Stunning statues found at ancient Greek tomb

Stunning statues found at ancient Greek tomb

ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Stunning statues found at ancient Greek tomb

This photo, released by the Greek ministry, shows one of the two statues of a Caryatid inside the Kasta Tumulus in ancient Amphipolis, northern Greece.

Two stunning caryatid statues have been unearthed holding up the entrance to the biggest ancient tomb ever found in Greece, archaeologists said.

The two female figures in long-sleeved tunics were found standing guard at the opening to the mysterious Alexander The Great-era tomb near Amphipolis in the Macedonia region of northern Greece. “The left arm of one and the right arm of the other are raised in a symbolic gesture to refuse entry to the tomb,” a statement from the culture ministry said.  

Speculation is mounting that the tomb, which dates from Alexander’s lifetime (356-323BC), may be untouched, with its treasures intact. Previous evacuations of Macedonian tombs have uncovered amazing troves of gold jewelry and sculptures.

A five-meter tall marble lion, currently standing on a nearby roadside, originally topped the 500 meter-long funeral mound, which is ringed by a marble wall.

Two headless stone Sphinx statues flanked the outer entrance, officials said, who said that “removing earth from the second entrance wall revealed the excellent marble caryatids.”

Photographs released by the ministry show the sculptures, which hold up a lintel, uncovered to mid-bust, their curly hair falling onto their shoulders.

Archaeologists have been digging at the site, which Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras called a “very important find,” since mid-August.

The ministry said the lay-out of “the second entrance with the caryatids gives us an important clue that it is a monument of particular importance.”