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News Science

Who Is Buried In the Largest Tomb Ever Found In Northern Greece? 92

schwit1 writes Excitement continues to build as archaeologists dig deeper into a massive tomb discovered two years ago in northern Greece. "This past weekend the excavation team, led by Greek archaeologist Katerina Peristeri, announced the discovery of two elegant caryatids—large marble columns sculpted in the shape of women with outstretched arms—that may have been intended to bar intruders from entering the tomb's main room. "I don't know of anything quite like them," says Philip Freeman, a professor of classics at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. The curly-haired caryatids are just part of the tomb's remarkable furnishings. Guarding the door as sentinels were a pair of carved stone sphinxes, mythological creatures with the body of a lion and the head of a human. And when archaeologists finally entered the antechamber, they discovered faded remnants of frescoes as well as a mosaic floor made of white marble pieces inlaid in a red background." Archaeologists believe this tomb is connected somehow to Alexander the Great and could very well be the burial site of one of his relatives or close allies.
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Who Is Buried In the Largest Tomb Ever Found In Northern Greece?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2014 @02:18AM (#47878189)

    Grant?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How long do they have to be dead before we dig them up and take their stuff?

    • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday September 11, 2014 @02:51AM (#47878301)

      How long do they have to be dead before we dig them up and take their stuff?

      1 / expected value of loot to be found.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You just have to wait until no-one is willing to defend their grave.

    • Re:When is too soon? (Score:5, Informative)

      by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Thursday September 11, 2014 @03:29AM (#47878417)
      There's no minimum time, just how long anybody is willing to protect the sanctity of the tomb. For example, if it's a king, then his subjects are probably willing to stop and prosecute anyone who's trying to open the tomb for a few generations after, probably until the kingdom gets destroyed even. If it's you, then you get dug up about 50 years after they bury you, so somebody else gets to putrefy in your cemetery spot.
      • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

        > probably until the kingdom gets destroyed even

        Well as long as the kingdom exists, there will be a king who will want such a memorial for himself and will want to not be the one to set the precedent of allowing the king's burial chambers being desecrated. So this is to be expected, at the very least.

    • by AlecC ( 512609 ) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Thursday September 11, 2014 @06:52AM (#47879055)

      The idea of regarding graves as automatically for ever is relatively recent.While the wealthy might have impressive, and supposedly permanent tombstones, in medieval times people would be buried only for a few years, and then the grave dug up, the bones transferred to an ossuary, and the grave reused for another person. hence the gravedigger scene in Hamlet - the digger is recycling Yorick's grave for another occupant. So I see no problem in digging up a grave site sufficiently old that we don't know who is buried in it. The question is, as with all archaeological digs, how much to dig up now and how much to leave for later, better equipped, archaeologists.

      • Or is this a Europe vs. U.S. difference? Europe being not that big and having a long history with tons of dead people all needing to be buried.

        For comparison, picture the U.S. burying all of its dead in Texas for its entire (only 250 year) history. Would we even run out of space?

  • by MRe_nl ( 306212 ) on Thursday September 11, 2014 @02:43AM (#47878265)

    Caryatide number two seems to have been hit in the face by a Rod of Smiting.

    • by invid ( 163714 ) on Thursday September 11, 2014 @09:18AM (#47880065)

      DM: "You walk into an underground chamber. At the other end of the chamber is a large chest with a lock. On either side of the chest is a marble pillar carved into the shape of a woman. The woman on the left has a sword and the woman on the right has a battle ax."

      Thief: "I take out my lock-pick and walk to the--"

      Magic-User: "Don't move! Those statues are going to come to life!"

      Thief: "What makes you think that? That sounds quite unlikely to me."

      Magic-User: "You're new around here, aren't you?"

  • I recently read a hypothesis that the purported relic bones of St. Mark in the San Marco cathedral (Venice), which were smuggled out of Alexandria, are actually the bones of Alexander.

    I don't suppose they'd be eager to allow a DNA test.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They could crowdfund this entire excavation if they would simply whet our appetites with a photo gallery or live feed of the dig. I realize digs are slow and tedious, but to see it as it unfolds would be amazing!

  • by Max_W ( 812974 ) on Thursday September 11, 2014 @03:27AM (#47878413)
    The journalist was there and made only these two dark small close-up photos? And that's it?

    Was it a problem to shoot 7 - 10 HD photos from different viewpoints at this great excavation site and publish them together with the text?
    • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Thursday September 11, 2014 @03:42AM (#47878443)
      The big reveal images have already been negotiated with some major media outlet. Nat Geo, NBC, CBS, ABC, or BBC, and similar outfits in other languages.

      Archeological research can get a boost from media coverage just like any other endeavor. Do you really expect that they're going to let the first bozo with a camera let all that hype potential go to waste? Expect press conferences and specials on TV. For example, this could be a great fundraiser for PBS.

      Wake up, it's the 21st century. Publicity is golden, no one in their right mind lets an opportunity like this fizzle out.

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        The big reveal images have already been negotiated with some major media outlet. Nat Geo, NBC, CBS, ABC, or BBC, and similar outfits in other languages.

        Anyone as long as it isn't the History Channel.

      • by pla ( 258480 )
        The big reveal images have already been negotiated with some major media outlet.

        I have no problem with that, as long as not a single penny of public funding went into this project, nor did they find this thing on public lands.

        Oh, look: "it has been funded with 180.000 euros by the Prefecture of Central Macedonia, the Ministry of Macedonia and Thace and the Ministry of Culture". Yeah, NatGeo and NBC can fuck right off, 'kay? I might give the BBC or PBS a pass on access for doing a legitimately scholar
        • In the US governments grant public money to be used by private companies and do allow exclusive access to critical resources. One such example is the $3 million, five-year grant to Yulex Corp. to exclusively develop rubber from the guayule plant in Arizona. Yulex holds the exclusive license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for USDA's patented guayule latex production technology. Since I'm not part of this exclusive government-business partnership I can't even buy a seed or a plant for my own indep

      • by PPH ( 736903 )
        Geraldo Rivera will do the documentary.
      • by rHBa ( 976986 )
        Either that or they decided this archaeological event wasn't important enough [slashdot.org] to bother with HD cameras.
    • The journalist was there and made only these two dark small close-up photos? And that's it? Was it a problem to shoot 7 - 10 HD photos from different viewpoints at this great excavation site and publish them together with the text?

      The journalist was too busy breaking out the dictionary
      ... a pair of carved stone sphinxes, mythological creatures with the body of a lion and the head of a human

  • How are the Macedonians going to assert their cultural identity now that a significant Alexander the Great related site was found in Northern Greece and not in their country?

  • Genghis Khan?
  • by Torp ( 199297 )

    Don't delve too deep.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Thursday September 11, 2014 @07:37AM (#47879263) Homepage Journal

    They're Weeping Angels! Don't blink!

  • by jonr ( 1130 )

    OP's mom? /sorry

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Technically the tomb is in Macedonia region of Greece which overlaps geographically to the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia. As a trivia side note, the so-called Republic of Macedonia (former Yugoslav) falls outside of the original kingdom (roughly maps Paeonia in antiquity).

  • Wonder if anyone will get this. Or how about Lord Lucan?
  • in this facebook page https://www.facebook.com/amphi... [facebook.com]
  • The tomb is for his Chief Eunich.

He's like a function -- he returns a value, in the form of his opinion. It's up to you to cast it into a void or not. -- Phil Lapsley

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