11.18.2014

Katerina Peristeri's Amphipolis

Last week's press release was very clear: Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού - Σημεία ενημέρωσης από την κ. Άννα Παναγιωταρέα και την Γ.Γ. κ. Λίνα Μενδώνη στην Αμφίπολη.-
Στις 22 Νοεμβρίου, ο υπουργός Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού κ. Κ. Τασούλας θα δώσει συνέντευξη στο Μουσείο της Αμφίπολης, στη μία το μεσημέρι σχετικά με τα ευρήματα και την επόμενη φάση των εργασιών στο τύμβο Καστά. 
On the afternoon of November 22, the Minister of Culture and Sport Mr. K. Tasoulas will be interviewed at the Museum of Amphipolis on the findings and the next phase of work in the tomb Kasta.


 
Στις 29 Νοεμβρίου, ημέρα Σάββατο και ώρα 11.00 θα παρουσιαστούν τα αποτέλεσματα της ανασκαφικής περιόδου στον λόφο Καστά, από την έφορο Αρχαιοτήτων Σερρών Κ. Περιστέρη και τους συνεργάτες της, στην Αθήνα, στο Αμφιθέατρο του Υπουργείου Πολιτισμού.
On November 29, Saturday, at 11:00 the Inspector of Antiquities Serres K. Peristeri and partners will present the results of the excavation season at the Kasta hill, in Athens, in the Auditorium of the Ministry of Culture.

I know that to Greeks who probably see me more in the press at the moment than Kim Kardashian this might seem surprising, but ... until last month I always refused to do television and interviews. The only reason I did Alpha News about Amphipolis was because I was so angry about the ridiculous attacks on Mrs Peristeri and her amazing team at Amphipolis, and because I was so upset by the criticism of their work. Their critics are as ridiculous as the people who claim Skopje is Macedonia.

Having said that, I worry that I am becoming too associated with Amphipolis, and I would like to make it very clear that the excavation is the result of the brilliant work of Katerina Peristeri and Michaelis Lefantzis, as well as their brilliant team.

That's why I've taken a step back, and as the Ministry of Culture has announced that Dr Peristeri will be presenting the finds at the end of the month, I am going to try to keep out of speculation and discussing anything else anyone spots in photographs.

I'm not sure where the story that the body found has blue eyes originates, but eyes are mostly water so one of the first things to disintegrate with a corpse. Red hair? Hair lasts longer, but every archaeologist knows that hair dramatically changes colour based on what it was buried in, so even if hair was found, wild speculation that the Hero of Amphipolis was a redhead is premature.

I know that believing in God is unfashionable these days, but I do. Whether we honour him in the Jewish manner or the Greek Orthodox manner, his basic teaching is the same: "treat others as you would like to be treated yourself" ... I've been quite happy to discuss the findings, and even push to get the Ministry to reveal a little more about their evidence for the date, but the tomb's glory belongs to the Greeks, but presenting it and credit for finding it belongs to the brilliant archaeologists working there. Jesus said "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" - with Amphipolis, let's allow Mrs Peristeri the credit and the opportunity to explain to Greece what amazing finds she has made, and whose tomb it could be.