A tomb and a skeleton discovered at ancient Amphipolis

According to the Culture ministry, 1.60 m below the stone-flagged floor level in the third chamber of the tomb, excavators found a large box-shaped tomb with scattered iron and copper nails as well as bone and glass coffin ornaments. Bones were also found inside and outside the tomb.

More specifically, the Culture ministry said that the excavation in the third chamber unearthed a tomb with external dimensions 3.23m x 1.56m x 1m. Excavators also found supporting elements that lead to the assumption that the tomb was 1.80 meters high. Inside the tomb, excavators found a built-in space to receive a wooden coffin measuring 0.54m x 2.35m. The total height of the third chamber is 8.9 metres from the top of the chamber’s ceiling to the bottom of the excavated trench.

According to the ministry announcement, parts of the skeleton of the deceased were found both inside and outside the tomb. The genetic material will be processed by experts, while all the necessary tests will be conducted.

The tomb cluster at Kasta hill was a public project, which was constructed with the largest quantity of marble found so far in a tomb in Macedonia. This characteristic coupled with its dimensions make the monument a unique one. It is an exceptionally expensive construction, the ministry said, adding that it was unlikely the full cost was assumed by private funds alone. The monument appears to be for someone considered a hero and worshipped as such at the time. The deceased was a prominent figure, which explains the uniqueness of the tomb, it said.

The ministry is studying about 500 fragments of the structure scattered around and identified as belonging to the peribolos, or surrounding wall, of the tomb in order to determine the further progress of the restoration works. About 100 of these pieces were salvaged from the nearby Kerkini Lake, where the water company, commissioned to build a dam in the area, had transferred them in 1936.

Culture Minister Costas Tassoulas on November 22 will hold a press conference at the Amphipolis Museum on the progress of the excavation. The head excavator Katerina Peristeri on November 29 will present the results of the excavation in Athens.