Alexander’s Macedonia Legacy – Monday Map

Monday Map – Ancient Macedonia and its principalities, about 100 years after the death of Alexander the Great

ancient macedonia
click to enlarge

In French, but the best map I could find of ancient Macedonia showing Amphipolis, site of the recent revelations at the massive Kasta tomb from the time of Alexander. It is the largest found in Greece.

This homeland of the legendary conqueror Alexander the Great was but a small portion of his empire, which reached all the way to India. This map also shows Rhodes, at the bottom right, from whence came the famous architect Dinocrates, thought to have designed the mega-tomb still being excavated in what is now Northeast Greece.

Also shown is the island of Samos, part of the Greek colonies of Ionia, off the coast of modern day Turkey. It was here that Science was invented by great thinkers like Aristarchus of Samos, who, about about the same time this map represents, offered the earliest known proposition that the planets revolved around the sun and that that the stars were other suns much farther away.

Free from the scrutiny of the authorities far off on the Greek mainland, the scientists of Ionia were free thinkers and developed what we now call the Scientific Method.

Unfortunately, most of their findings and theories were suppressed or disbelieved and the Scientific Method had to wait some centuries more before it was rediscovered, first in Egypt just before the Roman occupation, and then again after the Dark Ages.

For more on the amazing discoveries at the Kasta tomb from ancient Macedonia, please see the following post.


Large Mosaic Uncovered at Amphipolis Tomb

The god Hermes leads the chariot of a bearded man wearing laurels toward the underworld, in a stunning mosaic revealed by the Greek Ministry of Culture, recently discovered at the massive 4th Century BC tomb at Amphipolis in Northeast Greece.

Amphipolis mosaic floor Amfipoli
source: Greek Ministry of Culture

The moasic floor was made with pebbles of six different colors, and were enough found in the chamber that archeologists hope to reconstruct the damaged portions before the tomb is opened to public sometime in the future. Almost 15 x 10 feet in size, the mosaic covers the entire floor of the tomb’s second chamber.

Known as the Kasta tomb (Τύμβος Καστάv,) the site has been under careful excavation since its discovery in 2012. It is the largest tomb ever found in Greece at 1,935ft (590m) in width.

Amphipolis was a major navel port during the reign of Alexander the Great. Three of the tomb’s four known chambers have been entered thus far, and it is assumed to have been built for one of Alexander’s close relatives, and possibly his wife.

Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, a month before his 33rd birthday. His tomb is said to be in Egypt, but it has never been found. It is possible the site in Amphipolis is actually a cenotaph, a monument to someone buried elsewhere. The many features revealed by archeologists thus far suggest the work of Alexander’s chief architect Dinocrates of Rhodes.

So, it is possible the site is actually an unoccupied monument to Alexander himself, or his father, Philip II, who conquered the region a generation earlier. Before then Amphipolis had been an independent city state, famous for defeating an Athenian invasion some 80 years before it fell before King Philip.

While a recently discovered hole in an inner wall implies it may have been looted in antiquity, it is still hoped they may know for certain just who it was built for, once they enter the fourth chamber. But the site dwarfs Philip’s own tomb in ancient Aigai some 100 kilometers west of Amphipolis. That is but one reason this site is of so much interest.

Other important discoveries at the site include two large sphinxes and even larger caryatids, and recent photos of both can be seen at various websites.

Related Reading on the Kasta tomb in Amphipolis:

Website dedicated to the tomb at Amphipolis

The Greek Reporter – List of Related Stories