17 July 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

The identities of the occupants of the unspoiled 4th-century BCE Royal Tombs at Vergina in northern Greece have been identified

The identities of the occupants of the unspoiled 4th-century BCE Royal Tombs at Vergina in northern Greece have been identified. The burials contain the remains of Alexander’s father, stepmother, half-siblings, and son, along with armor and other items belonging to the man himself.

While there is never been any doubt that the human skeletal remains found in Royal Tombs I, II, and III belong to close relatives of Alexander, scholars have spent almost half a century bickering over who exactly lies within each grave.

The researchers examined the skeletal elements with the aid of macrophotography, radiographs, and anatomical dissection. The study authors combined osteological analyses, macro photography, X-rays, and anatomical dissections of the ancient remains with historical sources from the ancient past.

A knee fusion was found in the male skeleton of Tomb I consistent with the historic evidence of the lameness of King Philip II. Researchers also discovered that Tomb I contained the bones of a man with an injured knee, as well as a woman and a baby, who was just days or weeks old at the time of death.

They conclude that the male figure was Alexander the Great’s father, King Philip II of Macedon, who was known to limp. The infant’s extremely young age is also consistent with the story of Philip’s assassination in 336 BCE.

According to most sources, Philip II was assassinated by his bodyguard only a few days after his wife Cleopatra gave birth. The murder is thought to have been ordered by Philip’s previous wife, Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great. Almost immediately after the assassination, Olympias killed Cleopatra and her baby, possibly by burning them alive, paving the way for Alexander to succeed to the throne.

The burial urn containing the remains of King Philip II of Macedon. Photo: Wikipedia
The burial urn containing the remains of King Philip II of Macedon. Photo: Wikipedia

Previously, some scholars claimed that Philip II was buried in Tomb II, which also houses the remains of a man and a woman. However, the absence of a baby, combined with no obvious signs of physical trauma on the male skeleton, eliminates this possibility.

Researchers concluded that Tomb II belonged to the “warrior woman” Adea Eurydice, wife of Alexander’s half-brother King Arrhidaeus. They reached this conclusion based on skeletal evidence for excessive horseback riding.

“Due to ancient depictions and descriptions, some scholars have suggested that some of the objects in Tomb II, such as the armor, belonged to Alexander the Great, which is possible only if this is the Tomb of Arrhidaeus, not Philip II,” write the authors.

 Thus, these remains are determined to be those of “Alexander’s much less impressive brother” and his rather impressive warrior wife. Sources hint that this was an unequal marriage because the king was disabled mentally.

The evidence presented supports the conclusion that Tomb I belongs to King Philip II, his wife Cleopatra, and their newborn child. Tomb II belongs to King Arrhidaeus and his wife Adea Eurydice.

Lastly, the study’s authors discover no evidence to challenge the widely held belief that Alexander IV, Alexander the Great’s teenage son, is buried in Tomb III.

The study was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2023.104279

Related Articles

5,000-year-old Settlement Unearthed in Al Mudhaibi, Oman

3 January 2023

3 January 2023

The Oman News Agency announced that a 5,000-year-old settlement was discovered during archaeological excavations at the Al Gharyein archaeological site...

5000-year-old female figurines found in a Ukrainian cave

15 May 2023

15 May 2023

Archaeologists discovered five clay female figurines hidden inside a hole in a wall in Verteba Cave, in the Borshchiv Region...

Archaeologists identify a sunken Nabataean temple dedicated to the God Dusares at Pozzuoli

12 April 2023

12 April 2023

Off the coast of Pozzuoli on the Phlegrean Peninsula in Campania, Italy, underwater archaeologists have identified a sunken Nabataeans temple...

Al-Aqiser Church, Disappears in the Depths of The Iraqi Desert

10 May 2021

10 May 2021

In a country that has been devastated by successive conflicts and economic crises, Al-Aqiser, like the numerous Christian, Islamic and...

Archaeologists uncovered over 100,000 ancient coins, some more than 2,000 years old

4 November 2023

4 November 2023 9

In an excavation at the Sosha Village East 03 archaeological site in Maebashi City, Japan, archaeologists stumbled upon a remarkable...

Paleontologists Unearth 139 Million-Year-Old Pregnant Dinosaur Fossil in Chile

10 May 2022

10 May 2022

Archeologists in Chile have unearthed the fossilized remains of a 13ft-long pregnant ichthyosaur from a melting glacier -marking the first...

Roman-era marble sundial found for the first time in Turkey’s second Ephesus

26 September 2022

26 September 2022

Archaeologists have unearthed a Roman-era marble sundial in the ancient city of Aizanoi in the Çavdarhisar district of Kütahya province...

Collectors In The Prehistoric World Recycled Old Stone Tools To Preserve The Memory Of Their Ancestors

16 March 2022

16 March 2022

A first-of-its-kind study at Tel Aviv University asks what drove prehistoric humans to collect and recycle flint tools that had...

Neolithic village discovered in northeastern France after 150 years of research

29 August 2023

29 August 2023

Archaeologists have uncovered traces of a permanent settlement in the vast Neolithic site of the Marais de Saint-Gond in northeastern...

Unexpected Results Of Ancient DNA Study: Analysis sheds light on the early peopling of South America

3 November 2022

3 November 2022

Around 60,000 years ago, modern humans left Africa and quickly spread across six continents. Researchers can trace this epic migration...

A unique tomb decorated with amber was discovered near Petrozavodsk

26 August 2021

26 August 2021

According to a press release from the Petrozavodsk State University a unique tomb was discovered on the western shore of...

Archaeologists have made a shocking discovery after a re-examination of a mummified teen mom who died in childbirth

29 December 2023

29 December 2023

Archaeologists have made a shocking discovery after re-examining the mummified remains of a teen mom aged just 14-17 who died...

New evidence suggests Indonesia’s Gunung Padang could be world’s oldest known pyramid

21 November 2023

21 November 2023

Gunung Padang, a  colossal megalithic structure nestled in the lush landscapes of West Java, Indonesia, could be the world’s oldest...

In northern Iran, a hand-dug passageway was discovered used for military purposes during the Qajar era

1 August 2021

1 August 2021

A hand-dug underground passage dating from the Qajar era (1794-1925), once believed to have served military purposes, has been discovered...

Analysis of 13,000-Year-Old Bones Reveals Violent Raids in Prehistoric ‘Jebel Sahaba’

28 May 2021

28 May 2021

Since its discovery in the 1960s, the 13-millennium-old Jebel Sahaba cemetery (Nile Valley, Sudan) has been regarded as one of...