Greece unearths two Caryatids at massive Alexander-era tomb

2014-09-07 22:00:09 GMT2014-09-08 06:00:09(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

by Alexia Vlachou

ATHENS, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Greek archaeologists have unearthed two beautiful Caryatids during the ongoing excavation at the massive Alexander the Great era tomb in the ancient city of Amphipolis in northern Greece, the culture ministry announced on Sunday.

The two statues of female figures which are similar to the Caryatids known worldwide from the Acropolis temples in Athens were found on Saturday.

They were made of marble from the nearby island of Thassos and support expectations of experts that the newly discovered burial site at Amphipolis, at a distance of about 550 km north of the Greek capital, was of a high ranking official at the hierarchy of the Macedonian kingdom in the fourth century B.C.

Over the past month, since Greek archaeologists first unveiled the entrance of the tomb, the largest ever discovered in Greece, they have managed to discover two spectacular three-meter-high sphinxes, a sculpted 5 meter high lion, a mosaic and other exquisite findings.

Greek experts continue their work to reveal the identity of the deceased buried in the monument which is surrounded by a 497 meters long marble wall.

They appear confident that the new findings at Amphipolis mark a significant discovery from the early Hellenistic era, but stress that archaeological excavations have their own timetable and things should not be hurried. The latest round of excavations at the archaeological site of the ancient city began in 2012.

Most Greek archaeologists have ruled out the possibility that the tomb could be that of Alexander the Great himself as he is believed to have been buried in Egypt in 323 B.C.

However, Alexander's Persian wife, Roxana, and his son, Alexander IV, were banished to Amphipolis and murdered there in around 310 B.C. and other important figures of the time could be buried at the site.

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