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Amphipolis excavator believes tomb may be sound

The head of excavations at Amphipolis, Katerina Peristeri, has revealed her belief that the tomb has not been looted. The statement was made on Friday morning, during a visit to the site by a group from main opposition SYRIZA.

Ms Peristeri voiced the opinion that the masonry blocks in front of the tomb entrance prevented the looting of the tomb. Citing the immensity of the monument, and the presence of the sphinxes and the lion monument show that it is a globally unique structure. As she characteristically said: “There is no other such tomb in Greece, or the Balkans,” adding that “We are struggling to do a correct job, and some time is necessary, maybe another month. Today we're removing stone blocks and digging. We're not many, but we're good.”

The SYRIZA group did not enter the excavation site, but were briefed by Ms Peristeri outside, as excavations are at a crucial point.

The secret of the sphinxes is something that has piqued interest, prodding locals to throng around the monument wanting to get a better glimpse. Along with everyday folk, all sorts of celebrities, politicians, high ranking clergy, want a chance to be among the first to get a look at what more the archeologists will dig up at every turn.

The thronging multitudes have forced Ms Peristeri to issue a politely worded announcement asking people to keep away so that the team can proceed with their delicate job unhindered.

However, it seems highly unlikely that the tomb would have remained unlooted, being such a prominent landmark, and bearing in mind that after the defeat of king Perseus in the Third Macedonian War (168 BC), Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus totally plundered everything in the erstwhile Macedonian kingdom. It is scarcely credible that the prominent monument would have escaped his voracious attention.