By Spiros Sideris – Athens
Intense emotions caused yesterday, throughout the global community, the full disclosure of the mosaic in the tomb of Amphipolis with the redhead Persephone wearing e white tunic. As explained the Secretary General of the Department of Culture, Lena Mendoni, the tomb of Kasta is not the first in which the Abduction of Persephone is depicted, since it has also been found in two more tombs in Vergina and indeed this is an element which “shows” that the tenant of the tomb of Amphipolis is a member of the Macedonian royal family.
“We find the scene of the abduction of Persephone on the fresco in the so-called tomb of Persephone, the royal cemetery at Vergina. We have a second display with Pluto and Persephone in a sacred marriage scene, in the backrest of the marble throne in the tomb of Eurydice, mother of Philip, in Aeges. The scenes are linked with the cults of the underworld, the Orphic cult-descent into Hades and the Dionysian rites. The head of the house of Macedon at the time was the archpriest of these cults”, Ms Mendoni said yesterday.
The representation of the Abduction of Persephone in the tombs of Vergina
Representation with the abduction of Persephone has also been found in the so-called tomb of Persephone, while the form of Persephone is also present in the tomb of Eurydice.
The tomb of Persephone
The fresco of the abduction of Persephone has been found in a cist grave in Aeges, with dimensions 3m x 4,5m, dated around 350 BC and which belonged to a young woman, about 25 years old, who must have died in childbirth and was buried there along with her baby. Indeed, it is speculated that she is one of the seven wives of Philip II, probably Nikisipolis of Feres, the mother of Thessaloniki.
The Tomb of Eurydice
The tomb of Eurydice was discovered in 1987 by Manolis Andronikos, 4 meters east of the “tomb of the Roman” and is considered the oldest Macedonian tomb ever discovered. Manolis Andronikos believed that it was the burial chamber of Eurydice, mother of Philip II, but this has yet to be fully established.
The grave is also known as the tomb of the throne, because of the throne found in it, and which is richly decorated with gilded sculpted frieze and smaller painted figures. On the back of the throne is a wonderful representation of Persephone and Hades on their chariot, facing forward, with the chariot being pulled by four horses.
It is emphasized that the tomb of Amphipolis is first in which a mosaic depicting figures was found, while the hitherto known Macedonian tombs were decorated with paintings or mosaics of abstract representations.
The director of KH Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and head of the excavation of the tomb of Kasta in Ancient Amphipolis, Katerina Peristeri said at a press conference:
“We are very happy to have found such an amazing tomb, a really magnificent burial complex, and even more proud and happy to have found a mosaic, which is unique and identified and dated to the last quarter of the 4th century BC; with a unique representation with Hermes as the soul guide, Pluto and Persephone. It really is the work of a great artist and this certainly is a grave of a very prominent personality”.