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Amphipolis: Five skeletons in the tomb; VIP-dead was a woman; Olympias scenario

Greek Culture Ministry released new information and new pictures regarding the mystery ancient tomb of Apmphipolis. The dead  buried in Amphipolis tomb were five,” a press release uploaded in the Ministry website said, adding that that “one skeleton belonged to a woman, two to men, one to a newborn, while a fifth skeleton was cremated.”

amphipolis skeleton

 Female skeleton sketch and pictures of the bones.

The press release said further that approximately 550 broken and intact bones, one skull in good condition even though some bone parts were missing.

On the basis of 157 bones, scientists came to the conclusion that the skeletons of at least five people were buried in the tomb.

a) a skeleton belonging to a woman, her age estimated at 60, her height at 157 cm. Her age was estimated on osteoporosis signs, among others.

This skeleton was the one found in half inside, half outside a “grave of limestone”, 2.3m long and 0.54m wide.

b) skeletons of two men, aged approximately 35-45 years old, height 168 cm and 163 cm. One of the skeleton has injuries by a sharp item that probably caused his death. Both skeletons had signs of osteoarthritis.

c) skeleton of a new born baby: it was not possible to identify the sex due to the very young age.

d) skeleton bones indicating that the dead was cremated.

Further research is due to identify whether the dead were related to each other, whether it was the grave of a very wealthy family of the Antique.

Also animal bones were found. these bones will be studied by a specialist.

A press conference is expected to be held in the afternoon in Athens.

Who is the dead?

The new findings overturn the several scenarios circulated also by Greek experts who had claimed that the dead of Amphipolis was a famous army leader most probably a friend of  Alexander the Great.

            Amphipolis the dead1

Glorious expertise! The VIP-dead could only be a man, right?

Now media claim that the V.I.P. dead of Amphipolis may be Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great and fourth wife of Philip II, father of Alexander and King of Macedonia.

Olympias was ordered to be stoned to death at the age of 59. Her body was allegedly denied right to be buried.

Olympias was known to have been a “devout member of the orgiastic snake-worshiping cult of Dionysus, and it is suggested by the 1st century AD biographer, Plutarch, that she may have slept with snakes.”

Much to KTG’s knowledge no snakes sculptures were found in the tomb….. were they? And furthermore: can

More pictures and details about the skeleton findings in Greek Culture Ministry here.

More KTG posts on Amphipolis here

An interesting read on who can be the dead of Amphipolis in the blog of archaeologist Dorothy King.

PS the Culture Ministry redesigned lately its website but did not manage to publish the Amphipolis press releases in English so far, despite the fact that the ancient tomb attracts the interest of media and archaeologists worldwide.





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