Last August it was The Daily Mail (see my blog post here), this week an on-line publication I had not previously heard of called World News Daily Report claims that the tomb of Alexander the Great might have been found. You can read the report here.
Having read the report a couple of times these are my thoughts.
- As a candidate for Alexander’s tomb the site reportedly discovered by the Polish archaeological team is a good one as it is in Alexandria. Against that, I thought the area of the city where the royal complex – and thus, Soma, where Alexander was buried – fell into the sea after an earthquake. Am I wrong?
- I presume the ‘Polish Center of Archaeology’ is the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archeology
- No one from the PCMA is named in the piece even though it cites information presumably uncovered by the archaeologists. I have no idea if this is significant! [It probably is – see the Update below]
- Carbon dating will not tell us whether the bones that the report says have been recovered are Alexander’s or not. All carbon dating can do is give us an indication of how old the bones are. Quite a different thing
- For all we know, the bones could belong to a Ptolemy
The World News Daily Report certainly appears to be a very intriguing one but until we get more information from the archaeologists who have made this discovery we would be wise to remain cautious.
As I finished writing the above, I took a quick look at Rogue Classicism to see if it mentioned this report. It does, and – unsurprisingly? – the report appears to be a hoax. Read more here. I am very relieved to have hedged my bets when I wrote this post!
As for Alexander, the search goes on.