Amphipolis Bones: News Soon

I thought the press conference was scheduled for the 20th, but some on Twitter are saying the results will be released today. This was the previous press release from December is below, and the new one will be here.

Just a quick re-cap: the tomb was constructed at the time of Alexander the Great, and possibly / probably construction continued after his death.

The body found inside seems to have neither been cremated nor mummified; earlier suggestions from the archaeologists suggest that it predates the main body of the tomb. We know that after the Persian Wars Cimon went to find the bones of Theseus so that they could be buried in a shrine to him (probably on the hill over the Agora, the so-called Hephaisteion); whether he took them from a long-known 'tomb' of Theseus or they were random old bones is of course open to question. Alexander adores Achilles, but his tomb is elsewhere in later sources, so we need to look for a suitable hero or ancestor that was thus honoured, and my best guess would be Alexander I who defeated the Persians at Amphipolis and was the first Macedonian king to take part in the Olympics ... but obviously that is just an "educated guess"!

Coins with the image of Alexander the Great continued to be minted and to circulate throughout the Hellenistic period, until the period of Roman hegemony. Coins with the image of Alexander - but not necessarily from the time of Alexander III! - were found inside the tomb, showing that it continued to be visited during the Hellenistic period by visitors and those paying religious observances.

The collapse does seem to be due to the great weight of earth of the tumulus, and the cranes and great distance blocks were moved shows that this either "restoration" or attempt at "saving" or possibly destruction was an official enterprise not random looting by robbers or a mob of iconoclasts. That the contents of the tomb were removed before the filling of soil and the moving of blocks supports this. The coins associated with this work are Severan 3rd century, and since Caracalla was obsessed with Alexander the Great, he would be the obvious candidate ...

There is a small Byzantine church which was built on the mound, slightly to one side, and it would be interesting to know its earliest phase of construction, whether it was built into earlier foundations of another structure, and to whom it was dedicated.

Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού - Μελέτη οστεολογικού υλικού που βρέθηκε στο ταφικό μνημείο της Αμφίπολης.

Because, yesterday and today, moving online unsubstantiated "information" and speculation on the osteological material found in the tomb of Amphipolis, the following is disclosed:
The study of skeletal material, found in the fourth place of the burial monument on the hill castes, commissioned a multidisciplinary team, composed of scientists from the Universities Aristotle and Democritus. The research program aims at modern approach to archeology of death. Starting with the person represented by the skeletal remains of the tomb castes will investigate -with systematic and scientifically ethical manner; the anthropological, social and historical context of the population of Amphipolis.
The analysis of this material is part of a broader research program, which includes the holistic approach of a sample of about three hundred skeletons, coming from the area of Amphipolis and chronologically cover the period from 1000 BC to 200 BC
The results-such as sex, age, stature-the macroscopic study of skeletal material from the fourth place of burial complex, will be announced in January.

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