The chief archaeologist at the excavation of the Alexander the Great-era Amphipolis site said massive stones sealing the entrance to the Hellenistic era tomb likely saved it from looting over the generations.
The discovery at the site in central Macedonia has garnered international attention and led Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who visited it, to say he expects a “major find” will be uncovered once archaeologists get inside. They are working slowly to protect the integrity of the dig.
“It’s difficult for such a grave to have been plundered,” Katerina Peristeri said during a briefing of a nine-member delegation from the leftist opposition SYRIZA party on the progress of the dig although she had asked politicians to stay away and let her team do its job.
The delegation, led by the party’s MP responsible for cultural issues, Anna Hatzisofia, was not allowed to enter the tomb, which is the largest of its kind ever discovered in Greece.
Peristeri urged the authorities to do everything to help their work, describing the grave as a “unique” find of “global significance.” But she said it would take time before archaeologists could be sure of what lies inside the tomb.
“We are like surgeons. We proceed very slowly. The excavation will show us what lies inside.”