A huge tomb in Amphipolis, northern Greece, where archaeologists have been seeking traces of Alexander the Great, was likely a monument for Hephaestion, a close companion of the ancient warrior, experts working at the site have revealed.
Debate about the identity of the human remains discovered at the site several months ago reignited yesterday following a press conference late on Wednesday when chief archaeologist Katerina Peristeri confirmed that the tomb dates to the final quarter of the 4th century BC, around the time of Alexander the Great’s death. She added that the friezes inside the tomb, which depict figures on horseback, suggest it was a shrine to a hero.
Michalis Lefantzis, the architect who has been working with Culture Ministry archaeologists on the excavation, said the tomb was probably designed on the orders of Alexander for his friend Hephaestion. Peristeri and Lefantzis said they had found inscriptions with the word “parelavon” (meaning received) and Hephaestion’s monogram.
Speculation had peaked last summer that the tomb at Amphipolis, the largest ever found in Greece, could have been built for a close relative of Alexander such as his mother Olympias or his wife Roxana. But, although the remains of an elderly woman were found, the bones of two men, a baby and animals were also found.