By Spiros Sideris – Athens
Katerina Peristeri, head of the excavation team at Amphipolis, estimated that the tenant of the tomb is a very important figure, a Major General, but the secret og the tomb will be revealed upon completion of the excavation, in about a month.
In an interview on “Mega” television network, the archaeologist spoke of a monument that makes all Greeks really proud, while she did not hide her bitterness about the comments of her colleagues.
As to the occupant of the tomb, Mrs. Peristeri estimated that this is a very important figure, a Major General. She explained, however, that she cannot say anything more until the excavation is completed, in about a month, since “we archaeologists cannot say things if you do not have them in our grasp, touching them”.
“This is the time when we have the Macedonian tombs. We are in the last quarter of 4th century BC and this is a Macedonian tomb, but with some unique features. Somehow I would say universal, feature rich, which one does not see to the other graves. The enclosure is made of Thassian marble, fantastic. The tomb itself is a miniature of the enclosure, the marble works and decorations can also be found inside. That is, inside the tomb continue the characteristics of the enclosure; it is a whole”.
The head of the excavation team in the Kasta tomb in Amphipolis said: “we knew in advance that it is grave, but the discovery of the door confirms even the most skeptics”.
Speaking of the criticism from her fellow archaeologists she says: “I am saddened by this thing, because when you do a job all colleagues should rejoice, but fortunately the majority of the common people, and the colleagues, is with us”.
Regarding the criticism received for the leaks to the press, Mrs. Peristeri stressed that it is important to constantly update on the progress of the excavation. Instead, she considers that this is a good thing, because in this way the information is more valid, since in this way the work that is being done on the hill of Kasta is transferred to scientists, but from the simple citizen to the Prime minister.
In the same show also spoke the Professor of History and Archaeology in the University of Cyprus, Theodoros Mavrogiannis, who reiterated his belief that in the tomb of Amphipolis is buried the general and a close friend of Alexander the Great, Hephaestion.
Mr. Mavrogiannis stated his certainty that it is a monument of the last quarter of the 4th century BC century, agreeing with the head of the excavations, Katerina Peristeri.
“I believe that the monument must have been built between 322 and 318 BC. Of course we have to wait for confirmation of any ceramics etc. Here though, there is a pseudo-isodomic masonry, which can be dated accurately. This masonry is not an enclosure, it is not a retaining wall, it is the platform with the crowning of the Tomb and there is a similar sample on the walls of the building of Samothrace called “Sanctuary”, which is dated. There is an inscription, 323-317 BC”, argued Mr. Mavrogiannis declaring his agreement with the estimates of Mrs. Peristeri on the dating of the tomb: “I completely agree with the dating of the tomb between 325-300 BC”.
According to the Archeology Professor, one of the data, which indicate the identity of the occupant of the tomb are the Caryatids, which, as he argued, are referring to Hephaestion’s place of origin, Athens.