The discovery of the missing sphinx’s head inside the third chamber of the Amphipolis tomb – 12 meters from the entrance– has raised several intriguing questions for excavation chief Katerina Peristeri and her team of archaeologists.
Why was the head found so far away from the body? “It’s a mystery. Apparently, it was moved by human hands,” Aristoteleio Univerity of Thessaloniki archaeology professor Theodosia Stefanidou-Tiveriou told Vima newspaper. She added that the broken nose and lips probably indicate that the head simply fell down.
The head of the sphinx was found behind the broken door that leads to the third chamber. As the archaeologists removed more earth, they found that the limestone floor was in disarray and stones were removed, as if someone had dug in that point. The damage on the floor does not appear to be natural.
Why is the mosaic floor intact but the limestone floor clearly dug up? If the sphinxes and the Caryatids were vandalized– as the broken heads, wings, hands and faces might suggest– then why did the vandals leave the mosaic untouched?
Where is the head of the left sphinx? It is probably buried in the earth that seals the chamber. If it is found, new questions may arise, and perhaps fears that the tomb has been looted.
The sphinxes will be fully restored
The team of archaeologists are optimistic that the head of the other sphinx will be found soon. According to the Greek Ministry of Culture, the parts missing from the wings of the sphinxes have also been found. They will be attached to the bodies.
Archaeologists believe that the sphinxes and the Caryatids were created by different artisans. Members of the excavation team said that the sphinxes are more elaborate and have finer details than the Caryatids. The facial expression of the sphinxes are more impressive. It is also believed that the Catryatids were sculpted from a single slab of marble. The sphinxes, on the other hand, are crafted from different pieces of marble of finer quality.
The next step for the excavation crew is to reach the one-meter door on the fourth wall. This will determine if it is the entrance to the burial chamber.
3D reconstruction video of Amphipolis Tomb
Meanwhile, an impressive video has been uploaded on YouTube showing a 3D reconstruction of the Amphipolis tomb, Greece .
The video was created by Nikolaos Alexandrou and leads the viewer to the inside of the burial monument. It stops at the fourth door with a “to be continued…” sign.