Coins depicting the face of Alexander the Great were discovered inside the Amphipolis tomb, Greece, announced head of excavations Katerina Peristeri during a press conference on Saturday.
Peristeri said that the coins are dated around the 2nd century B.C., the era of the last Macedonian kings. The coins will be photographed to be shown to the public after they are cleaned. Another important finding was painted pottery that belongs to the 4th century B.C. “We have so many pottery pieces we have hardly counted them,” Peristeri said.
Meanwhile, the suspense continues on who is buried in the magnificent tomb, the largest archaeological burial monument in Greece. Reporters asked several questions on the identity of the skeleton found and the condition it was found in. “The bones were found inside and outside the burial pit,” said General Secretary of Culture Lina Mendoni. “The skull was quite some distance away from the pit, the lower jaw was just outside the pit and the largest part of the skeleton was inside the pit. A close look shows that the legs and arms are almost intact, rib bones and parts of the spine as well as the pelvic bones are in fragmentary condition, therefore it is impossible for archaeologists to say if they belong to a man or a woman.”
The depictions of human shapes and the inscriptions on the epistyle and other marble plates that may give more clues on the identity of the dead will be studied via ultraviolet rays, a process that has not started yet.
According to culture ministry officials, the monument was originally open to the public. It is estimated that it was looted some time during the Roman era and then it was sealed. They also said that there are no signs that Christians ever entered the tomb.
Source: Greek Reporter
For some years, Egypt was under the control of the Persian King, and while other outside forces had ruled Egypt over the years, the Persians seem to have had few friends in Egypt. In fact, Egyptian elements had already mounted revolts, weakening the Kings hold over the country when Alexander the Great arrived at Egypt’s border in the Sinai during October of 332 BC. The Egyptians, apparently seeking any relief from the Persian ruler, seem to have almost welcomed Alexander with open arms, so his armies met little resistance. Soon, he arrived with his army in Memphis, where he made an offering to the Apis bull and was crowned king of Egypt. He took as his Egyptian throne name, Setp n Ra Mery Amun.
Alexander’s visit to the Western desert Siwa Oasis to consult with the Oracle of Amun, where his kingship was made divine as the son of Amun, is well documented. But apparently, this great warrior who was also one of histories grandest politicians, gained considerable respect in other areas of the Western Desert as well. Some Egyptologists believe that he may very well have traveled through the Bahariya Oasis on the way back to his new capital, Alexandria, on Egypt’s northern coast. This oasis prospered considerably during his rule, and counted among its population many Greeks.
The temple of Alexander the Great located in the Bahariya Oasis has the distinction of being the Macedonian ruler’s only known temple in Egypt. The temple was built during Alexander’s lifetime and dedicated to Amun and Horus.
Ahmed Fakhry never found the stela of Tuthmose II that he was searching for when he stumbled across the temple in 1938, but this discovery, very near the (then unknown) Valley of the Golden Mummies, most certainly made up for that failure. It was to be Fakhry’s last day in the Bahariya Oasis and he was exploring a spring called Ain el-Tabinieh, about three miles west of El Qasr (Bawiti), that had been mentioned by Sir Gardner Wilkinson in 1837. Here, he discovered a mound surrounded by stones that he thought might be a New Kingdom temple.