While the seemingly endless discussions about this tomb being looted or not are still going on, I rather focus on what has been achieved recently.
The Greek Ministry of Culture has released a new press statement over the weekend about the Tomb of Amphipolis and it seems that the room behind the outer entrance wall with the guarding sphinxes has been entirely cleared. The entire floor of which we saw just a hint last week has been exposed and looks really grand with the shards of white marble from Thassos on a red background. A true red carpet! The ceiling held another surprise: a beautiful rosette with traces of red, yellow and blue paint.
The wall at the other end of this room, the top of which was already revealed last week, has surprised us with two large marble caryatids flanking the entrance to the second room still to be disclosed. The face of the caryatid on the west side is nearly intact, while the eastern one is missing her face. The features are quite delicate and very uncommon. Curls hang down over their shoulders and they are dressed in sleeved dresses – a rather exceptional detail. Somehow they remind of Kore statues with traces of blue and red paint, but their posture and sleeves seem to indicate that they might be of a date later than the fourth century BC as suggested so far.
A first peep into the passage behind the caryatids lead experts to believe there is a kind of “false ceiling” underneath the vault, made of limestone slabs decorated with painted blocks imitating a coffered ceiling.
It seems we are in for more surprises and definitely more questions.