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Royal Artifacts Belonging To Alexander The Great Found

By Staff

Washington : The discovery that an ancient Greek tomb thought to have held the body of Alexander the Great"s father is actually that of Alexander"s half brother might mean that artifacts like a crown and shield found in the grave, belong to the great conqueror.

According to a report in National Geographic News, researchers have come up with this hypothesis after they found royal artifacts like a helmet, shield, and silver “crown" in the tomb, which were claimed by the half brother of Alexander after his death.

This means that the royal artifacts originally belonged to Alexander the Great himself.

The tomb was one of three royal Macedonian burials excavated in 1977 by archaeologists working in the northern Greek village of Vergina.

Excavators at the time found richly appointed graves with artifacts including a unique silver headband, an iron helmet, and a ceremonial shield, along with weapons and an object initially identified as a scepter.

“Archaeologists announced that the burial in the main chamber of the large rich tomb was that of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, who was assassinated in 336 BC," said Eugene N. Borza, professor emeritus of ancient history at Pennsylvania State University.

“But recent analyses of the tombs and the paintings, pottery, and other artifacts found there, suggest that the burials are in fact one generation more recent than had previously been thought," he added.

According to Borza, regarding the paraphernalia that is attributed to Alexander, no single item constitutes proof, but the quality of the argument increases with the quantity of information.

“We believe that it is likely that this material was Alexander"s. As for the dating of the tombs themselves, this is virtually certain," he added.

Olga Palagia, an art historian at the University of Athens, who evaluate the tombs" construction, pottery, and paintings, also found that paintings on the exterior frieze of the tomb reflected themes that were likely from the age of Alexander the Great, rather than that of his father.

The paintings depict a ritual hunt scene with Asian themes, suggesting influences resulting from Alexander"s extensive campaigns to the east.

Additionally, a number of silver vessels discovered in Tomb II and Tomb III are inscribed with their ancient weights, which use a measurement system introduced by Alexander the Great a generation after Philip II"s death

Story first published: Saturday, April 26, 2008, 10:29 [IST]
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