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Statues of Caryatid Maidens Found in Greece’s Amphipolis Tomb

Image: Caryatid
Archaeologists work on a sculpted female figure, known as Caryatid, inside the site of an archaeological excavation at the town of Amphipolis in northern Greece. Greek Culture Ministry via AP

Archaeologists have unearthed two sculpted female figures, known as Caryatids, as they slowly make their way into an ancient tomb recently discovered in Greece's northeast, the country's culture ministry said on Sunday. They mark a significant new finding in the tomb on the Amphipolis site, which archaeologists have hailed as a major discovery from the era of Alexander the Great.

Image: Caryatid
A sculpted female figure known as Caryatid looks out into an ancient tomb being excavated near the Greek town of Amphipolis. Greek Culture Ministry via Reuters

The ministry said the Caryatids, with thick curls covering their shoulders, support an inner entrance into a tomb chamber. They feature the same sculpting technique used for the heads and wings of two sphinxes found guarding the main entrance of the tomb in August. "The structure of the second entrance with the Caryatids is an important finding, which supports the view that it is a prominent monument of great importance," the ministry said.

Image: Marble carving
A photo from the Greek Culture Ministry shows a marble panel carved with geometric shapes and painted dark red and yellow. It is located up a wall in the 21-foot-high antechamber of the yet-unexplored main room of an ancient tomb in the Greek town of Amphipolis. Greek Culture Ministry via AP

The face of one of the Caryatids is missing, while both figures have one hand outstretched in a symbolic move to push away anyone who would try to violate the tomb. Archaeologists have said that the Amphipolis site appeared to be the largest ancient tomb to have been discovered in Greece. It's thought to have been the resting place of a general or high-ranking official from the reign of Alexander, who died in 323 B.C.

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— Reuters