Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed

Two sphinxes weighing around 1.5 tons each will not be moved from the entrance to the tomb at Ancient Amphipolis currently being excavated by archaeologists.

It has also been decided that a mosaic displaying black and white rhombus shapes will not be moved either, Kathimerini has been told.

Technical work began on Monday at the tomb in Central Macedonia, northern Greece, to ensure there will be no collapse or other damage as archaeologists attempt to enter the tomb and discover what lies inside.

There are indications that the tomb has been raided in the past but archaeologists are not yet in a position to confirm this.

The tomb dates to between 325 and 300 BC, which coincides with the time when Alexander the Great died. He lost his life in 323 BC in Babylon, modern-day Iraq, but was later buried in Egypt. The Macedonian king’s final resting place is not known.

However, experts have played down the possibility of the tomb on Kasta Hill containing his remains.

Alexander’s Persian wife, Roxana, and his son, Alexander IV, were banished to Amphipolis and murdered there in around 310 BC on the orders of Cassander, who became king of Macedon. Archaeologists tend to favor the interpretation that an important Macedonian official was buried at Amphipolis.

The mound is surrounded by a 497-meter circular wall built with Thasian marble, leading the premier to label it a “unique” site. A 4.5-meter-wide road leads to the tomb’s entrance.