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Human remains found at Amphipolis

The Greek Ministry of Culture announced today that an almost intact skeleton was discovered in the third chamber of the Kasta Mound at Amphipolis.

Human remains found at Amphipolis
The large cist-like limestone tomb discovered at a depth of 1.6m under the floor 
of the third chamber [Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]
A large tomb built from limestone blocks was discovered at a depth of 1.6m under the floor of the chamber.

The  tomb, which is preserved to a height of 1.00m, measures some 3.23m in length and 1.56m in width. However, large blocks (orthostats) which are part of the tomb's superstructure were also found during the excavations indicating that the tomb's height may have reached at least 1.80m.

Human remains found at Amphipolis
Iron and copper nails indicate the presence of a wooden coffin 
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]
Within the tomb an elongated depression measuring 0.54m wide and 2.35m long was found wherein a wooden coffin was placed. Iron and copper nails, as well as bone and glass decorations from the coffin itself, were found scattered around the area.

It should be noted that the total height of the third chamber from the top of the dome to the floor is 8.9m.

Human remains found at Amphipolis
Bone and glass decorations from the wooden coffin 
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]
The skeleton was discovered both within and without the built tomb. The sex and age of the deceased has yet to be determine. The remains will be transferred to a special lab in order to carry out genetic tests in the hope of determining the identity of the tomb's occupant.

The funerary complex on Kasta hill is almost certainly a public work, given that the sheer quantity of marble used in its construction is unrivalled by an other Macedonian tomb. The mound's height (33m), capped by the pedestal with its imposing lion, the sphinxes, the caryatids, the beautiful mosaic with the abduction of Persephone, and the painted marble architraves, show an original synthesis of diverse elements which make this monument unique.

Human remains found at Amphipolis
Axonometric view of the third chamber showing the position of the
 limestone built tomb [Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]
It is an extremely precise construction, the cost of which is obviously unlikely to have been undertaken by any one individual.

Indeed, it seems likely that this construction was intended as a memorial to a prominent figure of the time to whom were bestowed religious honours and veneration.

Human remains found at Amphipolis
Human remains found at Amphipolis
Architectural members from the Kasta mound found in the nearby 
Kerkinis Lake [Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]
To launch the work of the reconstruction of the Kasta mound, the scattered architectural members identified and assigned to the precinct are being studied systematically. About 500 marble elements have been located in the surrounding area where the Lion of Amphipolis today stands.

The receding waters of the nearby lake Kerkinis have also revealed more than a hundred members of the precinct, including cornices, pillars and crowns, used in the construction of the Kerkinis dam in 1936.

Source: Greek Ministry of Culture [November 12, 2014]
TANN

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3 comments :

  1. It's HFAISTION - I have an extended Paper-Note on it. I'll be happy to share it with anyone interested.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nope, He wasn't cremated. Apparently the historian Diodoros from Sicily who reported on it was wrong. Historians, just like the media of today, frequently report erroneously on many topics (either through a bias - thus intending to deceive or negligence in rigorously examining the "facts" about what they report).

    ReplyDelete


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