Greek archaeologists announce the discovery of Aristotle's tomb
There are strong indications that a peculiar ancient tomb found in the area of Stagira, in central Macedonia, is the tomb of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, archaeologist Kostas Sismanidis said on Thursday, during an international conference on the famous philosopher in Thessaloniki.
Addressing the “Aristotle World Congress”, Sismanidis, whose team has spent 20 years digging in the area, said the horseshoe-shaped domed building unearthed in the middle of the south side of the Stagira hill was just a few dozen meters from the agora arcade. The tomb had a tiled roof made at the royal pottery workshop, affirming its public function. A two-meter-wide raised, processional, built road lead to the monument entrance that was accessible to people offering bids.
Artefacts, pottery and more than fifty coins found in the area date the tomb and the altar at the times of Alexander the Great. The top of the dome is 10 meters high and there is a rectangular marble floor surrounding a Byzantine tower.
Sismanidis cited two literary sources that in his view indicate the people of Stagira may have transferred his remains from Evia, where he died in 322 BC, to his birthplace. The manuscripts he referred to are from The Marciana Library and an Arabic biography of Aristotle from the second half of the 11 century BC.
According to the latter, “when Aristotle died, the people of Stagira sent and brought back his ashes to their home, placed it in a copper urn and then deposited this urn in a location called ‘Aristotelion’. Every time they had important issues and wanted to resolve difficult problems, they convened their assembly in this place.”
“Based, therefore, on the above written sources, we believe that we cannot challenge the information they give us concerning the transport and burial of Aristotle's remains in the city of Stagira, on the establishment of an altar at the tomb of the philosopher, on the posthumous honours and on the establishment of the annual ‘Aristotelian’ celebration,” Sismanidis said.
“We believe, but without having proof, just strong indications, that all evidence contribute to this version,” he added.
The conference was organized by the University of Thessaloniki. Aristotle, considered as one of the most important philosophers, was a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.
Source: ANA-MPA [May 26, 2016]