Archaeologists digging at Ancient Amphipolis in Central Macedonia, northern Greece, believe they are ready to make an “exceptionally important find,” said Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who visited the site on Aug. 12.
“It is certain that we are looking at an exceptionally important find,” he said after being guided around the Kasta Hill by archaeologist Katerina Peristeri.
“The land of Macedonia continues to move and surprise us, revealing from deep within its unique treasures, which combine to form the unique mosaic of Greek history of which all Greeks are very proud,” he added.
Archaeologists said they think they’ve found an important tomb. According to Peristeri, who is the head of 28th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, excavations over the last two years at Kasta hill have revealed a unique grave circle which dates back to the last quarter of the 4th Century BC.
“The main question the excavation will answer is regarding the identity of who has been buried here,” said Samaras.
Ancient Amphipolis was founded as an Athenian colony in 437 BC and conquered by Philip II of Macedon in 357 BC. The site is known for the Lion of Amphipolis, a 4-meter high monument.
There has been speculation that the tomb could contain the remains of Alexander the Great or his wife, Roxana, and their son, Alexander IV. Roxana and Alexander IV were murdered by Cassander.
The tomb dates to between 325 and 300 BC, which coincides with the time when Alexander the Great died. He lost his life in 323 BC in Babylon, modern-day Iraq, but was later buried in Egypt. The Macedonian king’s final resting place is not known.
“It would be wrong of us to be tempted to start speculating,” Samaras told Kathimerini after being shown around the site by Peristeri “Everything we have been shown by Mrs. Peristeri and her team underline the significance of the findings.”
The mound is surrounded by a 497-meter circular wall built with Thasian marble, leading the premier to label it a “unique” site. A 4.5-meter-wide road leads to the tomb’s entrance, which is guarded by two carved sphinxes.
According to Samaras, a 5.20-meter-tall sculpture of a lion found at the site, where excavations began in 1960, was initially positioned on top of the tumulus.
He said that the archaeologists, currently undertaking the delicate work of clearing the entrance to the tomb while ensuring there is no collapse, could be in a position to enter the burial chamber by the end of the month.
Archaeologists tend to favor the interpretation that an important Macedonian official was buried at Amphipolis.