22 Aug 2014

Last week, Greek archaeologists had discovered an ancient tomb dating back to the days of Alexander the Great.

From NBC news:

Archaeologists excavating an ancient mound in northern Greece have uncovered what appears to be the entrance to an important tomb from about the end of the reign of warrior-king Alexander the Great. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who visited the tightly guarded site Tuesday, said the discovery “is clearly extremely important” and dates between 325-300 B.C. Alexander, who started from the northern Greek region of Macedonia to build an empire stretching as far as India, died in 323 B.C. and was buried in Egypt. His fellow royals were traditionally interred in a cemetery near Vergina, far to the west, where the lavishly furnished tomb of Alexander’s father, Philip II, was discovered in the 1970s. But archaeologists believe the apparently unlooted Amphipolis grave, which is surrounded by a surprisingly long and well-built wall with courses of marble decorations, may have belonged to a senior ancient official.

This week, archaeologists have been working to uncover two towering sphinxes located at the tomb’s entrance, each weighing approximately 1.5 tons. With each passing day, more of this remarkable burial mound is uncovered, and more is learned of this historic site. And crowds have lined up from around the world to discover the secrets of Amphipolis (sorry, friends, no tourist access quite yet!).

As archaeologists and cultural experts in Greece, this is thrilling news. It also serves as a reminder that the process of cultural discovery is never complete. It is not a static, ancient history that one reads about in school textbooks. It is living, breathing history, continuously under revision. Every day, we unearth more of the past and, in turn, come to understand more about Greek culture at present.

That’s why we’re so excited to be able to bring visitors behind the scenes at excavation sites—to witness first hand as Greece’s living history is written, and to share in the joys of cultural discovery.

(photo credit: Greek Ministry of Culture and Sport)

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