Alexander the Great still makes the headlines! After the recent speculations around the Tomb of King Philip of Macedonia in Vergina, wondering if this is indeed the tomb of Alexander’s father, there have been other new findings of two tombs in that vicinity, one of which might be that of Heracles, the illicit son of Alexander and Barsine. Barsine had been married to Memnon, the Greek mercenary and commander in chief of the Persian army who lost the battle against Alexander at the Granicus in 334 BC. He survived the battlefield and fought back fiercely later on in defending Halicarnassus, the city which Alexander besieged, to die of some illness – not a very glamorous end for a military. Barsine, his widow, was war booty although she was a Persian royal princess and must have been a rare beauty. Alexander never included her in any wedding plans but apparently, she did fit his political ambitions, for a relation with her, could be seen as a friendly gesture towards Persia. In any case, she gave him a son and he was called Heracles.
Recent excavations in Aegae have revealed the remains of a youngster who, according to one expert, could be those of Alexander’s murdered son. It is very strange however that these remains that were unearthed next to those uncovered last year were buried under unusual circumstances. Everything seems to indicate that initially they were laid to rest at another location before being reburied here, in the heart of the city. Oddly enough, these two large silver vessels were found under the Agora, close to the theatre where King Philip was murdered in 336 BC while it was common practice to entomb the dead outside the city walls.
According to the article published by Associated Press, Chrysoula Saatsoglou-Paliadeli states that the silver urn looks very, very much like the one discovered several years ago in the nearby royal tumulus, close to the Tomb of Philip II. There also, archeologists couldn’t confirm who occupied the tomb, although many fingers point towards Alexander IV. Chrysoula Saatsoglou-Paliadeli believes that this newly found grave dates from the 4th century BC and is clearly of Royal Macedonian origin because of the golden crown that was found on top.