AMPHIPOLIS DISCOVERY 2014

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In ancient Amphipolis in central Macedonia, archaeologists have been excavating a huge burial complex that dates back to the 4th century B.C., during the era of Alexander the Great. The excavators don't know what they'll find inside but they recently revealed the sphinx-guarded entrance to the tomb.

Photos: Mysterious Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis

In ancient Amphipolis in central Macedonia, archaeologists have been excavating a huge burial complex that dates back to the 4th century B.C., during the era of Alexander the Great. The excavators don't know what they'll find inside but they recently revealed the sphinx-guarded entrance to the tomb.

This is what the partially excavated doorway looked like by Aug. 24.

Photos: Mysterious Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis

This is what the partially excavated doorway looked like by Aug. 24.

This image was released by the Greek Ministry of Culture on Aug. 25, after excavators cleared enough sealing stones and soil to reveal the full doorway.

Photos: Mysterious Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis

This image was released by the Greek Ministry of Culture on Aug. 25, after excavators cleared enough sealing stones and soil to reveal the full doorway.

More digging revealed a third figure: Persephone. It's clear that this scene shows the goddess being taken into the underworld by Hades.

Photos: Mysterious Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis

More digging revealed a third figure: Persephone. It's clear that this scene shows the goddess being taken into the underworld by Hades.

The intricately carved paw of one of the sphinxes.

Photos: Mysterious Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis

The intricately carved paw of one of the sphinxes.

Probing deeper into the tomb, archaeologists revealed two caryatids, or female statues that act like columns or pillars.

Photos: Mysterious Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis

Probing deeper into the tomb, archaeologists revealed two caryatids, or female statues that act like columns or pillars.

By Sept. 21, the caryatids had been revealed down to their feet.

Photos: Mysterious Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis

By Sept. 21, the caryatids had been revealed down to their feet.

The composition shows Hermes leading a bearded man on a horse-drawn chariot.

Photos: Mysterious Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis

The composition shows Hermes leading a bearded man on a horse-drawn chariot.

Traces of red and black paint are intact on the pillars that flank the doorway

Photos: Mysterious Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis

Traces of red and black paint are intact on the pillars that flank the doorway

Once the stones were removed and more dirt was cleared, archaeologists could see the female statues in full.

Photos: Mysterious Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis

Once the stones were removed and more dirt was cleared, archaeologists could see the female statues in full.

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