A researcher claims to have identified the long-lost tomb of Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great. But other scholars are skeptical it’s really her burial.
Archaeologists first discovered the tomb in 1850, not far from the Greek archaeological site of Pydna. The tomb has been studied at times by archaeologists since then. Recently, Athanasios Bintas, an emeritus professor of Greek studies at the University of Niš in Serbia, examined the tomb and now says it was used to bury Olympias. Made of stone, the tomb is 72 feet (22 meters) long and contains multiple chambers. The tomb’s design has led archaeologists to date it to the late fourth to early third century B.C. As the tomb was robbed in ancient times, no bodies or grave goods have been found inside.
Alexander the Great conquered a vast empire that stretched from Macedonia to Afghanistan. After he died in 323 B.C., his empire fell apart, with his generals and officials fighting over who would control it. Amidst this chaos, Alexander’s mother Olympias was in Macedonia trying to protect Alexander IV (the young son of Alexander the Great) and the boy’s mother Roxane, one of Alexander’s wives. An official named Cassander tried to gain power in Macedonia and sought to kill or kidnap Alexander’s son and wife, according to ancient historical records.