Greeks Unearth Biggest Ancient Tomb

Amphipolis site dates to time of Alexander the Great

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 13, 2014 12:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – Archaeologists in Greece are nearly ready to enter what they say is the biggest ancient tomb ever unearthed in the country. The tomb at the ancient site of Amphipolis in the Macedonia region, around 65 miles northeast of Thessaloniki, dates from around 300 BC—the time of Alexander the Great, though experts don't believe it belongs to the warrior-king, who died in what is now Iraq, the Telegraph reports. Two carved sphinxes flank the entrance to the tomb, which is surrounded by a 540-yard marble outer wall.

"It looks like the tomb of a prominent Macedonian of that era," a culture ministry official tells Reuters. Archaeologists have spent the last couple years excavating the ancient burial mound under which the tomb was found, and they plan to enter the tomb within the next two weeks, reports NBC, which adds that there is one clue to its possible occupant: Researchers believe a 16-foot stone lion unearthed in the area a century ago and associated with Laomedon of Mytilene, one of Alexander the Great's military commanders, once stood atop the tomb. (Click to read about an "evil eye" box uncovered in an ancient cemetery.)

A policeman locks the entrance to a site that archaeologists are excavating at an ancient mound in Amphipolis in northern Greece yesterday.
A policeman locks the entrance to a site that archaeologists are excavating at an ancient mound in Amphipolis in northern Greece yesterday.   (AP Photo/Alexandros Michailidis)
The site where archaeologists are excavating an ancient mound in Amphipolis, northern Greece.
The site where archaeologists are excavating an ancient mound in Amphipolis, northern Greece.   (AP Photo/Alexandros Michailidis)
A partial view of the site where archaeologists are excavating an ancient mound in Amphipolis, northern Greece.
A partial view of the site where archaeologists are excavating an ancient mound in Amphipolis, northern Greece.   (AP Photo/Alexandros Michailidis)
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