The Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

No one today knows exactly where Alexander the Great was buried. He was only thirty years old, when he breathed his last at the night from 10th to 11th June. Alexander (a pupil of Aristotle) did not even set his successor before his death. His wife Roxana was only awaiting the birth of an heir, so general Perdiccas was established as a regent and Ptolemy (the future founder of Ptolemy dynasty) was assigned of ruling in Egypt.

The remains of Alexander were in a sarcophagus throughout the debate of the future ruler. The body (apparently fully intact) was embalmed the sixth say and placed in a golden sarcophagus. But another discussion broke out – who would lead the funeral ceremony and where would the ruler be buried. Perdiccas ordered to transport Alexander’s body to Aegae – an ancient Macedonian city, where also his parents were buried.

Alexander was buried in Egypt

The construction of burial carriage was being built for the whole two years. Then Alexander’s body finally left Babylon in 321 BC. But when the funeral procession got to Syria, Ptolemy directed it to Egypt. Just several questions emerge in this context. Was Alexander initially buried in Memphis (Mennefer) near the temple built by Nectanebo II and transferred to Alexandria few years later (maybe under the Ptolemy’s II rule)? Was he buried directly in the city, which he founded himself in 332 BC?

According to some evidence, one of the descendants of Ptolemy replaced the gold sarcophagus with a glass coffin. However, one employee of the Russian consulate claimed in 1850 that he saw through a hole in the door „a human body with a diadem on its head in a sort of glass cage“. And one correspondent of the Egyptian Institute noted in 1896 that each year there were reports every year „about the discovery of the alleged sarcophagus of the great conqueror in Egypt or Syria“.

Possible new lead

Alexander, the son of Amun and Egyptian King, let build a mortuary temple according to Pharaonic traditions in Siwa Oasis to the west of Alexandria. Everybody rejected the surmise nowadays that the body might be placed just there. But in 1995 Greek archaeologist Liana Souvaltzi did excavations in this area and announced that she discovered a tomb of a man called Alexander. It caused a long discussion. The result was that the permission for excavations was taken away from Souvaltzi and researches were interrupted. For now...

Message from the Nile

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