Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New speculation about Alexander’s tomb

It is beyond doubt that whoever finds the tomb of Alexander the Great will go down in history as having made the discovery of the century, so the hunt is still on. Theories about the location and or/ discovery of Alexander’s tomb make the headlines on a more or less regular base. Its seems that in Egypt in alone at least 140 unsuccessful searches have been recognized, and only a few months ago the gamble took place in Amphipolis, Greece (see: Nonsense about Alexander’s grave in Amphipolis). Another theory was exposed in a YouTube film (see: TheLost Tomb of Alexander the Great in Egypt?), yet again non-conclusive. Over the past years, Andrew Chugg has developed a possible theory that Alexander’s remains were taken to the San Marco Basilica in Venice as they were mistakenly identified as pertaining to the Evangelist by the visiting Venetians (see: The Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great and The Quest for the Tomb of Alexander the Great).


[Picture from World News Daily Report]

The latest news this time comes from Alexandria in Egypt, the city where Alexander was buried as recorded by several two thousand years-old sources. His tomb must be there “somewhere”. An article published in the World News Daily Report mentions how a team of Polish archaeologists researching the crypt of an early Christian church have found a richly decorated mausoleum which they attribute to Alexander based apparently on an inscription reading “King of Kings, and Conqueror of the World, Alexander III”. It sounds too good to be true, if you ask me - as if someone kindly left his business card.

The site shows mixed influences from the different cultures of Alexander’s empire: Macedonian, Greek, Egyptian and Persian. Strangely enough, said article specifies that the monument held a sarcophagus made of crystal glass (how convenient!) that was broken by looters at some point in the past but apparently before the third or fourth century when the tomb was sealed off. Archeologists also found 37 broken bones pertaining to a male adult. Carbon dating should shed some light on the age of the male in question, while other unspecified tests are undertaken to determine whether these bones could be those of Alexander. Beside the bones and shattered glass, only a small number of artifacts have been recovered - mainly pieces of pottery - said to belong the Ptolemaic and Roman eras.

Personally I find the tone of the article not too enthusiastic and the so-called proofs rather vague. The inscription mentioned above, for instance, may have been taken out of its context as they say that the texts were written partially in Greek and partially in hieroglyphs.

It was Ptolemy, Alexander’s general and later king of Egypt as Ptolemy I Soter who kidnapped Alexander’s remains while underway to Macedonia and had them temporarily entered in Memphis. It was his son, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who finished the construction of the Mausoleum for Alexander in Alexandria and who transferred his remains to this city where it laid in state for many centuries and was visited by Roman emperors like Julius Caesar, Caligula and Caracalla. The very existence of the Mausoleum is traceable till the fourth century, but with the rise of Christianity and Islam it slowly fell in oblivion. Some Arabian travelers however reported to have seen Alexander’s tomb as recently as the ninth and the sixteenth century but don’t give any information about its location.

In short, the location of the tomb of Alexander the Great is still unknown and I believe that finding it will only happen by chance.

2 comments:

  1. The Polish Institute denied the fact of discovery. See comments here: https://www.facebook.com/pcma.uw/posts/10152460961148530

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  2. Thank you for putting that straight. It is very unfortunate when false information is making headlines, but I'm afraid it is inevitable in today's world of fast worldwide communication.

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