The archaeologist leading the dig at the ancient tomb in Amphipolis, northern Greece, said it had been looted in ancient times when it was open to the public before being sealed.
Katerina Peristeri said closing it off later still didn’t protect it from tomb raiders even though her team is still uncovering some archaeological treasures such as Caryatids and mosaics.
“It is certain there was damage and plundering in ancient times as it was a large monument that people could visit,” she said at a news conference to describe the progress and findings.
Peristeri wouldn’t discuss the possible identity of a skeleton found inside the tomb, which dates to the era of Alexander the Great, despite earlier comments that a top Macedonian general was the most likely occupant.
“I had said some time ago that with a lion on top of such a massive monument, it could be the tomb of a general,” said Peristeri. “When the skeleton was found, an archaeologist could never say if it is a man or a woman.”
The results of tests on the remains are expected in several months. Peristeri said that the skeleton was in “poor condition.” She dismissed rumors that Amphipolis could have been the burial place of Alexander the Great.
“I do not respond to conspiracy theories about Alexander the Great being buried there,” she said.