Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Eclosure of a tumulus comes to light in Amphipolis.

It may be the grave of the wife and son of Alexander the Great.

Source: To Vima, 04.10.2012 [Translated from the Greek Original]

A circular enclosure, of a height of three meteres, with a perimeter that is calculated to be 500 meters, surrounds the toumba (the tumulus), that is situated in an agricultural area near Amphipolis of Serres, as the head of the 28th Ephorate of Antiquities, mrs Katerina Peristeri, declared.

The Kastas toumba, as it is called, has been known since 1965, but now for the first time its excavation was decided, without, however, having secured the necessary funding, resulting only in the partial uncovering of the verily impressive enclosure wall. There is a log way to go before the dig proceeds to a greater depth to verify the existence of burials and to explore and seek elements that will prove to whom these belong.

In Amphipolis, however, it would seem that they are in a hurry, both the Ephorate of Antiquities and the local authorities, who decided in advance that it belongs to well-known persons, Roxane, the wife of Alexander the Great and their son, Alexander IV.

According to history Roxane did indeed go to Macedonia after the death of Alexander, where she and her twelve-year-old son were murdered; but whether they were buried in Amphipolis, were according to one version they had been exiled, that belongs to the sphere of myth and not science.

This is an enclosure wall that is one of a kind, as nor in Vergina nor elsewhere in the Hellenic area exists anything similar”, declared mrs Peristeri and no one can deny this. But the hurry to identify it with historical persons, as well as the fact that this excavation does not have a foreseeable future in these financially difficult times, can only be characterised unscientific.

A.M. Comment:
The article seems to be biased against mrs Peristeri. Neither in the declaration published here nor in her other public statements on the state TV does she mention specific “historical persons”. All she does is to point out the exceptional nature of the site. What the unnamed “local authorities” claim the site to be is of no consequence, and it is bad journalism to amalgamate the two.

In short the unsigned article has the smell of an archaeologist’s feud, something all too common in Greek archaeology… This should not, however, subtract from the fact that the Kastas toumba appears to be an extremely promising site which we hope will one day be properly explored and excavated.