The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipolis

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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Efstathios »

I wouldn't say so. It is still 40 meters to the center of the structure, so it would be the most likely scenario for the chambers to lead there, even going down in levels. As for the woman or male hypothesis, since we don't have evidence yet it's early to tell. It could be both.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by system1988 »

2-10-14

Parts of a double marble door and parts of its usual iron moving mechanism (characteristic of the Macedonian tombs) was found in chamber no.3 of the Amfipolis tomb. No photos exist as of yet, this was just announced.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Efstathios »

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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Taphoi »

Just to clarify for anyone not familiar with the double marble doors commonly found in 4th century BC Macedonian tombs, the picture below of doors in Philip II's tomb at Aegae shows why the archaeologists are excited by today's marble door fragment. It has been a criticism that the lack of marble doors at Amphipolis casts doubt on its dating to the last quarter of the 4th century BC and its identification as a tomb. The new evidence strongly reinforces the date and the fact that it is a tomb.
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Marble doors within the tomb of Philip II at Aegae
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by agesilaos »

The fact that the door is a working type and seems to lead to a different level seems unusual to me, and coupled with the weathering of the facade, indicating the tomb was open for a long period, it does look like a site which was regularly opened for re-use; whether this is a mausoleum opened to take fresh corpses or a cthonic cult site opened for festival days/nights is moot. Dot King has intimated that there has been some evidence which '99%' nails the dating, which is intriguing if annoying; if it is just more stylistic dating then it does nothing of the sort, if it is epigraphic then why has it not been released? Personally I suspect that it merely removes the validity of any claim to a Roman date, which was slight in the first place and based again on 'styles'. Prof Peristeri, the lead archaeologist, in an interview with Neos Kosmos (New Order! Sounds dodgey) reckons they will discover the identity of the occupant by Christmas; frustrating but dictated by the structural issues. This is a unique site and I am sure we would all prefer progress to be slow and we get the chance to see it for ourselves in five years time, rather than have a politico-economically driven rush end in collapse, fatalities and the loss of potentially valuable evidence.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Nikas »

Taphoi wrote:Just to clarify for anyone not familiar with the double marble doors commonly found in 4th century BC Macedonian tombs, the picture below of doors in Philip II's tomb at Aegae shows why the archaeologists are excited by today's marble door fragment. It has been a criticism that the lack of marble doors at Amphipolis casts doubt on its dating to the last quarter of the 4th century BC and its identification as a tomb. The new evidence strongly reinforces the date and the fact that it is a tomb.
Best wishes,
Andrew
Does the fact they have benn found broken and in pieces indicate normal detioriation or a more nefarious possibility? Was Philip II's found relatively intact?
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by agesilaos »

SHOCK NEWS STYLE CONFIRMS DATING !!!!

First half of Fourth century BC Stavroupouli
stavroupouli.jpg
stavroupouli.jpg (158.02 KiB) Viewed 3833 times
to Lyson and Kallikes c 200BC
tomb_lyssonos_kallikleous.jpg
tomb_lyssonos_kallikleous.jpg (115.88 KiB) Viewed 3833 times
Narrowed to two and a half centuries! :lol: :lol:
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Nikas »

agesilaos wrote:SHOCK NEWS STYLE CONFIRMS DATING !!!!

First half of Fourth century BC Stavroupouli
stavroupouli.jpg
to Lyson and Kallikes c 200BC
tomb_lyssonos_kallikleous.jpg
Narrowed to two and a half centuries! :lol: :lol:
Ok, it's Philip V now haha
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by agesilaos »

Sort of been saying that all along :wink: But seriously folks the style of the door is so common as to be useless as a dating tool, beyond 'Hellenistic'.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Nikas »

agesilaos wrote:Sort of been saying that all along :wink: But seriously folks the style of the door is so common as to be useless as a dating tool, beyond 'Hellenistic'.
Good point. I hope there is some silver bullet evidence forthcoming soon!
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Taphoi »

agesilaos wrote:Sort of been saying that all along :wink: But seriously folks the style of the door is so common as to be useless as a dating tool, beyond 'Hellenistic'.
But it's not merely as vague as the style: you should look more closely at the proportions, which do vary a bit from case to case. The Amphipolis nailheads have a very similar distribution and the same proportions as the late 4th century BC doors. A:B, C:D and even A:C are all very similar to the doors of the tombs of Philip II and Alexander IV. I do wonder whether they are right to reconstruct the double band of nailheads in the vertical sense, when most parallels show them to run in the horizontal sense, however. Not a good vibe to say "It'll all be over by Christmas." Where did I hear that before?
It would appear most likely that the doors were smashed on the same occasion as the sphinxes were mutilated prior to the (re-)sealing. I don't really buy the idea that they were shattered by an earthquake. However, there is hope that nobody got in after the (re-)sealing.
Best wishes,
Andrew
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Efstathios »

Except for the earthquake there was also a shelling of the site by bulgarian forces during the 1913 balcan wars. Mrs Peristeri said that they found pieces of mortar shells at the area.

Also of note, another contender for the tomb is Laomedon who was allegedly from Amphipolis, was chased by Nikanor and found refuge in Karia where Alcetas gave him Amphipolis. Still, i don't see how this massive tomb could be for a general. My vote is still for Alexander the 4th and Roxanne.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Zebedee »

agesilaos wrote:Sort of been saying that all along :wink: But seriously folks the style of the door is so common as to be useless as a dating tool, beyond 'Hellenistic'.
Lazaridis did find what he thought might be a pyre (and later a small column krater he associated with it) which he dated to 'early Hellenistic period' in an area where the mound had collapsed. He gave a depth of 11m for the pyre. So there may be something they've got from that which can give at least one goalpost.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by agesilaos »

And the distribution looks exactly the same on Lyson Kallikles, these doors are all about the same size and so the scale representation is the same; I take your point about the reconstruction, I wondered that myself but can only think they have an identifiable top/bottom edge with the double row runnning vertically, they must have looked at the many comparanda, surely? Maybe the artist mis-understood the description and the Press Office released it without checking; I imagine the archaeologists are somewhat busy!

If they have found a pyre there ought to be carbon dateable remains but they would only yield a range and be applicable for the pyre, but the fact of a pyre increases the probability of an actual burial or series thereof, the mound may have been built up over time as successive pyres were covered first with sand and the soil which would grass over before the next pyre and might account for the clear stratification and the 'green soil', based on absolutely nothing,of course so file under guesswork!
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Taphoi »

agesilaos wrote:And the distribution looks exactly the same on Lyson Kallikles, these doors are all about the same size and so the scale representation is the same; I take your point about the reconstruction, I wondered that myself but can only think they have an identifiable top/bottom edge with the double row runnning vertically, they must have looked at the many comparanda, surely? Maybe the artist mis-understood the description and the Press Office released it without checking; I imagine the archaeologists are somewhat busy!

If they have found a pyre there ought to be carbon dateable remains but they would only yield a range and be applicable for the pyre, but the fact of a pyre increases the probability of an actual burial or series thereof, the mound may have been built up over time as successive pyres were covered first with sand and the soil which would grass over before the next pyre and might account for the clear stratification and the 'green soil', based on absolutely nothing,of course so file under guesswork!
On the possible date range for the tomb doors, I would only differ with you in saying early Hellenistic rather than Hellenistic in general. Although they are highly consistent with a late 4th century BC date for the complex, they are not the best dating evidence yet published. But they are unmistakably Macedonian tomb doors of the early Hellenistic period, so the mound at Amphipolis is a tomb of the early Hellenistic period beyond reasonable doubt now. However, my favorite dating point at the moment is probably the floor of white marble fragments in a red cement, since the only other example I have seen is in the late 4th century BC palace at Aegae. I think it is more likely that the reconstruction of the door is simply wrong, because these doors do all have a standard design with three horizontal bands, each comprising two rows of "nailheads". They have found a fragment from either the top or the bottom horizontal row and thought its edge to be the vertical seam. The 11m depth commment could easily be the level of the subsoil beneath the tumulus. It would make sense to have had a pyre on the site prior to construction of the tomb. There seems to have been a Greek belief that the tomb should be at the site of the pyre, else why did they bother to take the uncremated body of the real Agesilaos back to Sparta and why did they try to preserve Alexander's body to take it to Aegae? It does not make sense that the mound could have gradually accumulated. The Lion Monument must have been added when the mound was complete, but it matches the stone type and masonry and sculptural style of the tunnel of chambers, which must have been built before the mound. Furthermore the enclosure wall is continuous with the entranceway and it perfectly encompasses the entire mound. It is impossible to believe that this tomb is not a single construction built to an advance plan that envisaged its final scale, otherwise you will have to argue that the enclosure wall is later than the mound and constructed as an afterthought and that an evolving mound was nevertheless fortuitously kept precisely circular, despite the fact that nobody could see one side from the other. The (planned) scale of this tomb is obviously a diameter of one stade, perhaps another hint of Deinocrates. This tomb was designed to be that big before its construction was begun. It was designed to impress. This does not mean it did not take years to finish: it probably did. But it was built continuously rather than continually.
Best wishes,
Andrew
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