Ok let me explain again,
Prof B says that skeleton P2/3 cannot be P2 as it displays signs of ‘dry’ cremation which could not be the case for P2 who must have been ‘wet’.
In rebuttal Prof M. denies that the skeleton demonstrates the alleged signs of ‘dry’ burning and that further P3 would not have been cremated ‘dry’ but ‘wet’ and concludes that as both P2 and P3 would present as ‘wet’ cremations, P3 can be excluded!
Can you spot the fallacy? ‘Circumstantial evidence’ does not ‘demonstrate’, at most it may ‘suggest’, and the conclusions reached are quite debateable.
Yes! I can spot your fallacy!
Prof M. Does NOT conclude that P3 can be excluded on the grounds that the cremation was ‘wet’ ( now confirmed by the latest analysis of Theodore Antikas et al). He excludes P3 on other
grounds entirely.Have another look at the report.
Above you claimed:
What forensic pathology can do is rule out remains as belonging to someone where the osteological evidence is inconsistent with other evidence e.g. The Kasta female skeleton being the remains of Olympias.
Now this becomes:
literary sources agree Olympias suffered a very violent death at the hands of a group/multiple assassins. That this could have occurred whilst leaving no apparent skeletal damage whatever on the surviving parts beggars belief, as even Paralus whilst trying valiantly to leave Taphoi's argument open, acknowledges. In addition according to our sources, her body was thrown out unburied by Kassander, and her skeleton would show numerous damage from scavengers - peck marks from crows, gnaw marks from dogs etc. That is not my "interpretation", but the actual evidence. The osteological evidence of the Kastas skeleton is completely inconsistent with the literary ( and also the iconographical/epigraphical) evidence, and thus it rules out Olympias as a possible candidate just as much as if it had been the wrong age ( which it is! One must stretch such other evidence as to age as we have) or a male skeleton.......
I fear that expanding a scenario that has no basis in the sources means that it is your ‘interpretation’, quote the source for the ‘very violent death’ or the extensive scavenging, had Justin written this you might describe it as fictionalised.
Let us remind ourselves of the descriptions of her death:
They did as he had ordered; and, although Olympias was not present and had none to speak in her defence, the Macedonians condemned her to death. Cassander, however, sent some of his friends to Olympias advising her to escape secretly, promising to provide a ship for her and to carry her to Athens. He acted thus, not for the purpose of securing her safety, but in order that she, condemning herself to exile and meeting death on the voyage, might seem to have met a punishment that was deserved; for he was acting with caution both because of her rank and because of the fickleness of the Macedonians. As Olympias, however, refused to flee but on the contrary was ready to be judged before all the Macedonians, Cassander, fearing that the crowd might change its mind if it heard the queen defend herself and was reminded of all the benefits conferred on the entire nation by Alexander and Philip, sent to her two hundred soldiers who were best fitted for such a task, ordering them to slay her as soon as possible. They, accordingly, broke into the royal house, but when they beheld Olympias, overawed by her exalted rank, they withdrew with their task unfulfilled. But the relatives of her victims, wishing to curry favour with Cassander as well as to avenge their dead, murdered the queen, who uttered no ignoble or womanish plea.
But Cassander, on summoning the people to an assembly, to inquire "what they would wish to be done with Olympias," induced the parents of those whom she had killed to put on mourning apparel, and expose her cruelties; when the Macedonians, exasperated by their statements, decreed, without regard to her former majesty, that she should be put to death ; utterly unmindful that, by the labours of her son and her husband, they had not only lived in security among their neighbours, but had attained to vast power, and even to the conquest of the world. Olympias, seeing armed men advancing towards her, bent upon her destruction, went voluntarily to meet them, dressed in her regal apparel, and leaning on two of her maids. The executioners, on beholding her, struck with the recollection of her former royal dignity, and with the names of so many of their kings, that occurred to their memory in connection with her, stood still, until others were sent by Cassander to despatch her; she, at the same time, not shrinking from the sword or the blow, or crying out like a woman, but submitting to death like the bravest of men, and suitably to the glory of her ancient race, so that you might have perceived the soul of Alexander in his dying mother. As she was expiring, too, she is said to have settled her hair, and to have covered her feet with her robe, that nothing unseemly might appear about her.
Pausanias IX.7 says that she was stoned to death. All sources agree she was killed by a group/mob, either with swords or stoned to death [with Diodorus abstaining on means, but the inference of “violently” is clear]. It is hard to see how an angry mob, bent on revenge,, or else a formal execution squad with swords, could not kill someone violently. No head wounds? No defence wounds? No wounds to limbs? Diodorus XVII.118 tells us that her corpse was “cast out without burial”. That the corpse somehow miraculously escaped scavenging is unlikely in the extreme in such circumstances.
The osteological evidence is poor in that much of the skeleton is missing and the manner of Olympias’ death is not known; nor does continually stating that ‘stoning’ is the most commonly described method wash, there is actually no attested stoning which does not have an alternative description, Philotas is stoned by |Curtius and shot by javelins by Arrian following his main sources, the Pages are stoned by arrian’s minor sources but tortured to death in Curtius and Olympias is stabbed in Justin and stoned in Pausanias.
Sufficient of the skeleton survives ( see p.3 Olympias and Kastas tomb thread, my post July 1 which shows the extant skeleton, and deals with this subject at length) to see that there is no significant skeletal damage, as Paralus too suggests. As to stoning, as I have said elsewhere, there are a dozen or so Macedonian executions referred to in our sources, and in the majority the means is not specified, but where it is, stoning is always
mentioned ( even if alternatives, such as Agesilaos mentions, are sometimes also referred to in alternate sources).
Nor is stabbing unknown, indeed it is de rigueur in revenge killing as exemplified by Pausanias’ stabbing of Philip, with a weapon Diodoros terms a ‘macheira’ just demonstrating how fatuous arguments about nomenclature can be, the Greeks were just terminally imprecise.
Stabbing may be ‘de rigeur’ in assassinations, but is never mentioned in connection with Macedonian executions – save the odd one out, Justin’s reference to Olympias’ execution, which is a good reason for thinking it an embellishment.
And let us not forget that it is not just the osteological evidence, but also epigraphical evidence that her tomb is in Pydna that allows the elimination of Olympias as the occupant of the Kastas tomb.....as the excavation team also conclude.