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Sphinx head discovered at Amphipolis

October 22, 2014, 20:21 UTC+3
The marble wall around the burial was almost entirely unearthed by archeologists
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© ITAR-TASs/EPA/GREEK MINISTRY OF CULTURE/HANDOUT

ATHENS, October 22. /TASS/. Greek archeologists discovered the head of a marble sphinx during the excavation of 4th century BC Tomb in the ancient Amphipolis (Amphipoli) near the city of Serres in northern Greece, the Greek Culture Ministry reported.

Based on the specialists' research, graceful female head is intact except for little breakage on the nose. It is 60cm in height and belongs to one of the two sphinxes that guard the entrance to the shrine. The head was made separately from the body and then set onto sphinx by the ancient architect who created the sculpture.

According to archeologists, two discovered sphinxes resemble caryatides, which were found in the second chamber of the same tomb. These sculptures were probably made at the same workshop. While unearthing the third chamber of the tomb and conducting pilot excavations of the fourth camera's entrance, archeologists also discovered fragments of sphinxes' wings, fragments of marble door and marble doorstep.

In the coming days, archeologists intend to reinforce the walls and coffering of the third chamber, completely clean it of the ground and get into yet unexplored underground rooms that are more ancient than Macedonian tombs.

The 497m length ancient marble wall around the burial was almost entirely unearthed by archeologists, as well as the entrance to the burial and three first chambers.

Besides, the floor mosaic of the 4th century BC was discovered in the tomb. It depicts two men: one of them – with a laurel wreath on his head – drives a chariot pulled by two white horses, another man — wearing a robe on his shoulders and winged sandals — who is supposed to be Pluto, the god of the underworld — leads one of the horses. As scientists estimate, the mosaic illustrates Persehone's abduction by Pluto.

Amphipolis is the ancient Greek city, ruins of which are located in the present-day region of Central Macedonia on the Aegean Sea coast. Roxana, a wife of Alexander the Great, and their son Alexander IV, or Nearchus, one of the allies of Alexander the Great, his commander and navarch, are said to be buried here.

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