Excavations carried out at the old royal district of Alexandria unearthed clues as to where one of the most famous characters of antiquity, Alexander the Great, could be buried.
Alexander the Great was one of the most powerful leaders of the ancient world in the 4th century BC. After being crowned king of Macedonia in 356 BC, he greatly expanded his empire including conquering Egypt and becoming a self proclaimed pharaoh.
In 352 BC, the warrior king died at the age of 32. But his remains made one hell of a trip. He was first buried in Memphis, Egypt, where his worshippers gathers at his tomb. Memphis was eventually taken over by Alexandria.
But as the water levels of the Nile kept increasing, the city was prone to earthquakes and some parts of Memphis was swallowed up by the waters and parts of the city could not be relocated or rebuilt.
The forgotten location
Unfortunately at the time the location of Alexander’s tomb was not important and its location was eventually forgotten. To date it has never been found in spite of around 140 excavations carried out by archaeologists. It is so elusive that experts compare the discovery of the tomb of Alexander the Great to that of Tutankhamun’s.
But now there is new hope after archaeologist Calliope Limneos-Papakosta discovered a statue at the old royal district under a park in the city of Alexandria. She discovered it before continuing her dig and uncovering many other ruins.
Several buildings restored
The archaeologist used old stories and a map of Alexandria dating from the nineteenth century to find the tomb. And using tomography the team discovered 14 spots where ancient buildings of the old royal quarter may be located.
As of now they’ve already uncovered a Roman road and the remains of a large public building that could perhaps be the tomb of Alexander. But the conditions are complicated, since Calliope Limneos-Papakosta had to set up a system of pumps to keep the dig site dry.
21 years of excavations on the same site
The excavation site remains at the mercy of the Nile waters and makes the dig much more complicated. "I have never seen anyone in my career who stayed on the same site for 21 years," said one of the archaeologists on the National Geographic website.
Because the Greek has not left the field of its excavations since 1998, it took seven years to see the first signs that these could be fruitful. According to her, she is closer than ever to finally achieve the goal of her life.
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