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Mound fuels heady speculation about Alexander the Great

Belief that grave holds Macedonian king

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Culture ministry warns it would be 'overbold' to link the site near ancient Amphipolis, about 100km east of Thessaloniki, with 'historic personages' before the excavation is completed

A view of the large burial monument, dating back to the 4th century BC, at Kasta, near Amphipolis (AFP) A view of the large burial monument, dating back to the 4th century BC, at Kasta, near Amphipolis (AFP) The culture ministry has warned against "overbold" speculation that an ancient artificial mound being excavated in the northeastern prefecture of Serres could contain a royal Macedonian grave or even Alexander the Great.

Katerina Peristeri, the archaeologist directing the excavation near ancient Amphipolis, has voiced hopes of finding "a significant individual or individuals" within.

Websites enthused that it could hold the long-sought grave of 4th-century BC warrior-king Alexander the Great - thought to lie in Egypt.

A culture ministry statement on Thursday said the partly-excavated mound has yielded a "very remarkable" marble-faced wall from the late 4th century BC. It is an impressive 500m long and 3m high.

Detail of the wall surrounding the burial mound (AFP) Detail of the wall surrounding the burial mound (AFP) But the ministry warned it would be "overbold" to link the site near ancient Amphipolis, about 100km east of Thessaloniki, with "historic personages" before the excavation is completed.


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