Skip to comments.Remains of Alexander the Great's Father Confirmed Found
Posted on 10/11/2014 9:03:49 AM PDT by Scoutmaster
A team of Greek researchers has confirmed that bones found in a two-chambered royal tomb at Vergina, a town some 100 miles away from Amphipolis's mysterious burial mound, indeed belong to the Macedonian King Philip II, Alexander the Great's father.
The anthropological investigation examined 350 bones and fragments found in two larnakes, or caskets, of the tomb. It uncovered pathologies, activity markers and trauma that helped identify the tomb's occupants.
Along with the cremated remains of Philip II, the burial, commonly known as Tomb II, also contained the bones of a woman warrior, possibly the daughter of the Skythian King Athea, Theodore Antikas, head of the Art-Anthropological research team of the Vergina excavation, told Discovery News.
The findings will be announced on Friday [NOTE: yesterday] at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. Accompanied by 3,000 digital color photographs and supported by X-ray computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray fluorescence, the research aims to settle a decades-old debate over the cremated skeleton.
Scholars have argued over those bones ever since Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos discovered the tomb in 1977-78. He excavated a large mound -- the Great Tumulus -- at Vergina on the advice of the English classicist Nicholas Hammond.
Among the monuments found within the tumulus were three tombs. One, called Tomb I, had been looted, but contained a stunning wall painting of the Rape of Persephone, along with fragmentary human remains.
Tomb II remained undisturbed and contained the almost complete cremated remains of a male skeleton in the main chamber and the cremated remains of a female in the antechamber. Grave goods included silver and bronze vessels, gold wreaths, weapons, armor and two gold larnakes.
Tomb III was also found unlooted, with a silver funerary urn that contained the bones of a young male, and a number of silver vessels and ivory reliefs.
Most of the scholarly debate concentrated on the occupants of Tomb II, with experts arguing that the occupants were either Philip II and Cleopatra or Meda, both his wives, or Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander's half-brother, who assumed the throne after Alexander's death, with his wife Eurydice.
King Philip II was a powerful fourth-century B.C. military ruler from the Greek kingdom of Macedon who gained control of Greece and the Balkan peninsula through tactful use of warfare, diplomacy, and marriage alliances (the Macedonians practiced polygamy).
His efforts -- he reformed the Macedonian army and proposed the invasion of Persia -- later provided the basis for the achievements of his son and successor Alexander the Great, who went on to conquer most of the known world.
The overlord of an empire stretching from Greece and Egypt eastward across Asia to India, Alexander died in Babylon, now in central Iraq, in June of 323 B.C. just before his 33rd birthday.
His elusive tomb is one of the great unsolved mysteries of the ancient world.
Analyzed by Antikas' team since 2009, the male and female bones in Philip II's tomb have revealed peculiarities not previously seen or recorded.
"The individual suffered from frontal and maxillary sinusitis that might have been caused by an old facial trauma," Antikas said.
Such trauma could be related to an arrow that hit and blinded Philip II's right eye at the siege of Methone in 354 B.C. The Macedonian king survived and ruled for another 18 years before he was assassinated at the celebration of his daughter's wedding.
The anthropologists found further bone evidence to support the identification with Philip II, who being a warrior, suffered many wounds, as historical accounts testify.
"He had signs of chronic pathology on the visceral surface of several low thoracic ribs, indicating pleuritis," Antikas said.
He noted that the pathology may have been the effect of Philip's trauma when his right clavicle was shattered with a lance in 345 or 344 B.C.
I didn’t know he was missing.
Who would name their child Confirmed Found?
How do they know the remains are those of Alexander the Great’s father?
Did he have an ID card on him when he was buried?
And now these tombs have been looted
Had he lived we would must likely be talking about Philip the Great, instead of Alexander the Great.
Was the father a Great Great or just a Great?
If so wouldn’t that make Alexander a Great jr?
No joke. He wanted to invade the Persian Empire, but knew he’d have to wrap up the Greek city-states before he started. When Al crossed to Anatolia, he liberated the Greeks there and other occupied peoples (and of course took over their rule). The huge polyglot Persian army had Greek contingents who at first didn’t like the Macedonian, but during the long winter at Balkh, as the Great One was healing from serious wounds, a couple hundred thousand Greek reinforcements were on their way to join him, so many that he split his army into four parts and cleaned out all opposition that much faster.
If ol’ Hades could rape Persephone & drive a chariot at the same time, he was one bad dude.
“If it’s rockin’ don’t come knockin’,”
Suggest the books by Mary Renault: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Renault/e/B000AP5EFQ44
(exception: “The Charioteer”)
Alexander The Great²
They were both Great.
They affected the whole world in ways few families have ever done.
The Greek culture was dominant for an age, and its heavy influence continues to the present day.
There’s a reason that the New Testament was written in Common Greek.
What’s your take on Phillip’s assassination? cui bono?
Obvious answer is Olympias and Alexander. Olympias had to be offended by Phillips womanizing and marriages to younger women.
Alexander eventually wound up with the prize, the Macedonian crown.
Phillip was greater than Alexander.
Without Alexander, Phillip would still have historic achievements and be written in the books of history. Without Phillip, Alexander would have been nothing.
I am not dismissing the astounding person Alexander was, his amazing feats or what he achieved. I am just reminding people that the education, training and ambition Phillip gave Alexander was necessary for him to do what he did.
All too often, Phillip of Macedon is just a footnote in Alexander’s history.
Very likely true.
King Phillip II’s Armor was rumored to be magical giving the wearer +3 on a dice roll to dexterity. I will assume his Vorpal Blade was already looted in the first chamber years ago by another player.
Very nicely stated and completely true. Phillip invented and built the Army Alexander used in his conquests. Not taking anything away from Alexander, he is of course one of history’s great commanders. But in my mind Phillip was the real genius behind the Macedonian military.
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