A Greek archaeologist says he may have discovered the lost tomb of ancient philosopher Aristotle in northern Greece.
Archaeologist Konstantinos Sismanidis said on Thursday that his team unearthed a 2,400-year-old domed vault in the ruins of the ancient city of Stageira, now known as Olympiada, in northern Greece.
“We had found the tomb,” he said. “We’ve now also found the altar referred to in ancient texts, as well as the road leading to the tomb, which was very close to the city’s ancient marketplace within the city settlement.”
“I have no hard proof, but strong indications lead me to almost certainty” that the grave belonged to Aristotle, he said at an international conference that marked the 2,400th anniversary of Aristotle’s birth.
The archaeologist said no human remains were found, but coins dated to Macedonia’s Alexander the Great and ceramics from royal pottery were discovered.
This file photo shows the site in Stagira, in northern Greece, near what would have been the ancient city’s main square.
Outside the tomb, there is an altar and a square-shaped floor that is believed to have been placed there for people to pray for the philosopher.
Sismanidis said the nature of the complex suggested that it had been hurriedly constructed and later topped with quality materials.
He argued that the architecture and the location of the tomb, close to Stagira’s ancient square, support the idea that it is the philosopher’s final resting place.
People of Stagira are said to have taken the ashes of Aristotle home from Chalcis on the island of Euboea, now known as Chalkida on Evia, where he is known to have died in 322 BC.
Remains of the structure were accidentally unearthed in 1996 during construction work for a site then earmarked for a new museum of modern art.
Aristides Baltas, Greece’s minister of culture and sports, has welcomed the announcement by Sismanidis, saying that, “We await further details with great anticipation.”