Holy Hermes! Mosaic Revealed in Greece’s Amphipolis Tomb

Image: Amphipolis mosaic
A photo from the Greek Ministry of Culture shows a mosaic floor discovered in the ancient Amphipolis tomb in northern Greece. The mosaic is made from white, black, gray, blue, red and yellow pebbles, and depicts a chariot in motion. Hermes, the messenger of the gods, is pictured in front of the chariot. The mosaic was discovered in the second chamber of the tomb. The center of the mosaic has been destroyed, but archaeologists have found parts of it in the dirt they sifted through and will try to piece it back together. Greek Culture Ministry via EPA

Archaeologists digging through an ancient tomb in Amphipolis in northern Greece have uncovered a floor mosaic that covers the whole area of a room seen as the antechamber to the main burial site. The mosaic, 3 meters (10 feet) long and 4.5 meters (15 feet) wide, depicts a horseman with a laurel wreath driving a chariot drawn by two horses and preceded by the god Hermes. According to a Culture Ministry announcement on Sunday, Hermes is depicted here as the conductor of souls to the afterlife.

The mosaic is made up of pebbles in many colors. A circular area of the mosaic is missing, but authorities say enough fragments have been found to reconstruct a large part. Archaeologists have dated the mosaic to the last quarter of the fourth century B.C., consistent with their belief the grave contains the remains of a contemporary of Alexander the Great — most likely a relative or one of Alexander's generals. Alexander, who died in 323 B.C., is believed to have been buried in Egypt — but his tomb hasn't been found.

— The Associated Press