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Amphipolis Excavation: Remarkable 300BC Floor Mosaic Unearthed The Largest Burial Site In Greece, Another Royal Macedonian Tomb? [PHOTOS]

Travelers Today       By    Althea Serad

Updated: Oct 13, 2014 09:31 AM EDT

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An Amphipolis excavation by archaeologists, who were digging up an ancient burial site in northern Greece, were able to unearth a large and remarkable floor mosaic. Believed to date way back 300 BC, the recent discovery with the Amphipolis excavation could reportedly signal yet another royal Macedonian tomb.

The first royal grave was confirmed Friday by another team of Greek researchers. They were able to determine that bones found in the late 1970s in a two-chamber royal tomb at Vergina, a town west of Thessaloniki and 100 miles away from the Amphipolis excavation, belonged to Alexander the Great's father, King Philip II.

The mosaic found at the Amphipolis excavation measured 3m (10ft) wide and 4.5m (15ft) long, reports BBC. It portrayed a horseman wearing a laurel wreath and driving a chariot drawn by horses. The horseman and his horses were being led by Hermes, the Greek god of travel and guide to the underworld.

Made up of pebbles in many colors including white, black, blue, red, yellow and grey, the mosaic, large as it was, covered the entire ground of the area in the Amphipolis excavation thought to be the antechamber to the main burial ground at Amphipolis. This burial ground is said to be the largest ever found in Greece, according to the Guardian.

Though a circular area of the mosaic is missing, authorities said that with enough fragments, a large part of the image can still be reconstructed.

Archaeologists reportedly began the Amphipolis excavation in August. The experts believe that such magnificence could mean the tomb had been meant for someone very important.

On the one hand, some observers say the tomb at the Amphipolis excavation could have belonged to a member of Alexander's immediate family. It could be his mother, Olympias, or his wife, Roxana, or probably another Macedonian noble.

On the other hand, other experts think that the Amphipolis excavation tomb may be a cenotaph, a shrine built to honour a person whose remains are elsewhere.

Greece's culture ministry announced the Amphipolis excavation floor mosaic discovery on Sunday. They said Hermes is depicted as the conductor of souls to the afterlife in the mosaic.

Archaeologists determined the mosaic's origins to have begun since the last quarter of the 4th century BC (325-300BC), consistent with their theory that the Amphipolis excavation grave holds the remains of ancient Macedon's King Alexander the Great, or somebody related to him.

Alexander is believed to have been buried in Egypt when he died in 323 B.C. However, his tomb still hasn't been found to this day, according to the Associated Press.

Correspondents say the uncovering of the tomb at the Amphipolis excavation have brought on Greek enthusiasm and has given way to their pride and patriotism.

The Amphipolis excavation is located in a major city of the Macedonian kingdom, 100km (62 miles) east of Thessaloniki, Greece's second city. The city has walls measuring 500m (1,600ft) in circumference, surrounding it and greatly dwarfing the burial site of Alexander's father, Philip II, in Vergina.

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