Possible third figure in Amphipolis mosaic may be uncovered shortly

Archaeologists should know on Tuesday or Wednesday whether a third figure is depicted in the mosaic found in the tomb being excavated in Ancient Amphipolis, according to a top Culture Ministry official.

Speaking to Skai TV on Tuesday morning, Culture Ministry General Secretary Lina Mendoni said that efforts to uncover the two sides of the mosaic should be completed “today or tomorrow.”

The mosaic was discovered last week in the tomb’s third chamber. Archaeologists have yet to discover the identity of who was buried in the tomb, with Mendoni saying that there may even be more than four chambers.

“It is not clear if the next chamber will be the last one,” she said.

The mosaic, 3 meters long and 4.5 meters wide, depicts a horseman with a laurel wreath driving a chariot drawn by two horses and preceded by the god Hermes. According to a Culture Ministry announcement, Hermes is depicted here as the conductor of souls to the afterlife.

The mosaic is made up of pebbles in several colors: white, black, grey, blue, red and yellow. A circular part, near the center of the mosaic, is missing, but authorities say enough fragments have been found to reconstruct most of it.

The ministry says that archaeologists have dated the mosaic to the last quarter of 4th century BC (325-300 BC, consistent with their belief the grave contains the remains of a contemporary of Alexander the Great, the ancient Greek king of Macedonia who conquered the Persian Empire and reached present-day India, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan in a whirlwind campaign from 334 to 323 BC). The grave may be that of a relative or general of Alexander’s, archaeologists have speculated.

Alexander, who died in Babylon in present-day Iraq at age 32 in 323 BC, is believed to have been buried in Egypt. His tomb hasn’t been found.

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