Was Alexander the Great’s half-brother buried at Vergina?September 9th, 2010 - 1:08 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Sept 9 (ANI): University of Bristol researchers have challenged a claim that the brother of Alexander the Great, Arrhidaios, was indeed buried at Vergina.
The tomb was discovered during the excavation of a large mound - the Great Tumulus - at Vergina in 1977.
Dr Jonathan Musgrave and his colleagues, however, have said that evidence from the remains is not consistent with historical records of the life, death and burial of Arrhidaios, a far less prominent figure in the ancient world than his father Philip II.
The male skull indicates a healed fracture on the right cheekbone and a marked asymmetry in the wall of the right maxillary sinus - an injury that history shows Philip II suffered - he lost his right eye at the siege of Methone in 355-4 BC.
The colour and fracture lines of the bones suggest they were cremated ‘green’ (with flesh still around them) rather than ‘dry’ (after the flesh had been decomposed by burial).
Arrhidaios’ remains suggest that his remains were exhumed and reburied between four and 17 months later. However, the existence of the funeral pyre indicates that the bodies were cremated at Vergina. Greek beliefs go against contact with decomposed bodies, so Arrhidaios would not have been exhumed, moved and then cremated ‘green’.
From the historical account of their deaths and committals, it is thought that Arrhidaios was buried along with his wife Eurydice and her mother Kynna. However, the tomb contains remains from only two individuals.
The female remains indicate a woman aged between 20 and 30 whereas Eurydice seems to have been no more than 19 years old when she died.
“The aim of this paper is not to press the claims of Philip II and his wife Cleopatra but to draw attention to the flaws in those for Philip III Arrhidaios and Eurydice,” said Musgrave.
“We do not believe that the condition of the bones and the circumstances of their interment are consistent with descriptions of the funeral of Arrhidaios, his wife and his mother-in-law.” (ANI)
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Tags: 19 years, asymmetry, cheekbone, cleopatra, decomposed bodies, dr jonathan, excavation, father philip, fracture lines, funeral pyre, half brother, interment, life death, maxillary sinus, musgrave, philip ii, philip iii, tumulus, university of bristol, wife eurydice