Excavations in Amphipolis

The Kasta Tomb, also known as the Amphipolis Tomb, is an ancient Macedonian tomb discovered in Amphipolis, Central Macedonia, in northern Greece in 2012 and first entered in August 2014. The tomb is dated at the last quarter of 4th century B.C., and it is the largest burial monument ever discovered in Greece and by comparison dwarfs the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, in Vergina.

Archaeologists have made a number of important discoveries on the site since August 2014. Apart from the sheer size of the monument, which experts say bears the handprint of Dinocrates of Rhodes, the chief architect of Alexander the Great, archaeologists have so far unearthed:

  • Two marble sphinxes approximately 2 m tall that guard the main entrance to the tomb, missing their heads and wings.
  • Parts that appear to come from the Lion of Amphipolis, a lion statue discovered in Amphipolis in 1912, and which archaeologists believe was originally positioned at the top of the tomb
  • A fresco, paint still visible, that mimics an Ionian peristyle, on top of which the sphinxes sit
  • Two female statues of the Caryatid type in the antechamber, which support the entrance to the second compartment of the tomb. The height of each Caryatid is 2.27 m. The Caryatids are on a pedestal 1.40 m tall, making the total height of the statues 3.67 m.
  • A marble door, typical of Macedonian tomb doors, broken into pieces in front of the doorway to the third chamber
  • A mosaic—3 m wide and 4.5 m long—in the third chamber, which seems to depict Persephone abducted by the god Pluto, ruler of the underworld, wearing a laurel wreath and driving a chariot drawn by horses led by the god Hermes, the conductor of souls to the afterlife
  • The head of the eastern sphinx in the third and last chamber
  • Fragments of the wings of the sphinxes in the third chamber
  • An eight square meter vault and a marble door in the third chamber
  • The skeletal remains of an unidentified person

A leading archaeologicaly website www.archaeology.org has published that the largest Greek tomb at Casta Hill of Amphipolis is a major discovery not just for Greeks but for the global community and included it to the “Top 10 Discoveries of 2014″.

In response to the magnitude of the finds, the authorities of Central Macedonia have requested and were granted a heavy 24-hour police guard of the dig site, and have also begun procedures to have the Kasta Tomb included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites as a “top priority.”

Vergina’s museum
Visit Vergina’s museum containing of Philip II tomb, father of Alexander the Great