By Ioanna Zikakou -
A year ago archaeologists came across a unique monument, the largest ancient Greek tomb that has ever been found in the country. The Amphipolis tomb, built on Casta hill, near Serres, northern Greece, attracted media attention from across the globe since it was believed to be Alexander the Great’s resting place.
However, a year later, historians have dismissed the possibility that the tomb belongs to the great ancient Greek ruler who conquered the Persian empire, and the monument has been left, almost forgotten.
“No one works here anymore. The project is frozen, like everything else in Greece,” a young guard told French news agency AFP, referring to the country’s economic crisis that in addition to mass layoffs and revenue cuts, it has also hit spending on cultural projects. “We still don’t know if the country is going to run out of money.”
After the Alexander the Great theory was debunked, archaeologists worked hard to find who the occupant of the majestic grave was. At first they tried to determine if it could belong to someone close to the Greek ruler, for example his mother Olympias, or maybe his wife and son, Roxana and Alexander.
Through meticulous excavations, they uncovered 550 bone fragments, 157 of which have already been matched to specific bodies. Inside the Amphipolis tomb laid an elderly woman, two men, a newborn baby, a person whose sex has not yet been determined and various animals, including a horse.
Greek Culture Minister Nikos Xydakis has publicly criticized the previous administration over its handling of the excavation, noted AFP. “The way the excavation was carried out and its promotion had elements of a show,” he said in March. Furthermore, he recently stated that the Ministry will need around 200,000 euros in order to make the monument accessible to tourists. They money was ready to be allocated in June but their release was delayed due to the capital controls.