Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Drangiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wonderful mosaic brought to light in Amphipolis

It is great to learn that excavation workers have cleared the largest part of the floor in the second chamber of the Tomb of Amphipolis, being the one located behind the entrance flanked by  the Caryatids.

[Picture by the Greek Ministry of Culture]

The clearing operation has exposed a spectacular pebble mosaic showing a chariot drawn by two white horses led by a bearded man wearing a laurel wreath on his head. In front of this span stands the god Hermes with his winged sandals who is guiding the soul to the afterlife. I simply love the yellow kausia Hermes is wearing! 

The colors of the pebbles are as to be expected generally white, black and grayish blue, with touches of yellow, blue and red. The scene is framed by a 60-cm wide Greek Meander border in different shades of grey-blue. Unfortunately the very center of the floor is damaged the size of a circle 80 cm in diameter, but since many lose pebbles are being recuperated from the removed soil, it may be possible to restore the missing part of the scene.

Although all the soil has not yet been removed, it is clear that the mosaic covers the entire width of the floor. At the same time the limestone plastered threshold between the Caryatids has been exposed, as well as the threshold to the third chamber.

The pictures released by the Greek Ministry of Culture tell a great deal about the exceptional technique and help to date this burial site to the period between 325 and 300 BC.


  1. Apparently (according to the press) tomorrow will finish cleaning of the mosaic and we will see if the charioteer is alone or is accompanied by Persephone and hopefully the ministry did not wait until the weekend to post pictures.
    On the restoration, I see complicated. They can recover a lot of tesserae between the soil, but they will not know their exact position. Now it is strange (according to the current criteria for restoration) that the figures damaged in the mosaics are completed.

    1. It seems we all want to roll up our sleeves and shovel the dirt out of the way! Archaeology is a slow and painstaking job that cannot be rushed, but like you I'm aching to know more. I think this tomb may surprise everyone of us and defy all speculations.

  2. We have a winner: Persephone

    1. Great! Reminds me very much of the fresco in the Vergina tumulus. Coincidence?