids before then. I disagree about Caryatids, obviously, but it's good to have debate and if we all agreed we'd make less progress! Another Greek archaeologist who had not seen the excavations made claims about modern looting, and I disagree with him too. I'm afraid that the Greek archaeologist with whom I agree with re the early Hellenistic date are the ones that found the tomb and that have been digging it for years and actually seen the evidence.
And finally the Memphis sphinxes ...
Yes, I am aware of them, but chose to focus on other ones that I thought to be more relevant, but thank you all for sending them to me. Yes, they are linked to the Serapeion, which is in turn founded after Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, but again please guys, hold your horses! or sphinxes! The Serapeion continued to be added to for centuries, and some of the philosophers found near these sphinxes were earlish Hellenistic, but others were 2nd century AD. Also they were excavated by Auguste Mariette who died in 1881, and archaeological techniques were very different in those days ... so the very simple answer is that these are dated largely on stylistic grounds, and this date is very debatable.