Quickly reading (or more properly, google translating) some of the Greek press this a.m., it appears some significant finds were made yesterday as they cleared the door. The skinny: the sphinxes are made of marble from Thassos, archaeologists found the detached wing of one of them, and perhaps even more important, a bit of the back of the Lion of Amphipolis were also found. Here’s the brief bit from News247 which mentions all this:
Η πλήρης αποκάλυψη των μαρμάρινων Σφιγγών που βρέθηκαν στον Τύμβο Καστά στην Αμφίπολη, η εύρεση τμήματος από τη ράχη του Λέοντος, καθώς και μικρού τμήματος της ανωδομής του μνημείου, είναι τα νέα δεδομένα από τις ανασκαφές που διεξάγει η ΚΗ΄ Εφορεία Προϊστορικών και Κλασικών Αρχαιοτήτων στην περιοχή, σύμφωνα με ανακοίνωση του υπουργείου Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού.
- via: Σε εξέλιξη οι ανασκαφές στην Αμφίπολη: Η σκαπάνη έφερε στο φως Σφίγγες τεχνοτροπίας του 4ου π.Χ. από μάρμαρο Θάσου (news 247)
… and here’s the sphinxes … Ministry of Culture photo:
Photo via: Αμφίπολη: Εντυπωσιάζουν οι Σφίγγες στην είσοδο του αρχαίου τάφου (in.gr)
UPDATE (a few hours later): an excerpt from eKathimerini’s coverage:
The two sphinxes, which apart from being headless also have broken wings, are believed to have been crafted “by the same hands” as those which made a 16-foot-tall marble lion which is thought to have sat atop the burial site, archaeologists working on the dig told Kathimerini.
The sphinxes, each weighing around 1.5 tons and with traces of red coloring on their feet, will not be removed from the entrance to the tomb as archaeologists clear away stones and earth to gain access.
The sphinxes are 1.45 meters high and would have been 2 meters high with their heads, the Culture Ministry said in a statement.
Pieces of the sphinxes’ wings were found on the site, as was a large section of the back of the lion sculpture, archaeologists said.
Experts working on the excavation were also examining a section of the tomb wall which bears traces of red and blue coloring, in two shades. A mosaic displaying black and white rhombus shapes has also been discovered on the site.
A mosaic displaying black and white rhombus shapes has also been discovered on the site.
Technical work began on Monday at the tomb to avert any structural damage as archaeologists attempt to enter the tomb and discover what lies inside.
Some experts believe the site has been raided in the past but archaeologists cannot yet confirm this. [...]
- via: Sphinxes at burial site at Ancient Amphipolis revealed (Kathimerini)
… I wonder if the mosaic is a pebble mosaic or proper tesserae …