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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

World

Head of sphinx discovered at mysterious Greek tomb

AFP | Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

THESSALONIKI, Greece - The head of a near-intact marble sphinx has been discovered in the largest tomb ever unearthed in Amphipolis, northern Greece, the culture ministry announced on Tuesday.

Discovered in the fourth chamber of a burial mound at the site in the northern region of Macedonia, the sphinx is more than half-a-metre (18 inches) high and was marked by "traces of red", according to a statement from the ministry.

Archaeologists also found fragments of the sphinx's wings within the same burial mound.

"The sphinx's head belongs to the body of a sphinx which was found previously," said the statement.

It was the latest find by archaeologists who unearthed the enormous tomb dating back to fourth century BC and the time of Alexander the Great of Macedonia in early August.

Previously they have discovered the mosaic of a man driving a chariot, carved caryatids - columns of female figures that serve as architectural support - and a large mosaic depicting the abduction of Persephone by Pluto.

Since discovery of the site, deemed to be of huge historical importance and visited by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, there has been widespread speculation over who was buried there: from Roxana, Alexander's Persian wife, to Olympias, the king's mother, to one of his generals.

However, despite high hopes among some historians, it is highly unlikely that the tomb is that of Alexander the Great.

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