The burial tomb in Amfipolis

By | Category: Travel destinations
Amfipolis lion

the lion at Amfipolis

Greece is hoping that many more of us will travel to Amfipolis in the Thessalonika region  this autumn to see an important burial find that has been just found.

Demonstrating once again that there is still more of our heritage to be unearthed, a massive ancient tomb at Amfipolis dating from the 4th century BC is there for us to see. Two sphinxes have been found guarding the entrance of a tomb which dates from between 325 and 300 BC and which is only an hour’s drive east from the city of Thessaloniki.

The tomb was found when archaeologists were excavating an ancient mound and is expected to be fully clear of dirt by the end of September. Workers have uncovered a flight of steps leading to a path flanked by masonry walls, which end in a built-up arch covering two headless, wingless sphinxes. Tourists and locals have been flocking to get as close to the tomb as possible, but this is currently heavily guarded and will open to the public once archaeologists complete their work.

The rest of the Amfipolis site – which is one of the richest archaeological regions in the country – is currently open to visit and hosts an important museum and the famous colossal statue of the Amfipolis Lion, which is believed to have once stood at the top of the great tomb.

Greece’s vibrant second city, Thessaloniki, makes a great base to explore the region’s museums and archaeological sites including the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Byzantine Culture in the city, while the royal tombs and museum of ancient Aegae in Vergina, an hour’s drive west, is a must-visit and provides a fuller picture of the grandeur of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon

Archaeological sites in Greece saw a 25% increase in visitor numbers and a 22% increase in revenue in the first four months of 2014, while museums experienced a 13% increase in visitor numbers and a 19% increase in revenue. Total visitor numbers during this time reached 2.4 million.

In many ways we are the lucky ones as the airport at Thessaloniki has direct links to Gatwick, Manchester and Stansted so the city is available as a weekend break destination.

 

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