Two Intact Chamber Tombs Dating Back 3,300 Years Unearthed in Greece

Two Intact Chamber Tombs Dating Back 3,300 Years Unearthed in Greece

Two large chamber tombs dated to around 1300 BC have been found in an important Mycenaean-era burial ground in Greece. Previously discovered tombs in the area were extensively looted, but these two are completely intact, offering exciting new insights into the culture and period.

The Ministry of Culture in Greece announced that the find was made during a dig that was sponsored by the Corinthian Ephorate of Antiquities and led by Assistant Professor of Archaeology at the Universities of Graz in Austria and Trier of Germany, Konstantinos Kissa.

The tombs are located in the south of Greece, at Aidonia, not far from the modern town of Nemea, in the hilly terrain of the Peloponnese. They are also near the historic Nemea site, which is rich in archaeological ruins, including a famous temple of Zeus. Aidonia is also known for its cluster of ancient tombs, but most of them had been raided in the 1970s.

One of the previously discovered chamber tombs at Aidonia in Greece. Credit: Ministry of Culture and Sports

Mycenaean Cemetery

According to Kathimerini. gr , the tombs are at the eastern section of the Mycenaean cemetery. The Mycenaeans were a Late Bronze Age civilization that were very influential on the culture of Classical Greece. This culture was famed for its palaces and its aristocratic warrior-culture. This period is often associated with the Homeric epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey.

The tombs are believed to date ‘’from 1400 to 1200 BC’’, from the Late Mycenaean period according to Greece News . The first tomb found was roofed and contained two burials where the bones of 14 people were unearthed.

These are secondary burials as the ‘’remains had been transferred from other tombs’’ reports Global News . The second tomb’s roof had collapsed but three burials were found at the site.

A burial found in a chamber at Aidonia. Credit: Ministry of Culture and Sports

3000-Year-Old Grave Goods

Both the chamber tombs had burial goods that are over 3000 years old. Archaeologists found a number of clay utensils, some figurines and smaller objects, including buttons. In the tomb whose roof had not collapsed, archaeologists found some ‘’pots, false amphoras and narrow-leaved basins’’ reports Kathimerini. gr . These were probably offerings to the dead, a common practice at the time.

The two recently discovered tombs are from the high-point of the Bronze-Age culture when the Mycenaeans were building monumental palaces such as those found at Mycenae. According to the Pressroom, the finds made in the two tombs are being compared with those found at burial sites of the early Mycenaean period (ca. 1,600 - 1,400 BC), which were excavated in previous years at Adidonia. The cemetery contains a number of tombs that date from 1700-1100 BC and is not far from a major Mycenaean settlement.

Ancient Greek clay pots. Source: Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinth

Grave Robbers

What makes the discovery of the two tombs so remarkable is that they are intact, unlike the other burials in the cemetery. The other Mycenaean tombs had “been extensively looted, probably in 1976-77’’ according to Global News . These robberies led to a number of digs that were carried out by the Greek Archaeological Service. Archaeologists led by Kalliopi Crystal-Votsi and Constantina Kaza made a number of important discoveries in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In total, some 20 chamber tombs were unearthed. Despite being previously looted, the burials still yielded a ‘’a stunning array of jewelery’’ according to the Pressroom. Among the other items found were weapons, storage vessels, and even tableware. Some of the golden objects that had been previously looted from these tombs were recovered by the Greek government. They came to light after an attempt to auction them in New York in the 1990s.

Newly-discovered chamber tomb with fallen roof and two pits. Source: Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinth

The newly discovered tombs can help us to understand the development of the site and the region in the Mycenaean period. The nature of the tombs can be contrasted with earlier examples. More importantly, the burial goods and their design can tell us much about the material culture of the civilization.

There are plans to excavate the site further as more burials may come to light.


Archaeologists unearth 3,300-year-old Egyptian tomb

The newly excavated tomb boasted a 23-foot-high pyramid at its entrance, say archaeologists.

A tomb newly excavated at an ancient cemetery in Egypt would have boasted a pyramid 7 meters (23 feet) high at its entrance, archaeologists say.

The tomb, found at the site of Abydos, dates back around 3,300 years. Within one of its vaulted burial chambers, a team of archaeologists found a finely crafted sandstone sarcophagus, painted red, which was created for a scribe named Horemheb. The sarcophagus has images of several Egyptian gods on it and hieroglyphic inscriptions recording spells from the Book of the Dead that helped one enter the afterlife.

There is no mummy in the sarcophagus, and the tomb was ransacked at least twice in antiquity. Human remains survived the ransacking, however. Archaeologists found disarticulated skeletal remains from three to four men, 10 to 12 women and at least two children in the tomb. [Gallery: See Images of the Newly Found Tomb]


Tombs unearthed in Greece's Nemea cemetery sheds more light on Mycenaean civilization

The photo taken on Aug. 4, 2019 shows ceramics found by archaeologists inside of tombs unearthed at the Aidonia cemetery in Nemea, Peloponnese peninsula, Greece. Two intact tombs dating back to 1,400-1,200 BC were unearthed by archaeologists in the region of Nemea in the Peloponnese peninsula at the Aidonia cemetery, shedding more light on the Mycenaean civilization, the Greek Culture Ministry announced on Sunday. (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports/Handout via Xinhua)

ATHENS, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Two intact tombs dating back to 1,400-1,200 BC were unearthed by archaeologists in the region of Nemea in the Peloponnese peninsula at the Aidonia cemetery, shedding more light on the Mycenaean civilization, the Greek Culture Ministry announced on Sunday.

The tombs contained remains of 19 burials as well as ceramics and other small objects which will help scholars better understand the development of the ancient settlement and its ties to neighbors, read the emailed press statement from the ministry.

Located next to Nemea's vineyards, Aidonia was a key settlement of the Mycenaean civilization which flourished in the 17th-12th century BC, the press statement noted.

The cemetery was extensively looted in the winter 1976-1977, just before archaeologists uncover a complex of 20 chamber tombs carved in the rock.

The finds in a pit inside one of these tombs helped experts link them to a set of jewelry that was about to be sold in an auction house in New York in 1993 and was eventually repatriated, the ministry stressed.

The latest round of excavations launched in 2016 has brought to light another series of tombs with remarkable finds.


Greek Farmer Stumbles Onto 3,400-Year-Old Tomb Hidden Below His Olive Grove

Sometime between 1400 and 1200 B.C., two Minoan men were laid to rest in an underground enclosure carved out of the soft limestone native to southeast Crete. Both were entombed within larnakes—intricately embossed clay coffins popular in Bronze Age Minoan society—and surrounded by colorful funerary vases that hinted at their owners’ high status. Eventually, the burial site was sealed with stone masonry and forgotten, leaving the deceased undisturbed for roughly 3,400 years.

Earlier this summer, a local farmer accidentally brought the pair’s millenia-long rest to an abrupt end, George Dvorsky reports for Gizmodo . The farmer was attempting to park his vehicle beneath a shaded olive grove on his property when the ground gave way, forcing him to find a new parking spot. As he started to drive off, the unidentified local noticed a four-foot wide hole that had emerged in the patch of land he’d just vacated. Perched on the edge of the gaping space, the man realized he’d unintentionally unearthed “ a wonderful thing .”

According to a statement , archaeologists from the local heritage ministry, Lassithi Ephorate of Antiquities, launched excavations below the farmer’s olive grove at Rousses, a small village just northeast of Kentri, Ierapetra, in southeast Crete. They identified the Minoan tomb, nearly perfectly preserved despite its advanced age, in a pit measuring roughly four feet across and eight feet deep. The space’s interior was divided into three carved niches accessible by a vertical trench.

In the northernmost niche, archaeologists found a coffin and an array of vessels scattered across the ground. The southernmost niche yielded a second sealed coffin, as well as 14 ritual Greek jars called amphorae and a bowl.

Two Minoan men were buried in the Crete tomb roughly 3,400 years ago (Lassithi Ephorate of Antiquities)

Forbes ’ Kristina Kilgrove writes that the high quality of the pottery left in the tomb indicates the individuals buried were relatively affluent. She notes, however, that other burial sites dating to the same Late Minoan period feature more elaborate beehive-style tombs.

“These [men] could be wealthy,” Kilgrove states, “but not the wealthiest.”

Unlike many ancient tombs, the Kentri grave was never discovered by thieves, Argyris Pantazis, deputy mayor of Local Communities, Agrarian and Tourism of Ierapetra, tells local news outlet Cretapost . In fact, the site likely would have remained sealed in perpetuity if not for the chance intervention of a broken irrigation pipe, which watered down the soil surrounding the farmer’s olive grove and led to his unexpected parking debacle.

“We are particularly pleased with this great archaeological discovery as it is expected to further enhance our culture and history,” Pantazis added in his interview with Cretapost. “Indeed, this is also a response to all those who doubt that there were Minoans in Ierapetra.”

According to Archaeology News Network , most Minoan settlements found on Crete are located in the lowlands and plains rather than the mountainous regions of Ierapetra. Still, a 2012 excavation in Anatoli, Ierapetra, revealed a Minoan mansion dating to between 1600 and 1400 B.C., roughly the same time period as the Kentri tomb.

This latest find offers further proof of the ancient civilization’s presence—as Mark Cartwright notes for Ancient History Encyclopedia , the Minoans are most renowned for their labyrinthine palace complexes, which likely inspired the classic Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur . According to legend, Queen Pasiphae of Crete gave birth to the Minotaur, a fierce half-man, half-bull hybrid, after falling for a bull sent to Earth by the Greek god Zeus. The Minotaur, doomed to an eternity spent wandering the halls of an underground labyrinth and killing anyone it encountered, was eventually defeated by the demigod Theseus, who relied on an enchanted ball of thread provided by the king’s daughter, Ariadne, to escape the maze.

Much of the Minoans’ history remains unclear, but Forbes’ Kilgrove reports that natural disasters, including the eruption of the Thera volcano, an earthquake and a tsunami, contributed to the group’s downfall, enabling enemies such as the Mycenaeans to easily invade. Analysis of the excavated Kentri tomb may offer further insights on the Minoan-Mycenaean rivalry, as well as the Cretan civilization’s eventual demise.


Mystery as rare Ancient Greek chamber tombs unearthed with 14 skeletons inside

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered two large chamber tombs dated to around 1300 BC in an important Mycenaean Greece-era burial ground.

The discovery is so rare because the tombs are completely intact and offer new insights into the period that influenced the Ancient Greek Empire.

Mycenaean Greece was the last stage of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece and lasted from approximately 1600–1100 BC

It perished with the Bronze Age but represents the first mainland civilisation in Greece and did influence the culture and innovations of Classical Greece.

Aidonia, the area that the new tombs were discovered in, was already known to archaeologists but they had never found intact tombs at the site because most of them were raided in the 1970s.

The Greek Village is near the historic Nemea site, which is rich in archaeological ruins and even has a temple of Zeus.

The Ministry of Culture in Greece announced the new discovery.

The fact the tombs haven't been looted means the skeletal remains and all the artefacts inside could teach us a lot more about the Mycenaean period.

Both tombs had roofs, although one had collapsed, and contained the remains of 14 individuals laid out in five separate burials.

Archaeologists think that the bones were probably transferred there from other tombs.

Clay pots and figurines were also discovered.

They could have been offerings to the dead as this was a common burial practice at the time.

Experts think most tombs at the site were heavily looted because they contained jewellery.

Some jewellery taken from the site was reportedly almost sold at an auction in New York in 1993 but experts linked the precious items back to this burial site in Greece so they were was eventually repatriated.

This recent dig was sponsored by the Corinthian Ephorate of Antiquities and led by Assistant Professor of Archaeology at the Universities of Graz in Austria and Trier of Germany, Konstantinos Kissa.

The site will be excavated further in the future.

Mycenaean Greece is mentioned in famous texts like the Iliad and the Odyssey and is famed for its palaces and aristocratic warrior society.


Tombs unearthed in Greece sheds more light on Mycenaean civilization

Two intact tombs dating back to 1,400-1,200 BC were unearthed by archaeologists in the region of Nemea in the Peloponnese peninsula at the Aidonia cemetery, shedding more light on the Mycenaean civilization, the Greek Culture Ministry announced on Sunday.

The tombs contained remains of 19 burials as well as ceramics and other small objects which will help scholars better understand the development of the ancient settlement and its ties to neighbors, read the emailed press statement from the ministry.

Located next to Nemea's vineyards, Aidonia was a key settlement of the Mycenaean civilization which flourished in the 17th-12th century BC, the press statement noted.

The cemetery was extensively looted in the winter 1976-1977, just before archaeologists uncover a complex of 20 chamber tombs carved in the rock.

The finds in a pit inside one of these tombs helped experts link them to a set of jewelry that was about to be sold in an auction house in New York in 1993 and was eventually repatriated, the ministry stressed.

The latest round of excavations launched in 2016 has brought to light another series of tombs with remarkable finds.


Two Intact Chamber Tombs Dating Back 3,300 Years Unearthed in Greece - History

Egyptian antiquities officials have announced the discovery of at least 100 ancient coffins, some with mummies inside, and around 40 gilded statues in a vast Pharaonic necropolis south of Cairo.

Colourful, sealed sarcophagi and statues that were buried more than 2,500 years ago were displayed in a makeshift exhibit at the feet of the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara.

Archaeologists opened a coffin with a well-preserved mummy wrapped in cloth inside.

They also carried out x-rays visualising the structures of the ancient mummy, showing how the body had been preserved.

Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany told a news conference the discovered items date back to the Ptolemaic dynasty that ruled Egypt for some 300 years — from around 320 BC to about 30 BC — and the Late Period (664-332 BC).


A Surprise Find

Megiddo (modern Tell el-Mutesellim) has been the site of scientific investigation for 115 years, and the most recent international expedition, under the direction of Israel Finkelstein and Mario Martin of Tel Aviv University and Matthew Adams of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeology, has been conducting archaeological excavations there since 1994.

Over the course of the excavation seasons, an unprecedented number of monuments, including palaces, temples, and city walls from the Bronze and Iron Ages (ca. 3300-586 B.C) have been discovered at the World Heritage site. But nothing prepared archaeologists for the unexpected discovery of the untouched tomb dating to the later phase of the Middle Bronze Age, around 1700-1600 B.C., when the power of Canaanite Megiddo was at its peak and before the ruling dynasty collapsed under the might of Thutmose's army.

The surprise find began as something of a mystery, when archaeologists began to notice cracks in the surface of an excavation area adjacent to the Bronze Age palaces which were discovered in the 1930s. Dirt appeared to be falling away into some unseen cavity or structure below, Adams recalls. Then, in 2016, they happened upon the culprit: a subterranean corridor leading to a burial chamber.

The chamber contained the undisturbed remains of three individuals—a child between the ages of eight and 10, a woman in her mid 30s and a man aged between 40-60—adorned with gold and silver jewelry including rings, brooches, bracelets, and pins. The male body was discovered wearing a gold necklace and had been crowned with a gold diadem, and all of the objects demonstrate a high level of skill and artistry.

Apart from the rich, undisturbed burials, the archaeologists were also intrigued by the tomb’s location adjacent to the late Middle Bronze Age royal palace of Megiddo.

“We are speaking of an elite family burial because of the monumentality of the structure, the rich finds and because of the fact that the burial is located in close proximity to the royal palace,” Finkelstein explains.

The grave goods point to the cosmopolitan nature of Megiddo at the time and the treasures it reaped from its location on the major trade routes of the eastern Mediterranean. Along with jewelry, the tomb contained ceramic vessels from Cyprus and stone jars that may have been imported from Egypt.


The Most Important Ancient Greek Archaeological Discoveries of 2019

2019 was another year of major archaeological discoveries, not only in Greece but across the Mediterranean basin, where the different phases of Greek antiquity left their indelible mark.
Archaeologists from a number of countries from around the globe found great success in Greece, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Turkey and elsewhere this year, managing to unearth some spectacular pieces which had either been lost or completely forgotten by humanity’s collective memory.
Below is a list of only some of the most important discoveries made in the region this year which have a direct or indirect link with periods of Greek antiquity.
One of the most spectacular finds in Abukir Bay is this remarkable dark stone statue of a 3rd century BC Ptolemaic queen, very probably Cleopatra II or Cleopatra III, wearing the tunic of the goddess Isis. Photograph: Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation/Christoph Gerigk
Greek temple and treasure-laden ships found at the sunken city of Heracleion
An ancient Greek temple, as well as a number of ships carrying great treasure, were discovered this year by archaeologists along the Mediterranean coast of Egypt in what is now the sunken city of Heracleion.
Heracleion was known to have been a major port city in the Mediterranean during ancient times, but its actual location had been lost for centuries. Archaeologists discovered it in underwater research in 2000 and there have been constant efforts to uncover its ancient secrets ever since that time.
The remains of this ancient Greek structure in the city are proof of the significant Greek presence in the region.
Archaeologists determined that these ruins belonged to the region’s Roman Senate building in 2019. Photo by Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities
Remains of Graeco-Roman Senate Unearthed in Pelusium, Egypt
The remains of a large structure dating back to Hellenistic and Roman times was unearthed this year near the town of Tel al-Farma, in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, known in antiquity as Pelusium.
The remains of the building date back to the eras between the Hellenistic and the Roman period of Egypt, and according to archaeologists, it was used as the main Senate building of the region during the era of Roman rule in north Africa.
Archaeologists also believe that the name the Romans used for the city, Pelusium, derived from an earlier Greek transliteration of the name that native people of the region used for their city.
Assos Lion Statue. Photo: Hurriyet Daily’s news website
Hellenistic-era Lion Statue Discovered in Assos, Turkey
Turkish archaeologists this year discovered an impressive statue of a lion dating back to Hellenistic times in the ancient Greek city of Assos (today known as Behramkale in Turkish), in the province of Çanakkale.
The lion was discovered during archaeological excavations in a building complex which served as an inn approximately two millennia ago.
The city of Assos used to be an important town for the region during ancient Greek, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine times. It is now just a small town, but it is surrounded by a massive number of important archaeological ruins.
Hieroglyphic inscriptions, including the name of Ptolemy IV, were uncovered in an Egyptian temple in 2019. Photo: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities
Temple of Ptolemy IV Philopator unearthed in Sohag, Egypt
A group of Egyptian archaeologists accidentally discovered the ruins of a temple dedicated to Ptolemy IV Philopator, the fourth Pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt in 2019. The ancient building was constructed during the time of the Hellenistic Kingdom of Egypt, which was established after Alexander the Great’s conquest of the country.
The archaeologists were actually searching for a sewage infrastructure system when they accidentally came across the ruins of the temple, which was dedicated to this leader of the Greek kingdom of Egypt, who governed between 221 and 204 BC.
The archaeological work continued and they gradually unearthed additional parts of the structure, including many stones and inscriptions.
Part of the Greek inscription on a mosaic unearthed recently in the 1,400-year-old Byzantine church west of Jerusalem. Credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Byzantine Church Dedicated to Mysterious Martyr Discovered in Israel
After three years of painstaking excavations, a Byzantine-era Christian church with spectacular, well-preserved mosaics and frescoes was unearthed in 2019 near Jerusalem.
The fascinating findings include some Greek inscriptions as well, with one of these stating that the church was dedicated to a ”Glorious Martyr.” No other evidence has so far been found anywhere on the site to suggest who this martyr may have been, however.
Archaeologists estimate that the church was actively used by pilgrims in approximately the year 600 AD. They also made the jaw-dropping discovery of an amazingly detailed inscription stating that Byzantine Emperor Tiberius II Constantine himself had funded an expansion of the church.
Part of the ancient site discovered in Gela, Italy. Credit: Regione Siciliana
Ancient Greek Necropolis Unearthed in Gela, Southern Italy
Local public utilities workers from the city of Gela in Sicily unearthed an entire Greek necropolis under their feet in November of this year.
Archaeologists confirmed that the skeletons and the associated grave objects found in Gela dated between 700 and 650 BC, precisely the time when the first Greek settlers colonized this Mediterranean island.
The necropolis which was unearthed is believed to be of very significant scientific importance, as it will offer valuable information to archaeologists about aspects of the ordinary lives of the first Greek settlers in Sicily which have remained unknown until this time.
This skeleton was just one of the recent discoveries at the ancient cemetery of Ismailia, Egypt. Credit: ET
Ancient Greek and Roman Cemetery Discovered in Egypt
An ancient Greek and Roman cemetery was discovered in Ismailia, Egypt in November 2019 as well.
The Ministry of Antiquities’ mission working in Ismailia’s Hassan Dawood archaeological area, unearthed a part of a multi-layered cemetery “dating back to the Roman, Greek, and pre-dynastic eras,” according to the country’s Ministry of Antiquities.
The cemetery interestingly had multiple levels, with the upper levels dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times, while the lower are from Egypt’s pre-dynastic eras.
A gold pendant with an engraved depiction of the head of the Egyptian goddess Hathor from the 15th century B.C. Photo: Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati.
Spectacular Gold-Lined Tombs Discovered in Pylos, Greece
In December of 2019, two American archaeologists unearthed two magnificent tombs at the site of the ancient city of Pylos on the Peloponnesian Peninsula which belong to a period known as Late Helladic IIA, which lasted from 1600 to 1500 B.C.
The discovery suggests that Pylos played a surprisingly prominent role in early Mycenaean civilization, something which had not been entirely clear up until now. Although the tombs had been looted in antiquity, archaeologists reported that they had recovered thousands of pieces of gold foil, remnants of the sheets of gold which had once lined the tomb floors and would have lent a spectacular gleam to the darkened chamber.
The larger of the two tombs is 12 meters (39 feet) in diameter and the smaller is 8.5 meters (28 feet). Both were originally built in a beehive shape known as a “tholos,” which is Greek for ”dome,” but had collapsed at some point.
Archaeologists excavating the intact tomb in Kozani. Photo: Kathimerini.gr
Intact Tomb From First Century BC Discovered in Kozani, Greece
An intact tomb dating to the first century BC in the area of Mavropigi in West Macedonia’s Kozani region was discovered in June of 2019 by a group of Greek archaeologists.
A statement from the local Ephorate noted ”During the ongoing excavations of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Kozani in the Mavropigi lignite mine, within the partially-demolished modern settlement of Mavropigi, and specifically under the foundation of a house, important grave goods were discovered dating to the end of the 1st century BC.”
The broader region of Western Macedonia is covered in archaeological sites of great historical interest, and many excavations are currently underway to unearth even more significant discoveries, from the many different eras of Greek history.
Exquisite head of a statue found in area of the ancient Battle of Salamis. Photo: Greek Ministry of Culture
Artifacts Discovered at the Site of Great Naval Battle of Salamis
In June of 2019, marine archaeologists discovered underwater artifacts at the site of an ancient building where the great naval battle of Salamis was fought in the Saronic Gulf in 480 B.C. This major discovery was made during excavation work approximately one year ago in the shallow waters off the coast of Salamis.
The researchers said that the structure they found would likely have been one of the main public buildings of the ancient city, located at its lowest point — in the port area. The team found ceramics, statues, columns or pillars and other features relating to the building, along with marble sculptures.
One of the most spectacular finds was the exquisite, nearly-intact head of a statue of an athlete or god, which the Ministry said appeared to be from the fourth century B.C.


Skeleton found in ancient Greek tomb dating back to Alexander the Great

A skeleton has been discovered in the mysterious, richly-decorated tomb from the time of Alexander the Great, Greece's culture ministry says.

The site is believed to be the largest ancient tomb to have been discovered in Greece, and has spurred speculation as to whether the ancient conqueror or a member of his family was buried there.

Officials said the remains were clearly those of "a prominent person", with speculation rife it could be that of Roxana, Alexander's Persian wife, his mother Olympias or one of his generals.

The dead body had been placed in a wooden coffin, which disintegrated over time. The skeletal remains were found both inside and outside the grave buried underground in the innermost chamber at the site.

The skeleton will now "be studied by researchers", the ministry said in a statement.

"It is probably the monument of a dead person who became a hero, meaning a mortal who was worshipped by society at that time," the statement said.

"The deceased was a prominent person, since only this could explain the construction of this unique burial complex."

Katerina Peristeri, the archaeologist in charge of the dig near Amphipolis in northern Greece, is due to reveal the first of her highly anticipated findings on November 29.

The discovery came as archaeologists confirmed another tomb, close to where the treasure-filled burial chamber of Alexander's father Philip II of Macedon was unearthed in 1977, had also survived the centuries intact.

Angelique Kottaridis, who is in charge of the dig at Vergina, 180 kilometres to the west of Amphipolis, said it also dated from Alexander's lifetime, after breaking the news on her Facebook page Tuesday.

Excavations at the site in north-eastern Greece near the city of Thessaloniki began in 2012. They captured global attention in August when archaeologists announced the discovery of vast tomb guarded by two sphinxes and circled by a 497-metre marble wall.

The near-intact sculptures and staggering mosaics found at Amphipolis have been a cheering reminder of past glories for a country mired in economic woes.

The beauty of a sphinx and intricate mosaics of a man driving a chariot and the abduction of Persephone by Pluto have also fuelled theories the tomb was for a very high-status individual.

Whoever the massive fourth-century BC tomb holds, experts said it was highly unlikely to be Alexander himself, who conquered the Persian empire and much of the known world before his death at the age of 32.

After his mysterious end in Babylon he is said to have been buried in Alexandria in Egypt, the city he founded, although no grave has ever been found.


Watch the video: New ancient tomb discovered in Greece