Archaeologists May Have Been Wrong About Where Alexander The Great’s Father Was Buried
The mystery of where Alexander the Great’s father, King Philip II of Macedon, is buried just got more mysterious.
Philip II was assassinated in 336 B.C., and his young wife Cleopatra Eurydice — who was not Alexander’s mother — and their newborn child were killed shortly after.
Many archaeologists had thought that Philip II was buried in the so-called “Tomb of Philip,” which was discovered in Vergina, Greece, in the late 1970s. At the time, three tombs known collectively as the Royal Tombs in the Great Tumulus were excavated, and Tomb II was identified as housing Philip II’s remains.
But a new study suggests that the king may have actually been buried in the adjacent tomb, Tomb I.
To conduct the study, which was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an international team of researchers used scanning techniques and radiography to analyze the skeletal remains of the man buried in Tomb I. The researchers noticed that the leg bones showed signs of having suffered from a penetrating wound. The wound appeared strikingly similar to one that Philip II is believed to have suffered 2,000 years ago, according to ancient texts that mention the injury.
Check out Science magazine’s video, below, describing the leg injury.
“When I found the femur fused to the tibia at the knee joint, I suddenly remembered the leg injury of Philip, but I could not recall any details,” Dr. Antonis Bartsiokas, the study’s lead author and an associate professor at the Democritus University of Thrace, told Live Science. “I then ran to study the historical evidence … I knew the bone must belong to Philip!”