The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipolis

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agesilaos
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by agesilaos »

Had he re-founded it it would be as Alexandria yet it is Amphipolis in the Testamentum, beggining to sound like castles in the air to me. Will have to look into the Ilion thing.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Zebedee »

agesilaos wrote:Had he re-founded it it would be as Alexandria yet it is Amphipolis in the Testamentum, beggining to sound like castles in the air to me. Will have to look into the Ilion thing.
May depend on the nature of how it was re-founded perhaps? Adopting Alexander as 'spiritual' founder wouldn't necessarily force a name change eg Hagnon to Brasidas at Amphipolis, 422 BC (Thucydides 5.11.1). Certainly sufficient hints towards epigraphic evidence not being released, in addition to these monograms.

I'm wondering whether much is being made over mason marks to make a point, but that's probably an unworthy thought stemming from ignorance and no little blindness. :?
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by amyntoros »

Zebedee wrote:
I'm wondering whether much is being made over mason marks to make a point, but that's probably an unworthy thought stemming from ignorance and no little blindness. :?
I blew up the screen photo on Dr. King's blog to 300% but the area she circled still looks much the same as the rest of the wall, IMO. I'm not saying a monogram isn't there - just that I can't see it! Also can't understand why anyone would monogram a wall and then cover it with stucco. But what do I know? :lol:

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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Efstathios »

I cannot see it either but as she said the angle and lighting doesn't make it clear, which means she has probably seen other photos with it.

It was prof. Kargakos who said that Alexander wanted to make Amphipolis the new capital of his empire. I do not know where exactly he is drawing this assumption from but as it seems he may be right or at least partially right. Amphipolis was an important city during Alexander's time and the later hellenistic period, as the mint for the coins was there, and many graves and tombs have been found, and now the massive tomb of Casta which changes everything we knew of the importance of this city. Also it's location is good for a port as the ships could enter the river and even be hidden behind hills. Maybe that's one of the reasons that Alexander may have seen Amphipolis as being more suited to be a capital of Macedonia given his conquests and subsequent new trade routes. If not the capital, then surely then next big city. Also he may have wanted to distance his empire from the old Philips' Macedonia, thus changing the capital. All of these reasons could apply. What's certain given this new find is that Amphipolis was a much more important city than we thought. An estimation says that 5% of what is in Amphipolis has been excavated.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Xenophon »

agesilaos wrote:the Musgrave Paper did nothing of the sort; let me refresh your memory.
This statement is untrue, save in the most pedantic sense, and simply serves to obfuscate matters. In absolute terms, Musgrave et al did not "prove" in an absolute sense that the occupant is Philip II, nor did they attempt to do so ( contra your inaccurate comments about an agenda).
"The aim of this paper is not to press the claims of Philip II and Cleopatra, but to draw attention to the flaws in those for Philip III Arrhidaios and Eurydice."

There is no absolute evidence, such as the DNA evidence from King Richard III's descendants that proved beyond shadow of a doubt that the bones found beneath the car park were undoubtedly his .But Musgrave et al did succeed in their aim, conclusively demonstrating that the bones of the tomb II occupants could NOT be those of Philip Arrhidaeus.
Bartisiokis' case was based on the assumption that the adult male had been burned 'unfleshed'. Musgrave et al demonstrated that it is not possible to differentiate between a partially fleshed, ie rotting, corpse and a fully fleshed one.
This is a complete mis-statement of the case, and a misreading of the report. Musgrave et al proved by tests and reference to other studies that fleshed (green) bones and unfleshed (dry) bones cremated in different ways, particularly warping and cracking. They also showed that Bartsiokis' assumption that Arrhidaeus' bones would have been completely dry is wrong.
"If Bartsiokas is right and the bones in the gold casket were burned dry, they could never have belonged to Philip III Arrhidaios because it would have taken them several years to achieve the state of dryness to produce the fracture lines classic of dry cremation.The literature on decomposition is extensive....." The occupant of the Tomb showed no signs of 'dry' cremation.

It IS possible to differentiate between fleshed and partially fleshed cremation - obviously the skeletal parts will show characteristics of 'dry' cremation, whilst those bones still fleshed or partially fleshed will show characteristics of 'green' cremation. In this case the conclusion was that the body had been completely fleshed from head to foot.
"Conclusion:
We believe that the man in the main chamber of Tomb II was burned as a fleshed cadaver on the evidence of the widespread warping and distortion of the bones of his cranial vault and at least six long limb bones: his right humerus, left ulna, both femora and both tibiae.
"
The conclusion is neutral, but Musgrave working to an agenda declares that since the prop of Bartiosokis' argument has gone the body was fully fleshed and thus Philip II which is fallacious; all one can say is that the identities cannot be separated on grounds of the type of cremation (though this reappears in the new analysis!).
Again, this completely wrong. As can be seen, the conclusion is NOT neutral, but rather that the body was definitely cremated fully fleshed on the evidence of the bones from head to foot, not on any 'fallacious' assumption based on the demolition of Bartsiokis' suppositions. The evidence of the bones is that the body was NOT cremated either fully 'dry' or partially fleshed, but rather fully fleshed. Accordingly the body cannot possibly be that of Arrhidaeus (contra Agesilaos' above). Nor can I see an 'agenda'....this appears to be the product of Agesilaos' reading.
He also made the female older than Adea would have been but only withing a few years, so few as to make the finding within the range of growth rate differences.
The point being that on age grounds, the female cremated corpse could not possibly be that of Eurydice, being far too old.
The new evidence makes the woman 30 -34 too old for any known consort of either man but perfect for Kyannane, who seems to have been forgotten in favour of a wholly unknown Skythian unattested in the sources.
Again this is untrue. Cynane, or Kynna, daughter of Philip, and half-sister of Alexander, mother of Eurydike was killed and ultimately interred with Royal ceremony along with Philip Arrhidaeus and Eurydike in Aegae by Cassander. Fatally for any such postulation, Tomb II contains two, not three bodies. In any event, Cynane/Kynna was likely older than the age range given for the female body, not to mention that the female body from Tomb II was undoubtedly cremated fully fleshed.

There is however a more likely candidate. Meda of Odessos, believed to have died in 336 BC, was a Thracian princess, daughter of King Cothelas of the Getae, and wife of king Philip II of Macedon. Philip married her after Olympias, circa 339 BC. The presence of the 'gorytus' in the ante-chamber need not indicate 'scythian' origin ( digression: The people of Aietes kingdom, though called 'scythian' by Greeks were not true nomads but rather a mixed people ), but could also have been a gift, trophy or even a prized possession of a Getae princess.
According to N. G. L. Hammond (followed by Elizabeth Carney), when Philip died, Meda committed suicide so that she would follow Philip to Hades. The people of Macedonia, not used to such honours to their kings by their consorts, buried her with him at the Great Tumuli of Vergina, in the ante-room.
In the interest of completeness it has to be said that the circumstantial evidence does favour Philip II and that the objections of Philip III's proponents have been shown to be erroneous, as in the case of the barrel vault, or are not as clear cut as stated, Attic Salt cellars (largely style based). It would be nice if the new analysis could give a definitive answer but its agenda are already showing; as is clear from its 'definitive answer' :shock: :lol:
As early as 2007, a comparison of the evidence in an unbiased fashion by Hatzopoulos came down in favour of Philip II, and everything since, such as the 'new' evidence referred to supports that conclusion.

The evidence, even if not definitive as with King Richard III, may be circumstantial but is overwhelming. With the removal of the only other plausible candidate ( Arrhidaeus) and the erroneous dating 'evidence' swept away, there can be no realistic conclusion other than that the occupant of Tomb II is indeed Philip II, Agesilaos' caution notwithstanding.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by agesilaos »

Here a link to the article others may decide for themselves whether there is an overstatement or agenda here.

http://www.medsci.org/v07p00s1.htm

On Kyannane, her mother, Audata, may have married Philip as part of a settlement following the defeat of Perdikkas III, making 359 the earliest likely date and 358 the earliest date for Kyannane’s birth, thus she would have been c.35 when she was killed in 323. The army would have forced a funeral just as they forced the marriage so her bones would have been fully fleshed (Musgrave thinks this too).
Kynna had been murdered in Asia some four or five years earlier and presumably had been cremated and preserved as bones, like other dead dignitaries of the age of Alexander the Great's early Successors. A classic example is general Craterus' cremated bones being given to his wife for burial several years later (Diodorus 19.59.3). The dead Eumenes received similar treatment (Diodorus 19.44.2).
Kassandros merely interred her remains. So she is a real candidate, nothing says the three were buried in the same tomb, though quite why Kyanne rather than Eurydike should be in Arrhidaios’ antechamber is a good question.

Hammond’s Mills and Boon suicide story may be right, but since it is not based on any source material it has to remain in the historical fiction category. Shifting the age of the female remains from 20-30 to 30-35 changes a lot, but as usual it is not clear how.

As an example of agenda try the discussion of the age of Adea.
As a young girl of nineteen and some months, or perhaps eighteen going on nineteen (if born, say, in late 336 or very early 335) Eurydice died too young in October 317 to be the lady in Tomb II.
So the Macedonians at Triparadeisos in 320 were considering making a fifteen year old girl ‘epimeletes’ ? It is amazing enough they should consider a female at all but an underage one? Yet it is Bartiosokis they accuse of making the ages fit the bones (which , now can be seen they cannot in any case to have been 30 in 317 Kynnane would have had to have born Adea at 12 and the ‘swiftly ended marriage’ have endured more than ten years.

If we choose to take that meaning from Polyainos VIII 60, ‘…tacheos touton apobalousa….’ In the sense of her marriage to Amyntas ending soon after it started, since the age probability is low on that reconstruction (for Adea being a threat at Triparadeisos) I wonder if it does not rather refer to the abrupt end of the marriage some time later with Amyntas’ execution.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Paralus »

Efstathios wrote:IIt was prof. Kargakos who said that Alexander wanted to make Amphipolis the new capital of his empire. I do not know where exactly he is drawing this assumption from but as it seems he may be right or at least partially right. Amphipolis was an important city during Alexander's time and the later hellenistic period, as the mint for the coins was there, and many graves and tombs have been found, and now the massive tomb of Casta which changes everything we knew of the importance of this city.
Stathi, I see that Dorothy King seems certain that this was built for Alexander but never used for him:
Yes, I'm the "idiot" who has been saying for most of this year and a good chunk of last year that I thought the only person the tomb could have been built for is Alexander the Great. Obviously it is lovely that people are coming around to the idea and not covering silly nonsense from Palagia and Chubb.

There is no way that Alexander was actually buried in the tomb at Amphipolis ever.
Now, I'm just as firmly of the opinion that Perdikkas altered the destination of Alexander's corpse in mid 321 so as to take it to Macedonia for burial and claim a Philip-like kingship after interring the remains. I can only see this happening at Aigai. The question is, if King's suspicion is correct - and she knows more than us - why Amphipolis?? Also, even given the poor state of our sources, why not a single mention, nay, even an aside to such? Most intriguing...
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by agesilaos »

I think she has been misled by these monograms (which no one else seems to be able to see, glad to know my eyes are not so bad) which going by her blog she is interpreting as signs of Alexander rather than transient mint officials, what the reference to the ' horses of Alexander' refers to Jove alone knows :lol:
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by gepd »

I also cannot see the monogram, but my understanding is that her point was that such monograms (among other evidence) where used to date the tomb in the latest 4th century BC. There has never been an explanation from the arcaeological team on how they were so certain with the chronology even from 2013, when only the peribolos had been revealed.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Alexias »

agesilaos wrote:...what the reference to the ' horses of Alexander' refers to Jove alone knows :lol:
I'm wondering if the tomb is some kind of monument to the Companions who fell at the Granicus. Arrian:
Of the Macedonians, about twenty-five of the Companions were killed at the first onset, brazen statues of whom we erected at Dium, executed by Lysippus, at Alexander's order.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by system1988 »

gepd wrote:I also cannot see the monogram, but my understanding is that her point was that such monograms (among other evidence) where used to date the tomb in the late 4th century BC. There has never been an explanation from the arcaeological team on how they were so certain with the chronology even from 2013, when only the peribolos had been revealed.
This certainty really surprised everyone. But K.Peristeri like all proper scientists has given two (?) lectures in 2013 in a congress in Thessaloniki, on the work she had done before the main excavation begun, in the hill Kasta (and on the results) Does anyone know about the content?

EDIT

Shall I assume that no one read the content? This is mainly adressed to the greek members (although a small greek translation of the conference speeches must exist) of the forum who make predictions and hypothesies about the date of the monument.
Last edited by system1988 on Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by amyntoros »

Paralus wrote:
Stathi, I see that Dorothy King seems certain that this was built for Alexander but never used for him:
Yes, I'm the "idiot" who has been saying for most of this year and a good chunk of last year that I thought the only person the tomb could have been built for is Alexander the Great. Obviously it is lovely that people are coming around to the idea and not covering silly nonsense from Palagia and Chubb.

There is no way that Alexander was actually buried in the tomb at Amphipolis ever.
Now, I'm just as firmly of the opinion that Perdikkas altered the destination of Alexander's corpse in mid 321 so as to take it to Macedonia for burial and claim a Philip-like kingship after interring the remains. I can only see this happening at Aigai. The question is, if King's suspicion is correct - and she knows more than us - why Amphipolis?? Also, even given the poor state of our sources, why not a single mention, nay, even an aside to such? Most intriguing...
Does she know much more than us though? Her Amphipolis posts are all over the place so I can't (am too lazy to) confirm, but I believe she said she isn't getting any privileged information other than that which is also being "leaked" to the press.

I'm going to throw something else out there now, so some gentlemen of this thread sit back and get ready to groan. Am not sure about our new member Zebedee, whom we never officially welcomed :shock: but I'm fairly sure of the response of a couple or so. Now y'all know I try to be as objective as possible, and I believe no one sees me as a romanticist, but lately I have been wondering if this tomb could be Hephaistion's. Please finish groaning and then consider:

It's been said by Dorothy King and others that this could be a Heroon rather than just a tomb, and given the magnificence of the findings to date (and the weathering of the exterior) I think it plausible. Now, who of the period would be considered a hero? Yep, there's our guy, a hero according to Alexander and Siwah. Plus there is something that is rarely discussed, that a Hero "officially" gives protection only to the city in which he is buried. So when Alexander's plans for Hephaistion's tomb/temple were refused, if the bones were then interred in Babylon Hephaistion would have become the protector of that eastern city. Tell me now, do you consider it impossible that one of the generals from Amphipolis decided to take/send Hephaistion's bones to Amphipolis and have them interred there in a grand manner, thus bringing new prestige and protection (and in an abstract way, Alexander's presence also) to the city? Yes I know there is a dedication to Hephaistion found elsewhere, but temples to a hero could be set up in many places where personal requests and dedications could be placed. However, it's where the bones lie that is most important, hence the stealing of a hero's remains which occurred more than once in ancient times. So, is it not inconceivable that someone valued Alexander's views enough to build this tomb for Hephaistion? I know H is disliked by more than one member on the forum, but I cannot believe that every single member of Alexander's entourage was an enemy to him also.

All of the above just my thoughts. Am not claiming it IS Hephaistion's Heroon, just throwing out the possibility while we wait impatiently for full disclosure. :)

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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by agesilaos »

I don't think the opinion of anyone on the forum is of much moment, but that of the grandees in Babylon is, Eumenes and Krateros (though he was not at Babylon he was a consideration to those that were, a 10,000 veteran consideration), had both incurred his emnity, Perdikkas cancelled the costly Pyre, Ptolemy did not make it back to Macedonia,nor did Seleukos, Lysimachos was close to Alexander but there is no sign of his belonging to an Hephaistion faction, indeed that seems to be a faction of two! One might deduce the lack of sympathy for Hephaistion from the fact that in the case of the two arguments we hear of, Alexander chose to support the other side rather than his own favourite.

Just as Olympias was of no importance in the post 316 world, so Hephaistion became redundant as soon as Alexander died, if his remains went anywhere then the Heroon at Alexandria dedicated to him would be my guess, though that would pre-suppose that Perdikkas was taking them to Aigai along with Alexander; there is an unlikely tale of Perdikkas' lieutenants, Attalos and Laomedon being duped by an mummified impostor, perhaps that was Hephaistion's last act for Alexander, though hardly one for which he volunteered. :P

Is that the sort of thing you expected? I hate to disappoint :lol:
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by amyntoros »

Oh Agesilaos, you never disappoint! :lol: Think I'll wait for an expected response from the men who chunder before I answer in any detail. But for now - I just can't resist adding to this - does poor Hephaistion really qualify as one of the most disliked men in history?

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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Efstathios »

First let me address the question regarding Dorothy King. From what i have read on her blog, she has stated that she has seen photos of the outer wall that have not been published. This prior to August when the first leak happened as she said, when they discovered the epigraphs. After that she is just following the excavation through the official reports. She may also know what the epigraphs say or what the archaeologists assume based on them, hence the coded title "Alexander's horses".

Now on to Hephaestion. There is always a chance that it could be a heroon for him, or even his tomb, but i do not think that any of the diadochi would spend so much money for a project like this. Alexander would, but the diadochi probably not. You have take into account the challenges in building this massive structure. It's not only the money, but the fact that they moved the marble with ships and then uphill (if the geography hasn't changed much) and the difficulty of carving the marble pieces in a slight curvy shape in order to make a circle of 480 meters. I don't see that happening for Hephaestion under any of the diadochi rule. As Dorothy has said, this monument and since nothing like it has been found in Greece could possibly be only for Alexander. So, we may be looking at the tomb that they prepared for him before Ptolemy got his body.
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