Thank you for these additional pictures. It is great to see the tomb revealed through all these bits and pieces.
Several possible tracks about the grave of Amphipolis.The grave walled up by Persée after Pydna to protect the royal skin with high symbolic value of the occupant, would have considerably damaged by the legions of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, but not plundered. This hypothesis is plausible but does not explain the absence of the heads of sphinx or sphinges or griffons of the grave and originally situated behind the wall from which stones are actually removed.The grave would indeed have been plundered but for dark motives, its access would have later been walled up. Preventing other plunders? Because, considering its symbolic value, it was necessary to make sure that nobody could ever reach it and that it wouldn’t become the object of a cult maintaining the fervor of the Macedonian nationalism? This last interrogation could indeed go to the sense of the thesis wanting that this grave of exceptional size was initially intended for Alexander’s but never used, or used by somebody else or still used as cenotaph. Finally, it is enough to use Google Maps to notice that the perfect circular plan thought by Dinocrates is incomplete and that the South / Southwest part of the monument is abraded or missing. It is possible that this abrasion is due to time, but if it is due to the man, then it’s possible that looters were able to enter the monument by another artificial access. Tracks noticed by ancient or recent attempts of burglary confirm that the place is remarkable and that it would never have stopped drawing the attention of local populations.
Oh yes, there is a lot to think about and there are lots of possibilities to take into consideration. I'm afraid I am far too practical to venture into further speculations where we will loose ourselves. The place may not have stopped "drawing the attention of local populations" but we cannot omit the possibility that there was a curse on the tomb. As recently as last century this was still the case in Turkey when the Greeks had to leave their villages and the local population was afraid to settle in the abandoned houses. Of course, a curse could not keep looters from entering the tombs of the pharaohs in Egypt either, you'll say, but at this stage of speculations everything is possible. And then, let's not forget that this is earthquake-country where random damages can occur for no reason at all.Your arguments are all plausible, of course (thank you!) but we simply have to wait and see what the inside will reveal. Maybe that will raise more/new questions and more/new hypothesis. I don't believe this grave or any grave in Macedonia could ever have been conceived for Alexander, and certainly not in Amphipolis of all places.It truly feels like being on the trail of something exceptional and quite unique. Let's hope we won't be disappointed (another possibility)?Thank you anyway for sharing your thoughts. I truly do appreciate this!
I'm so, so sorry, Argyraspid, but it seems to have been looted at Roman times. But Let's wait; maybe something is yet to come...http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/08/25/5127928/greek-archaeologists-enter-large.html#.U_vE_NZCF0w
Sad news indeed. Thanks for the link although I wonder how trustworthy it is since they mention 325 BC as "two years after Alexander's death"?