No more speculations, no more discussions, the remains inside the gold larnax that was retrieved from the tomb of Vergina in the 1970s by Manolis Andronicos are indeed those belonging to King Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great. A scientific bone analysis published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology has confirmed this theory based on computed tomography (CT) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF). During the scientific research, experts also found scars on the bones that match Philip’s battle wounds. They used no less than 4,500 digital photographs and scans, scrutinizing every single bone, each tooth and each and every other fragment that was locked inside the larnax.
As positive as this may sound, there seem, however, to be certain restrictions as from further investigations I read that “sharp trauma to one of the bones of his palm is actually the only injury the researchers found that lines up with historical accounts”. The bones belong to a male aged about 40-50 years and wear and tear due extensive horseback riding has also been established. But for now this only means that it is reasonable but not conclusive to confirm that the remains found in the Tomb ascribed to Philip II are his. How to make headlines, I wonder!
I was hoping that at last, this great king, the one who put
on the map, might rest in peace, but we are not there yet. Macedonia
In the same article, a female skeleton buried in the same tomb has been analyzed. This is being referred to as belonging to a Scythian princess, Philip’s seventh wife. This statement left me puzzled when I read about this a few months ago for I had never heard of such a marriage (see: The many wives of Philip II); Philip's seventh wife was Cleopatra whom he had married shortly before being murdered. Yet, according to an article published by Mediterraneo Antiguo it seems that as early as 1978 NGL Hammond had suggested that this woman could be the daughter of the Scythian King Ateas. She had injured her left leg and the short greave found in the tomb might just have been hers and not Philip’s. This might also explain the presence of the Scythian gorytos found in the antechamber.
It just looks as if we are back to square one. Only time will tell, us usual!