Alexander III of Macedon, also known as Alexander the Great, was the King of Macedon and part of the Argead dynasty in the BC era. At the mere age of 20, he succeeded his father, Philip II, to the throne to become ruler of Macedon. A commander who never lost a battle, Alexander the Great was a militaristic leader that spent his ruling years successfully conquering lands ranging from Greece, Egypt, and even to Northwest India. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest commanders to have ever lived. Now, the recent discovery of a mound holding a tomb and a group of vaulted rooms might hold ties to the king.
The chief archaeologist at the site, Katerina Peristeri, announced that the ancient tomb may be that of Alexander the Great, or at least some of his family or generals because of its size and the grandeur of the vaulted rooms. It is the largest ancient tomb ever to be discovered in Greece. In addition, pieces of the Lion of Amphipolis were found at the site, which is said to have been placed on top of Alexander’s tomb. Alexander, however, is believed to have been buried in Alexandria, in Egypt.
Further investigation of the site has led to other opinions. The hypothesis of Evangelos Kambouroglou, one of the members of the geologist team, is that the mound in question, in which the tomb and vaults were found, was a natural hill and not manmade as once assumed. Further strengthening his hypothesis, Evangelos added that the sculpture of the Lion of Amphipolis could never have stayed on top of the tomb as the team of archaeologists is claiming. The Lion of Amphipolis is not only too large, but much too heavy. Because of this and other discoveries, Kambouroglou feels that the site is not associated with Alexander the Great.
Additional findings have led geologists to believe that the vaults were built before the tomb and not at the same time. The tomb itself holds the remains of five individuals and they are being tested for DNA in hopes of providing some kind of identification.
Research has shown that the marble doors have been used heavily used, indicating that the site was heavily looted long ago. However, the vaults and tomb have provided many clues and valuable information to scientists. The dating of the site has been place between 300 and 325 BC, which is within the life and death dates of Alexander and those close to him.
Further study is ongoing and we may never know for certain why the vaults and tomb were built, and who for. As time goes on, it’s sure that there will be more theories to come regarding this find.