New Study Identifies the Tomb of Alexander The Great’s Father

The location of Alexander the Great’s tomb remains a big mystery. However, at least the final resting place of his father, King Philip II of Macedonia, is no longer one, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

The study, conducted by Antonis Bartsiokas, Juan Luis Arsuaga, and Nicholas Brandmeir, included a review of the royal tombs in the Great Tumulus at Vergina, Macedonia, Greece. Discovered in the 1970s, these tombs contained the remains of Alexander the Great’s relatives, including King Philip II, his son Alexander IV, and his half-brother King Philip III Arrhidaeus. However, the experts were unsure which member of the royal family was buried in which tomb.

Until now, it was believed that Tomb II contained the remains of King Philip II. However, the authors of the study believe that his body was actually buried in Tomb I.

Bartsiokas, Arsuaga, and Brandmeir made their conclusion by comparing historical records of the physical attributes of Alexander the Great’s relatives with the state of the skeletons. They discovered that the skeleton in Tomb I had a “fused knee joint”, which was consistent with the record of King Philip II having trouble walking.

Additionally, the skeleton in Tomb II didn’t have physical trauma, and there was no conclusive evidence of the eye injury that King Philip II had, pointing out that it was Arrhidaeus who was buried there.

“Tomb I was a very small and poor tomb, and Tomb II was very big and rich,” Bartsiokas said. “This ties with the historical evidence that Macedonia was in a state of bankruptcy when Alexander started his campaign and very rich when he died. This is consistent with Tomb I belonging to Philip II and Tomb II belonging to his son Arrhidaeus.”

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