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 Dragiana/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)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Interesting artist’s reconstruction of the tomb in Amphipolis

Archaeology News Network published an interesting hypothetical reconstruction of the tomb in Amphipolis.

The latest official news is that thorough tests will be carried out on the bones found in the burial site. If DNA examination will lead to anything conclusive is very much debated since a comparison with the remains found in the Vergina tumulus and believed to belong to King Philip II is not really an option since those bones have been cremated.

More interesting news comes from Andrew Chugg who has been following the Amphipolis operations very closely (see also: A wonderful analysis of Amphipolis by Andrew Chugg). One of his first conclusions is that this tomb definitely doesn’t belong to Hephaistion who was named among the many possible occupants, simply because we know for certain that he was cremated in great pump which is not the case for these bones at Amphipolis.

I also agree that it is most unusual in those days for a Macedonian of high status to be buried without being previously cremated. The entire monument of Amphipolis is pointing towards a burial site of an important person and it is indeed very strange to find such a “simple” cist tomb inside – a shear contrast with the high standards of the rest of the monument.

By reading further in Andrew Chugg’s latest article in the Greek Reporter, it is clear that he is still convinced that Queen Olympias is the most plausible candidate and his argumentation is rather convincing (for the full story read: Is the Mother of Alexander the Great in the Tomb at Amphipolis? Part 7: The Skeleton). We know that Cassander was capable of many intrigues that fitted his cause, so I would say this theory is one among many but not impossible. We have to wait for the results of further research to draw more substantiated conclusion. Besides, we still don’t know whether the bones belong to a male or a female.

Yet, I do share Chugg’s hopes that if this truly is the skeleton of Olympias, her DNA could be compared to that of the bones kept inside the sarcophagus at the San Marco Basilica in Venice which he believes are Alexander’s and not those of the evangelist St Marc (see: The Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great by Andrew Chugg)


  1. I can't help but wonder, the nearly geometric shape of the hole in the mosaic... I could almost imagine a circular image there. Like a picture of a face with the symbol of the sun around it like seen on the Macedonian shields. It would give credit to the idea that the "shrine" to Olympias had been further defiled.

  2. Interesting idea for why would the very center of such a superb mosaic otherwise be disturbed in antiquity? When I first saw the picture I thought there had been a center piece of some kind, but that didn't make sens after I read that loose mosaics had been recovered from the filling layer of soil.
    But placing an image right on top of the running horses does not make sense either, does it?
    The intriguing question is then, why such a circular shaped hole?
    It will a while before this question and so many others will be answered - unfortunately ...