Passionate archaeologist

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Alita
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Passionate archaeologist

Post by Alita »

Andrew Chugg is an archaeologist who, for some years now, has been obsessed with the idea of discovering Alexander's lost tomb. Among the places he's looked are Nectanebo's coffin and, more recently, the tomb of St. Mark. Looking at his attempts, one cannot help but admire the tenacity and single-mindedness that he exudes as he goes about his painstaking work. However, are his efforts justified? Is there any possibility that any of his 'hiding spots' will yield real treasure? Or is it all just a chasing of mirages, going from one possible site to another, with no real direction?

Another thing which is a concern is the question: How justified are historians in disturbing the resting places of deceased people for the purpose of *perhaps* unlocking the mysteries of the past?

For my part, I don't think Chugg is looking in any of the right places. Even if he did find Alexander's body, who's to say it would be easy to identify? Especially if there are no markings or clues on the burial apparatus? And doesn't this become an especially important point when one goes looking in the tombs of other people? Why would Alexander's body be in St. Mark's tomb anyway? I'm wondering what other people think about this. Let's hear your thoughts. (Constructive comments only, please).
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marcus
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Re: Passionate archaeologist

Post by marcus »

Alita wrote:Andrew Chugg is an archaeologist who, for some years now, has been obsessed with the idea of discovering Alexander's lost tomb. Among the places he's looked are Nectanebo's coffin and, more recently, the tomb of St. Mark. Looking at his attempts, one cannot help but admire the tenacity and single-mindedness that he exudes as he goes about his painstaking work. However, are his efforts justified? Is there any possibility that any of his 'hiding spots' will yield real treasure? Or is it all just a chasing of mirages, going from one possible site to another, with no real direction?

Another thing which is a concern is the question: How justified are historians in disturbing the resting places of deceased people for the purpose of *perhaps* unlocking the mysteries of the past?

For my part, I don't think Chugg is looking in any of the right places. Even if he did find Alexander's body, who's to say it would be easy to identify? Especially if there are no markings or clues on the burial apparatus? And doesn't this become an especially important point when one goes looking in the tombs of other people? Why would Alexander's body be in St. Mark's tomb anyway? I'm wondering what other people think about this. Let's hear your thoughts. (Constructive comments only, please).
Don't really have time to answer this fully - perhaps Andrew will respond himself before I have a chance to write a more detailed reply.

My first response to this is to say that you need to read Andrew's book on the Lost Tomb to get the full picture of why he thinks St Mark's is worth investigating more fully.

On your second point, about justification, I would naturally turn the question round and say "why shouldn't we?" I realise your point is about "possibly" unlocking the secrets of the past ... but surely we aren't going to make much progress if we fail to act on something just because there's only a "possibility" ... and, of course, if it were a "certainty" then there wouldn't be a "secret" to unlock - if you see what I mean.

I'd love to answer more fully, but I really am up against it at the moment, time-wise. That's my initial tuppence-worth, anyway.

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Lisa
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Post by Lisa »

Well........

Since folks around here don't seem much inhibited about allowing the direction of posts meander, pardon the pun, here's what I think. I'm a big believer in reincarnation and the afterlife, believing that this world is really nothing more than a construct or a school in which the school learns lessons. As such, I find the borderline obssessive interest of many of us in the life and times of Alexander highly suspicious. I think that some or many of us may be "Dead Again." Check out the DVD. So, Andrew is obssessed with the location of Alexander's tomb....wasn't there an archeologist once obssessed with the site of Troy?

But I'll tell you what I think is interesting. Phillip, whose life was cut short, and whose life was INTEGRAL to Alexander's campaign and the conquering of Persia, has a beautifully preserved tomb. It's oddly karmic. He has no ten years of trials and triumph and wonderful stories preserved for over 2000 years, BUT, his tomb has survived intace with his bones, his wives bones, his armor, etc. Alexander got the wonderful 2000 year reputation, legends, etc. He actually got to shape and form history. I think that they both won, in a way, and I think that, ultimately, Cleitus was right, Alexander's conquest could not have been done without Phillip starting him out.

Since I know I've raised eyebrows, why stop, right? Did anyone around here know that the location of Alexander's tomb was once investigated by psychics and a book was written about it?

Best wishes,
Lisa
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Post by Yauna »

I think that, ultimately, Cleitus was right, Alexander's conquest could not have been done without Phillip starting him out.
I think Cleitus was right and you are right as well, but that is not all the truth. All of us have a debit to our parents but what we achieve its not their success but it´s ours. What ATG made it´s not only due to his father, he was the start but Alexander made it possible.

I actually think that Cleitus was guilty of treason because saying several times that ATG owed all his conquest to Philippus was very dangerous for ATG, and he had to do something. My pain is that the punishment was very hard, banishing him would have been enough for the man who save his life. :oops:

Unfortunately ATG was a very hearted man, and many times his bravery was his enemy.

Just my thought.
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Tombs

Post by sikander »

Greetings Lisa,

Interesting lead-in.

As to "ince I know I've raised eyebrows, why stop, right? Did anyone around here know that the location of Alexander's tomb was once investigated by psychics and a book was written about it?"

Yes, I am familiar with this. I was given a copy of the book, in fact, by persons interested in aspects of the case. Now that you have reminded me of it, I shall have to go see if it is in my library! (chuckling)

Regards,
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Post by Tantalus »

Alita,

If you want answers to your questions you really should read Andrew's book first. From your post it seems that you haven't yet. I think you would enjoy it.

As for Alexander being in St. Mark's tomb, that is not really what his book is about. It is only in the last few pages of the book that he mentions the subject. And even then he only proposes it as something to consider. And he gives his reasons for doing so.

The majority of the book is the story of Alexander's Tomb through the centuries. It starts with Alexander's death and the establishment of the tomb. It continues chronologically through the years and centuries listing the Tomb's appearance in historical sources. Along the way Andrew fills in the gaps with perceptive insights and logical conclusions.

One thing I especially like about the book is that it is packed with history, not just about the Tomb, but also of Alexandria and related historical events. And there are many wonderful and well chosen illustrations and maps throughout the book.

I found his book to be thoroughly researched and enlightening. In fact, it is the most interesting and enjoyable Alexander related book that I have read in a long time.

Do I think Alexander is in St. Mark's Tomb? I find the idea very intriguing and exciting. I think it's definitely worth consideration and further study. And I wouldn't be surprised if he is there.
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Post by Alita »

Thank you. I shall look for the book after I've finished several I'm reading at the moment.
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Re: Passionate archaeologist

Post by Taphoi »

Alita wrote:How justified are historians in disturbing the resting places of deceased people for the purpose of *perhaps* unlocking the mysteries of the past?
The Catholic church has itself disturbed the remains at least twice: firstly, to upgrade the Basilica in the 11th century; secondly, to move the remains from the crypt to lie beneath the altar in 1811.

Is it morally tenable not to investigate the remains? Whoever they are, they are historically significant, but they remain virtually totally unrecorded (in the scientific sense). As they slowly decay, our history crumbles to dust with them. If a disaster should strike the Basilica of St Mark, such as fire or flood, the history may be entirely lost. Does the deceased have a right to be properly identified? The church's own chronicles put the identity of the remains in question. Enormous efforts were made to identify the tsunami victims, which included slicing up some of their bones. Why shouldn't the same imperative apply in this case?
Alita wrote:Even if he did find Alexander's body, who's to say it would be easy to identify?
There is every reason to believe that an investigation would identify the remains, if they were Alexander or else rule him out, if they were not. We have detailed accounts of specific wounds to Alexander's skeleton and most of the bones seem to be present in St Mark's. Carbon dating and other forensic archaeological techniques would make the identification certain.

Best regards,

Andrew
Petros

Post by Petros »

I am new here and am short on time to research if the subject of the San Marco tomb possibility has gone further in other threads. I would be interested in hearing an update on Andrew Chugg's work in that area. Thanks.
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Post by Paralus »

Taphoi wrote:Is it morally tenable not to investigate the remains?
Morality, I’m afraid, has little to do with it. It is the Catholic Church. As one who has had much to do with it over the years, morality is the last thing one will get – depending upon what might be under investigation.

Taphoi wrote:Whoever they are, they are historically significant, but they remain virtually totally unrecorded (in the scientific sense). As they slowly decay, our history crumbles to dust with them.
And to that there is no argument. Whether they are Alexander’s remains is irrelevant. Unfortunately, to the Church, that is exactly the point. No such identification is necessary. Faith is faith.

As many have already found, scientific arguments rarely impact on the Church.
Taphoi wrote:Does the deceased have a right to be properly identified? The church's own chronicles put the identity of the remains in question. Enormous efforts were made to identify the tsunami victims, which included slicing up some of their bones. Why shouldn't the same imperative apply in this case?
Hardly germane. Those were the remains of people who had living relatives. Such a comparison can in no way be made in terms of, however improbably, identifying Alexander’s remains…if indeed they do remain.
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Consequences of finding a tomb?

Post by jan »

The issue is not whether anyone can find a tomb, but what would the result of such a find mean? Look what has happened to King Tut's tomb. Just what would such a find mean to the discoverer? What would it do to the city or country if found?

I still like Shakespeare's warning to anyone" who durst dare stir his bones"...I can never forget his thoughts about his gravesite, and I should think that anyone anywhere should respect that. So any effort towards finding Alexander's tomb might use care and consideration about such a dig.
Petros

Post by Petros »

It's a little late for Alexander, since his bones were always moved about, from day one, it seems...

Eventually they will move Shakespeare as well. People will not think to obey those words forever. They may have to, soon, because the church where he is interred needs major repair work.

But that's another topic, for another place...
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Post by Theseus »

I for one am for finding Alexander's remains. I think it would be a very important discovery and would kindle interest in our past.

One of the most important finds ever was of course King Tut's tomb. I can't speak for Egyptian's but from what I've witnessed it has helped their economy and many people from all over the world became interested in Egypt's history. A lot of people travel to Egypt to see tombs, remains, pyramids the sphinx ect. The artifacts/remains are treated with the utmost care and honor as would Alexander's remains if found.

Over the short years of my life I have watched as archeologist have found remains and artifacts in Egypt from thousands of years ago.These things have taught us how people lived back in those times and also what ailed them.
They are also able to use DNA from the remains of unknown mummies to link them to the ones that are identified and to see what killed them. if Alexander's remains are found and there are no markings they may be able to use the dna to link him maybe to the remains left from Phillip or possibly Alexander IV. Being the later two were not mummified it would be hard maybe impossible to extract DNA from those remains.
I know in some Egyptian mummies the wrappings have the mummies identity inscribed on them, but also alexader's body "may" still have some of his belongings with him. These belongings are sometimes wrapped in with the linen strips and are hidden from view. These items would maybe be Macedonian or Persian.
I know I have read somewhere about how Alexander's body was handled after he died, but can't remember exact. Was it done by Egyptians that were sent to do the job? I am sure someone here knows and I can't place the book I read this in.

It would be the biggest most important find ever, even bigger than king Tut in my opinion. Look at what Alexander accomplished, there is not other person in history that conquered what he did. Pretty much most of the human population today have heard of Alexander the Great. I think it would be huge for Greece to have the remains of one of their kings found, especially Alexander.
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Post by Theseus »

It was driving me crazy about what book had the information about who took care of Alexander's body so I had to go through my stack of books and I found one- it is Andrew's book page 15. I know it's in more books than this one as well.
It's important to know who took care of Alexander's body because different techniques are used by different people. Egyptians were the best at preserving bodies. I'd have to do some checking on the techniques used at that time of Egyptian history as it changed a little from time to time, but remained the same for the most part.

Here is some info I found:
The art of mummification was perfected in the Third Intermediate Period (1070-712 B.C.). Around 450 B.C. (Late Period), the Greek historian Herodotus documented the process:

As much of the brain as it is possible is extracted through the nostrils with an iron hook, and what the hook cannot reach is dissolved with drugs. Next, the flank is slit open . . . and the entire contents of the abdomen removed. The cavity is then thoroughly cleansed and washed out . . . Then it is filled with pure crushed myrrh, cassia, and all other aromatic substances, except frankincense. [The incision] is sewn up, and then the body is placed in natron, covered entirely for 70 days, never longer. When this period . . . is ended, the body is washed and then wrapped from the head to the feet in linen which has been cut into strips and smeared on the underside with gum which is commonly used by the Egyptians in the place of glue.
Bob Brier, Egyptian Mummies

For anyone further interested this site shows the evolution of mummification and there isn't much change over short periods of time:
http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/time/explore/mum.html
I long for wealth, but to win it by wrongful means I have no desire. Justice, though slow, is sure.
"Solon Fragment 13" poem
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