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On the Hephaestion at Kasta Hill Hypothesis


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The paper presents an early work by the author, regarding the Tomb at Kasta Hill, Amphipolis, MAKEDONIA, Greece. It was based on three hypotheses: that the tomb was completed at the last quarter of the 4th Century BC, and that the architect was Deinokratis are both assumptions attributed to Katerina Peristeri, the archeologist in charge of the excavation; the third assumption was based on Professor Theodoros Mavrojannis hypothesis that HFAISTION was the (single) person buried there. Further, the paper was based on information prior to a November 29th, 2014 conference given by K. Peristeri, where new evidence was presented (having to do with Roman coins and pottery fragments found in chambers 1 and 2 - although no 3-d specific location for these items was disclosed). As a result of these new revelations, and subsequent announcements about the skeletal bones from a number of individuals found in the funerary chamber, major revisions are needed. thus, this paper serves purely as a means in archiving and recording on-going research by this author.
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On the Tumulus at Amphipolis
A paper by:
DIMITRIOS S. DENDRINOS, Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., MArchUD, Dipl. Arch Eng.
10/27/15; 1st update 11/1/15
This paper is a sequel to four prior papers by the author on the subject of the Great Tumulus at
Amphipolis. It incorporates some new evidence, as presented by the archeological team
responsible for the excavation at Kasta Hill (near the old City of Amphipolis, in Macedonia,
Greece) on September 30, 2015 [1]. Some General as well as certain Specific (but nonetheless
all major) points, are outlined in this paper. They all confirm the author’s prior views on some
key issues involved in both the architecture and historiography of Kasta Tumulus. However, this
paper also serves to amend certain points made in the prior works by this author. It also adds
considerably to the evidence linking a local version of the Bull Cult, covring a broader Region
including Samothrace, to the monument at Kasta.
General points: (i) it is now almost certain that the major construction phase of the Tumulus at
Kasta commenced immediately following Hephaestion’s death in November 324 BC. It is almost
certain that it was at that point in time intended as a burial place and monument for
Hephaestion. Very likely, it was designed in the form of a Serapium Temple and in the overall
religious tradition of a Bull Cult. In Appendix A it is suggested that a prior structure was there,
as a Temple to Artemis Tavropolos. (ii) Deinokratis was very likely the Architect of the
Hephaestion monument and tomb. Most likely his presence and tenure at Kasta lasted only
about a couple of years. (iii) These conclusions are consistent to an extent with the
archeological team’s views, expressed on August 10, 2014 and thereafter. They are also partly
consistent with Professor Mavrojannis “Hephaestion Hypothesis” first presented on September
10, 2014. In Appendix B correspondence with Professor Mavrojannis is shown, which fully
justifies this author’s characterization of the Hephaestion Hypothesis. In combination, these
three (the two Peristeri plus the Mavrojannis) hypotheses fully confirm the propositions last
presented by the author in his paper “On Certain Key Architectural Elements of Kasta Tumulus”
Update #4 (as well as its Final Version). Additional evidence presented here further strengthens
the conclusions of that paper.
Specific points: (i) Contrary to the claims by the archeological team, the perimeter of Kasta
Tumulus is a circle, not an ellipse; (ii) The Lion of Amphipolis was never installed and was not
intended for the top of the Hill; (iii) The perimeter wall is in no way possible “three meters tall”;
(iv) The proposition that “the monument was accessible with a staircase” is inconsistent with a
an exposed perimeter wall. These four items are elaborated in Part 1 of this paper. (v) The
finding by this author that the tomb’s modulus (1.36m) in its ratio to the length of the
circumferential wall (497m), a wall which was meant to be a calendar, produces an astonishing
astronomical approximation to the exact numbers of day in a year (365.44) now has a possible
candidate as being behind it: the mathematician-astronomer and Aristotle co-worker, Callippus;
This aspect of the Kasta is elaborated in Part 2. (vi) Amphipolis and Kasta are linked to the
Sanctuary in Samothace by a Bull Cult depicted both in the Sanctuary’s site plan at its early
phase of construction, and the inside of Arcinoe’s Temple there; this issue is addressed in Part
3. (vii) The archeological team’s new evidence, presented on 9/30/2015 as it relates to
Hephaestion is extensively discussed and critically analyzed in Part 4. (viii) There is a possibility
the Hephaestion tomb and monument was built in a space used prior to that as a Temple to
Artemis Tavropolos; this issue (along with geologist Kabouroglou evaluation of the tomb’s
dimensions) is discussed in Appendix A.
Some analysis of Kasta’s internal dimensions is presented in Note 1, where references also to
certain basic ratios found to govern key elements of the Parthenon, and the Temple of
Epicurius Apollo at Bessae are made. The topic of dimensions in Monumental Architecture is
elaborated throughout the paper, and some analysis of Halicarnassus Mausoleum is supplied
along these lines. Note 2, plus Appendix C do address these issues also.
A number of key conclusions (as presented by the author in a string of four papers, published
from October 2014 till July 2015, and their corresponding revisions) stand, although a few
minor ones are amended here. One of them concerns the Kasta tomb orientation at the time it
was constructed: new evidence confirms that it was built quite close to a North-South axis.
Central objective of this paper is to marginally revise and extend the lifecycle narrative about
Kasta and its Architecture, as initially stated by this author in October 2014. The current
revisions follow the announcement by the excavators of Kasta Tumulus on September 30, 2015
[1]. This paper incorporates some of the new evidence they presented. The author’s basic
narrative can be found in [2] (in a more than 65-page long paper), which was further elaborated
in [3] (a 120-page long paper), and with components of it found in [4] and [5].
Essentially the narrative (both historiography and in architectural detail) as presented in [2-5]
stands as is, only at the margins some changes are necessary in view of the new evidence.
Those changes are elaborated here. Obviously, one need read those four papers, to fully follow
the arguments currently presented, as duplicative narrative is avoided to the maximum extent
possible. Besides references to the 9/30/2015 presentation, references are also made to a most
interesting paper (forthcoming but not yet published) by Professor T. Mavrojannis [6].
Three primitives used as the base of my HEFAISTION HYPOTHESIS paper (found in [2]) stand as
stated then (October of 2014): They comprise what I then referred to as two “Peristeri
hypotheses”, namely that (a) this is a monument built in the last quarter of the 4th Century BC
(first publicly stated on August 10th, 2014); and (b) Deinokratis was the original architect (also
stated publically by Mrs Peristeri in August and September 2014). My third primitive was the
adoption of what I also called then “the Mavrojannis hypothesis”, that this monument was
constructed for Hephaestion (first stated and documented by Prof. Mavrojannis in a public
lecture at the University of Cyprus, on September 10th 2014). More on this is found in Appendix
Of course, these three hypotheses, as stated stand. They are now considered by this author as
reasonable conclusions based on the available evidence as of this paper’ writing. However, as
the reader of this and the four papers by this author cited already will recognize, all three of
these initial “hypotheses” have been qualified and modified considerably by this author’s
Specifically, although the main construction phases of the monument at Kasta took place in the
324 to 316 BC period, there were other construction and burial of the monument phases
involving the space and structure in question. These construction activities span an intervention
period possibly well prior to Hephaestion’s death in November 324 BC, and extend quite likely
well into the Antigonid Dynasty and most likely the time of Philip V and less likely his son
Perseus, when the burial of the tomb’s interior took place.
As far as the architect of the monument is concerned, Deinokratis most likely was the main
Architect during the beginning of the monument’s main construction phase. However, a
number of other architects and engineers also participated in renovating and partially
transforming this structure, very possibly over a period of a century and a half, significantly
affecting the life of this edifice and its form. Thus whether Deinokratis can be considered as the
architect of record” for this monument is a matter open to interpretation and debate.
Finally, in so far as the Hephaestion hypothesis is concerned, the monument may have been
originally intended as a temple, tomb and a monument for Hephaestion. In [3] it was argued
that it was intended (and maybe for a brief period of time did act) as a Serapion. However, it is
not known that it was ever actually used for Hephaestion for any of these purposes; as we also
do not know whether Hephaestion is in fact buried there, possibly along with a number of
others (related or unrelated to him in a familial sense). It must also be noted, it is debatable
whether this monument should be referred to as “Hephaestion’s” monument.
Even if the tomb/monument/temple was originally intended for Hephaestion, but someone
else took over its use and or modified the initial drawings and plans, it is debatable as to whom
should the monument be attributed. Very likely and well before its completion according to the
Deinokratis’s plan and design, during or immediately after either its major construction phase,
(MCP) or its second renovation phase (SRP) transformations (which are discussed by this author
in [3]) someone else took over its construction/renovation process and its use, (possibly
Cassander, see [2, 3]. Thus, it is certainly under discussion whether the end structure should be
referred to as the “Hephaestion Monument” or someone else’s monument and/or tomb.
Qualifying questions regarding all three of the paper’s primitives (the two “Peristeri
hypotheses” involving the time of the monument’s construction and the architect of record,
and the “Mavrojannis hypothesis” about Hephaestion) raise an interesting theoretical issue for
both Archeology and History regarding their conclusions and their asserted “facts”. It has to do
with the question of how “complete” “exact” or “precise” as well as “unquestionable” or
“certain” (let alone “scientifically admissible” based on a set of analytical and strict rules of
evidence) can statements about archeological “findings” or the historical “record” can be.
This issue was somewhat extensively addressed in [2] with Postscript #1. The question was then
posed, in reference to these three “primitives-hypotheses” adopted by this author (as the
cornerstones of his Kasta narrative), to serve as another example of a case necessarily involving
“fuzziness” in matters of Archeology and History. All three central questions render themselves
to possibly multiple answers of varying degrees of likelihood, thus presenting an interesting
case to argue their existence as perceived in Quantum Superposition. More on this subject is
offered in the paper’s last Appendix C.
Deinokratis’ proposal for an Alexander “” City on Mount Athos.
Kasta Tumulus and Amphipolis are not where Alexander III is buried, possibly contrary to
Deinokratis’ wishes in so far as Amphipolis is concerned. Deinokratis, the Empire’s Architect,
who according to Vitruvius wanted to build a City on the Athos Peninsula in the form of
Alexander, (an Alexander , Mavrojannis [6] p. 17) would never conceive the idea
that Kasta Hill was Alexander’s resting place and monument. For Deinokratis very likely, Kasta
Hill was too little for Alexander. It may have been large enough for Hephaestion, but it was
just inadequate to accommodate the greatest  the World has ever known,
certainly that the then World knew - at the last quarter of the 4th Century BC. One must be
rather confident in asserting that this is how Deinokratis must have thought, and for good
Deinokratis did know the Giza Plateau, and Abu Simbel. He would had never conceived and
planned to build anything less for Alexander, in an Empire richer in resources, greater in wealth,
far more populous, far greater in spatial extent, and with a far better educated labor force than
any Dynastic Egyptian Empire before then and since. Alexander’s Empire had just absorbed the
riches of the Persian Empire. But it was not just the material riches of the Achaemenid Empire
Alexander had acquired. At the time, Alexander’s Empire also had in its disposal and domain
the most technologically and scientifically advanced traditions in the World, which included the
Mathematics, Astronomy, the Arts and Architecture of Classical Greece.
Imperial Architect Deinokratis was quite familiar with the Athenian Acropolis, and the
Architectures of Delos, Corinth, Delphi, Ephesus and Miletus and all the then current vibrant
albeit weakening strains of Classical Greek Art and Architecture and all its specimens, from
Bessae to Samothraki. He and his architects and engineers must have been familiar with the
architects, artists, engineers and city planners of his time, from Ictinos, Kalikratis and Phidias to
Zeuxis, Scopas and Ippodamus.
His knowledge of principles and rules involved in the Art and Architecture of Classical Greece,
these that modern Architecture refers to as the “definite proportions”, the Golden Ratio rule
etc., must have been sharp. His assistants in Art, Architecture, Mathematics and Astronomy
must have been ahead of the curve. After all he was the Empire’s Architect. He and his
associates (architects, designers, engineers, painters and sculptors) must have been well aware
of the broad elements of that Era’s Astronomy and the inherent linkages between Monumental
Architecture and the physics of the Celestial Bodies. We can assert all this, because we
encounter some of these rules beyond any doubt in Kasta [4] [5]. The Golden Ratio rule
governing the height of the maidens, relative to their base {see p. 9 in [4]} is so obvious, that it
must be beyond dispute. The complex algebra and geometry of the double meander in the
mosaic’s frame are also undisputable [5]. And more regarding the issue of the astronomy
imprinted at Kasta’s Tumulus calendar presented in [4] will be supplied later in this paper.
There isn’t any need for any Historian to document the assertion that Deinokratis was at the
forefront in his profession. Common sense backs it up. Now one may argue, correctly up to a
point, the brightest and most talented minds of the period would not work (no matter the wage
offered) for the “establishment” Architect, on ideological grounds. And possibly among those
who wouldn’t respond to a call from Deinokratis could be the most talented artists and
architects of that Era. Be that as it may, those who were hired to work under Deinokratis must
have had talent – and certain aspects of the Kasta Tumulus’ Architecture attests to that. In fact,
they must have had talent in abundance, considering the Artwork they produced, and most
importantly the Mathematics and the Astronomy they imprinted there. A Scopas student or
associate must have been one of them.
However, Deinokratis in his profession, he was finding himself in the midst of a radically and
fast changing World in both Architecture, but also in a fast moving World at large. Within
Architecture and City Design and Planning, fundamental shifts were underway, shifts that cut
across ideology, politics, economics, demographics and culture. In turn, these shifts induced on
the one hand drastic changes in style in all of the Arts, and on the other changes in City
management, law and planning. As always, a “New School” and an “Old School” were forming.
The urban design, architecture and art of the tumulus at Kasta reflects to a large extent these
shift in trends.
Some of the artistry at Kasta belongs to a prior School, some doesn’t. The Sphinxes, the
Maidens, and the mosaic floor’s main iconography do belong to a prior school – some more so
(the Sphinxes), some less so (the Maidens) and some were at par with current trends (the
mosaic’s scene of Persephone’s abduction by Hades, Hermes present). But some of the artistry
is indeed pioneering (the modulus of the edifice [4], the frame of the mosaic [5]). Kasta
Tumulus finds itself at a cusp, the point of transition from the Classical Era to the Hellenistic
Era. Naturally, there are difficulties involved in exactly defining these terms, which we shall
address here, in Appendix C. But the cusp does appear, to delineate the Old, from the New.
Passage from one front to another, almost as a ritual, always encounters stormy weather,
political and cultural as well as artistic. For around Art’s changes of styles, the whole universe of
economic, religious, social changes fly - in effect inducing them.
According to Pliny the Elder, after the end of the Classical Era “Then Art disappeared” (cessavit
deinde ars) (Natural History, XXXIV, 52) – what a monumentally short sighted view of course
that was. Just as a mild reminder, the Wingless Nike of Samothrace is a 190 BC statue, and
Aphrodite of Melos is a 120 BC masterpiece. So, given Pliny’s comment about Art, how can we
be asked to take his writing of History seriously or his description of Architectural Monuments
(like for example that of the Halikarnassus Mausoleum) as accurate. Pliny’s comment is an
indication of the competitive nature of Art and Architecture, their underlying politics and
ideology. It demonstrates in vivid terms how different currents in the field of Fine Arts evolve in
a soup of highly heterogeneous and biased opinions.
Much has been said (in the popular press, as well as the academic world) about Kasta’s Art, and
its “period”. Whether this is a “Macedonian” or a “Roman” monument. It is an ideologically
charged issue and a dubious question in “labeling” at that. Yes, that labelling is (in the sense we
generally accept these terms) a question about chronology. Characterizing this monument
tomb and temple either way will necessarily peg a rough date on it. But this characterization
says next to nothing about the great tomb at Kasta. The chronology of the various construction
phases at Kasta can be determined by other more basic factors (as explained at length here and
in [2, 3]). Substantive information is conveyed when factors such as the building’s structure is
analyzed, or its tumulus shape, and who could have been the mind behind this construction, its
economics, politics, religious underpinnings and the like. Labeling of the sort “Macedonian” or
“Roman” and their forced dilemmas are to a large extent meaningless.
But not to a total extent meaningless, as the issue of dating Artwork is an interesting exercise in
its own right. It doesn’t not only require the analyst to estimate the actual time the artifact was
created, but (and maybe more importantly) to place it within a specific Art School, or an Art
Period. Interesting aspects of such dating, like for example an inherent “fuzziness’ and
multiplicity of estimates, that go along with such attempts pose an important theoretical and
largely epistemological question. And we shall touch on this later as well. Buildings which may
contain multiple artifacts (as Kasta does) accentuate the inherent impreciseness matter further,
increases the uncertainty and clouds the evidence.
As for the question whether Kasta is a “Macedonian” or a “Roman” monument/tomb – no
matter what does one imply by these terms, in fact it is neither. In [3] the case was made that
the Great Tumulus at Kasta is an Ecumenical Monument of the largest possible time-space
span. It carries within it the traditions of a three millennia long Architecture voyage that
reaches back as far as Newgrange. Its influences (received by and reflected off it) span three
Continents (Europe, Asia and Africa). It is not by any means, a “provincial” monument, be that
label “Macedonian” or “Roman”.
Dating Art or individual pieces of Art and Architecture doesn’t afford clear cut answers. Even if
one is able to determine the approximate time period an artifact or a building was made, it
doesn’t necessarily follow that it’s that period’s artistic product. Any piece of Art or
Architecture could be either a leading or lagging specimen of a particular artistic vein associated
with a particular artistic time period – and there are no sharp borders between artistic time
periods and artistic veins.
Artistic time periods are not fixed, they are indeed quite fuzzy (as in “fuzzy sets” in the
mathematical theory of sets), and they lend themselves to wide open interpretations. At the
end of course, as a bottom line, assigning actual time periods to artistic time periods is not a
well-defined job assignment by all means. To top all that, Art and Architecture do not consist of
replicated specimens – they consist of unique pieces, each having its own signature. Copies may
be attempts to exact reproduction, but in essence they are not. The best of forgeries are still
forgeries. Well intended copies, are still copies, not originals.
But going back to Pliny and in spite of Pliny’s judgement, Art and Architecture did move on
during the Hellenistic period, thank you very much. The World in general and Art and
Architecture in specific at the time did survive and went on to prosper, in the midst of drastic
and long term impacting changes. Demographic shifts and large scale population movements
were now forcing architects and designers to go beyond the drawing of individual buildings,
mostly temples, agorae and gymnasia and produce planning and design for large scale and
more accessible and user friendly civic, religious, residential, market and administrative centers.
Architecture was expanding to include not only more pleasant and comfortable homes to an
expanding middle class, but it increased its focus acquiring an explicit Urban Design, and formal
City Planning perspective. There were demands for comprehensive design involving a complete
urban infrastructure, which included roads, water, sewage systems, ports etc. The very essence
of what a City really is, what “civic activity” was all about was rapidly and drastically changing.
And so was Amphipolis, where these gales of change were also recorded at Kasta.
The Hellenic World was facing some stark realities by the closing quarter of the 4th Century BC.
Mainland Greece had succumbed to the rule of Philip II, the influence of Athens was in sharp
decline, the influence of Classical Greek Architecture was waning. The fratricidal wars among
Leagues and Cities within the Hellenic space had taken their toll, economically as well as
culturally. Broader internal inter-City conflicts spilled over and were reflected in intra-City
conflicts among members of the various elites – the murdering of competitors (as degree of
kinship shows to have been largely irrelevant) was a common occurrence, and 4th Century BC
Macedonia was no exception.
But why all that conflict, what was so much and in such a quantity at stake, that would justify
such immensely intensive (and ultimately self-destructive) conflict? Apparently a lot. And
although the underlying factors in any conflict constitute a complex bundle of socio-cultural
attributes, a dominant force within the bundle must have been economics. Conventional
economic “wisdom” would suggest that it must have had something to do at the state level
with spatial expansion, the pursuit of resources and wealth in new lands. And on the elites’
infighting level, it had to do with who among them was going to lead his state into these new
But this is in effect an illusion. Conflict appears not so much in periods of economic expansion
and increases in wealth. Conflicts appear when the pie is to be split. It was when Alexander’s
Empire was to be carved into a bunch of Kingdoms that generated the intense conflicts history
has recorded in Macedonia past Alexander III. These conflicts are reflected and been imprinted
on Kasta’s turbulent and tortured life.
Of course, social conflicts are reflected in Art and Architecture too. Within Classical Greek
Architecture, competing traditions in style, construction and opulence were pegging the
austerity, heaviness and strictness of the Doric style, against those of the more elegant, lighter
and decorative Ionian and Corinthian Architectures. But en mass, this Classical tradition was
coming to a close, as a new (baptized by modern scholars and labeled as “Hellenistic”) Era was
about to dawn. And apparently a single man provided the tip off point. And this unique man
still musters the World’s attention to this day: Alexander.
Alexander’s death, triggered this phase transition in the dynamics of cultures and their implicit
civilizations at the time and space in reference. The earthquake of his death was felt directly by
the artists of that Era, and registered its effect at the very monument we are looking at Kasta:
the great tumulus at Kasta was a different monument in blueprint before, and a different
monument after June 323 BC. But beyond Kasta, the jolt from Alexander’s death was felt the
World over and registered multifaceted long term impacts. No man’s death had more profound
affects at a global scale than Alexander’s. Such impacts were experienced in the two Millennia
that ensued by many Regions of the World, from India to the Middle East, Northern Africa, and
the whole of Europe – a larger Region containing in toto the Western part of the Eurasian
Supercontinent. For Rome was not Alexander’s Empire proper; but it was Alexander’s direct
influence. The Romans recognized that, and granted Alexander the title he carries to this day.
Deinokratis must have been, as a privileged citizen of the Empire, and a close confident of the
person at the very top of its ruling elites, a citizen of that World. And that World was not
parochial or provincial. Alexander’s Empire makes that very clear. Cosmopolitan Deinokratis
was not a provincial architect, coming from any small corner of the Helladic space. He was well
travelled, both as a visitor to different places and as an intellectual. No historian needs to
document that – reason implies that no provincial, narrow minded, lowly educated, small town
architect or builder would make it to converse with Alexander, to design Alexandria and to be
the object of Vitruvius’ interest three Centuries later.
City Planner, Urban Designer and Architect Deinokratis, it must be assumed as a matter of
course, was familiar with the architecture of Egypt and Mesopotamia, besides knowing every
architectural corner of Greece. But I argue that he must had known as well about European
Affairs; and Europe was not simply what the Hellenic Space, the Balkans South of the Danube,
Ionia and the Apennine Peninsula contained. For a lot of Architecture had come into view there
since the Neolithic; and even though not as impressive as Newgrange or Orkney, much was
taking place in Western Europe at that latter half of the 1st Millennium BC.
For the seafaring Greeks of that Era, Europe must have been a familiar landscape. Geographer
and astronomer Pytheas from Massalia must have been a Deinokratis and/or his associates’
possible acquaintance. And there was much to know from him and through other traders and
travelers to and from Europe. Of course, from the Iberian Peninsula to the British Isles dozens
of impressive Neolithic megastructures dotted the landscape, impossible to have gone un-
noticed by the travelers of that Era. From the 35th Century BC Tarxien Temple Complex in
nearby Malta; to the 3rd Millennium BC Chalcolithic Town of Los Millares by Almeria in Spain; to
Stonehenge the 26th Century BC signature megalithic monument of England, an Architect the
stature of Deinokratis must have known about.
As he must have known (possibly through personal visits) about the Millennium old by his time
Luxor and the Karnak complex of temples as well as the Valley of the Kings in Thebes, as
undoubtedly knew Memphis and so did Ur a short trip from Babylon. The half century older
than his time colonnade of Nectanebo I in Philae on the Nile must not have escaped his
attention either. Little doubt, Alexander’s India conquest must have brought to his attention
the variety of Monumental Architectures of the Far East and South East Asia of his time. And
along with these Monuments came their mathematics, their Astronomy, and their religious
underpinnings. It is of course humanly impossible for someone at that time to have actually
visited all these settings. But he needed not to. For the few he actually visited and the many
more he must have studied carried within them the same basic Architectonic and Religious
traditions those that he did not actually visit did.
To understand Kasta, and to place Kasta in its proper context, one need recognize the
interdependencies that ought to have existed among the various Architectures prevailing back
then at various Regions of the known World, Regions that had been linked by migration and
trade for at least six Millennia before Deinokratis was born in the island of Rhodes. It is within
this context, and not in isolation, that the Classical Greek Architecture of the Golden Age
appeared. I’m sure, on this subject much work needs to be done, to document in effect these
Thus, in this complex and interacting World, by the end of 324 BC, Deinokratis finds himself in
front of the most powerful figure on Earth, Zeus-Ammon, receiving an order, regarding the
second in command of this, the greatest Empire the World had known. Second only to the
order to build a town in his Employer’s name, Alexandria, this could have been the most
daunting and challenging commission not only Deinokratis, but any architect could have
received back then. It must have loomed far greater of a challenge than the order he had
received to build Hephaestion’s pyre in Babylon. And it must have not been a blank check and
an imprecise order. Alexander didn’t rise to the heights he reached by issuing such orders. It
must have been well framed.
Amphipolis must have been (if not “was”) both Deinokratis and Alexander’s choice. Alexander
had a special attachment to Amphipolis, when he ordered Deinokratis in November 324 BC to
prepare a tomb and a monument for Hephaestion there. Alexander knew the layout of
Amphipolis well. For it was at Amphipolis, just a decade and six months before Hephaestion’s
death at Ecbatana, that Alexander launched his Asian Campaign, the place where that person
we know today as “Alexander” was actually born. The size of the pyre at Babylon Alexander
wanted for Hephaestion attests as to the magnitude of the Monument Alexander wanted for
his deputy and . It was not to be small or insignificant – just another run of the mill
little monument to be ignored by all historians of antiquity.
Alexander knew (as did Deinokratis) about the natural Hill North East of the City of Amphipolis
(the location of the Empire’s mint along with Pella), and he also knew about the square frustum
type Hill 133. Alexander knew that this strategically located place at the Northern shores of the
Aegean Sea, with direct access to the Thracian hinterland to the North, and with an easy access
East to Philippi and West to Pella and Aigies was a privileged area, an area enjoying unique
locational comparative advantages: Panggaion and its mineral riches was there, as it was the
River Strymonas. It was not Philip II’s River Valley of Axios which gave rise to Pella, Dios and
Pydna anymore in Alexander’s plans. It was the River Valley of Strymonas, the Nile River of the
Empire to be – the New Center of the World. At the end of the year 324 BC the stage was set
for Amphipolis to surpass Giza, Thebes, Alexandria and Babylon or any other setting in
Alexander’s Empire.
Amphipolis was strategically located in reference not only to the Helladic space – it was
strategically located in reference to the European, Northern Africa and the Regions of East Asia
– all Regions in Alexander’s Long Term Plan that included Europe. Amphipolis was not a
Macedonian town for Alexander, it was to be an Ecumenical City.
Amphipolis was in the mind of Deinokratis at the end of 324 BC the core of a new Center to
accommodate a System of Monuments and eventually the resting place of the Greatest Ruler
the World had known, Alexander the God Zeus-Ammon, and his Deputy, Hephaestion,
  . Central to this new System was going to be the Tumulus at Kasta, for
the time being. Money was plentiful, the riches of the lands of Macedonia and Mainland
Greece, as well as the riches of Mesopotamia and Egypt were in hand. Costs were not a factor,
and the imagination of a great Architect was allowed to soar. The monument for Hephaestion
at Kasta was to be a Monument for the Ages, only second to another forthcoming Monument,
that for Alexander himself. All resources of the Empire, in Art, Architecture, Science and
Engineering were to be put into this New System of Monuments at Amphipolis. And it was not
to be strictly “Macedonian” – it was to reflect the OIKOYMENH of the time. It was also to reflect
the deep seated influences of Monumental Architecture with roots going deep in both time and
space, as well as religion.
So, Deinokratis had very likely a huge System of Monuments in mind to construct and develop
at Amphipolis. Kasta Hill and its tumulus was going to be just the start. A lot of marble blocks
were to be laid to build that System, all conforming to some modulus, the modulus we find at
Kasta’s exterior and interior walls’ marble clad. That was to be the architectonic “signature” of
the System. When marble stones are found all along the Strymonas riverbanks, it doesn’t
necessarily follow that they come from the Hill. They could have just been ordered for any
other of these monuments or their parts, the Lion being one of them. This system was likely
designed to take the entire space north of the Hill where the Acropolis of Amphipolis lies, along
the River of the Empire, Strymonas. And that was quite likely the mindset of Deinokratis in the
Winter and Spring of 323 BC. Then came June, and all bets were off.
On September 30, 2015 Mrs. Katerina Peristeri (Head), and Mr. Michalis Lefantzis (the
architect) of the archeological excavation team of Kasta Tumulus made a public presentation
[1]. A number of new issues were brought up by the archeological team (AT for short from now
on). Along with some conclusions reached by AT, some of that evidentiary material, deemed to
be key pieces of evidence by this author, will be extensively discussed in this paper. However, it
should be noted from the outset, the main objective of this paper is not so much to offer a
comprehensive critique of the evidence presented, the interpretations made, or the
conclusions drawn by either Mrs. Peristeri or Mr. Lefantzis. Partial critique however is supplied.
By and large the most important piece of new evidence presented on 9/30/15 was related to
Hephaestion’s “presence” at Kasta. That evidence led AT to the conclusion that the monument
at Kasta (at some point in time, at one of its construction phases) was to be used as a publicly
accessible monument for Hephaestion, Alexander III’s deputy at the time of his death. Since this
was the major outcome of that presentation, it will be discussed at the end and quite
extensively, after some architectonic issues are addressed first.
There were a number of other issues brought up by AT. Some of these issues were based on
new raw material from the excavation, and they were presented to the public for the first time.
They included raw material from inside the tomb (sections of the architrave in Chamber #2 with
the mosaic floor, and coins), as well as some evidence including findings from areas outside the
tomb (the circumferential wall, the Hill, and the Amphipolis Lion’s base).
That “more recently” presented evidence was used as the basis for AT’s conclusions reached on
certain key but auxiliary questions. Of course, the most important conclusion had to do with
Hephaestion, but these auxiliary issues warrant some attention, and to those we turn next.
The tumulus at Kasta is a circle, not an ellipse.
Over the past year or so, in a number of public fora, the architect of the team has made the
assertion that Kasta Tumulus’ perimeter wall is an ellipse. This assertion of an ellipse made by
AT led this author to present an argument in [4] as to why the apparent configuration of the
exterior wall is a circle – it was attributed to the relative small North-to-South slope of the Hill,
although it accepted AT’s position that it was in fact an ellipse. With this paper I wish to correct
that assumption. It was then assumed that the perimeter wall was tracing the intersection of a
cone (or a cylinder) by a plane. This plane, it was assumed in [4], must be such that the resulting
ellipse’s small axis is perpendicular to either the cone or the cylinder’s vertical axis.
Working through the mathematics of paper [3] however (in an attempt to estimate the
amount, in volume, of soil needed to fill the perimeter wall at the Hill, that is the phase when
the exterior wall was buried) it was realized that Kasta was a sphere not a cone (or a cylinder).
In [3] the center of that sphere was estimated to be 206 meters below the ground level, (p. 73).
In the geometry of solids, a basic theorem (easy to prove) exists that states: any intersection of
a sphere by a plane produces a circle. It is no wonder why, all shots in Google Maps of Kasta Hill
over the period 2006 till 2014 (the most current being that of 9/30/2014) show Kasta as having
an almost perfect circle at the Hill’s ground level. Of course, no one will argue that actually a
sphere existed in Kasta, and Deinocratis cut it by a plane producing this circle. It is argued that
Deinocratis wanted the geometry of the Hill to look like a sphere’s top, a bull’s head upper part.
Besides Newgrange, we have some solid evidence to back this proposition up at Kasta.
In the 9/30/2015 presentation the architect of AT made the suggestion that there are in effect
“two centers of this ellipse, on either side of the horseshoe discovered on top of Kasta
Tumulus”. This assertion is simply baseless. Kasta Hill was never either naturally or shaped by
humans to be a cone or a cylinder like structure, to have the ground cutting it in the form of an
ellipse. The Hill in effect (based on the architect’s own drawings) had the curved shape of the
tip of a sphere! If the shape of the original natural Hill at the ground was irregular (which
probably was the case), the architect most likely transformed it to be a circle, not an ellipse. He
did this by tilting the single pole to the vertical line by an angle equal to the Hill’s slope, aiming
it towards the very center of the sphere. If the architect wanted an ellipse, he would produce
two holes to place two poles to draw the two-center ellipse. There is apparently no evidence
for that.
AT repeatedly in their public announcements keeps referring to a “497 meter perimeter wall,
with a diameter of 158 meters”. An ellipse doesn’t have a “diameter”, it has two axes (a long
one and a short one – perpendicular to each other). To draw an ellipse, as already stated, it
requires two centers. The phrase that the “perimeter wall is an ellipse” is one of a number of
contemporary myths attributed to that tortured wall. There are a few others as well.
Kasta Hill in Geometry: it’s part of a sphere.
The top of the Hill, and the transformation of a Hill into a Tumulus.
The History of Architecture, if one were asked to summarize it in basic Engineering terms, is
quite simple actually: over the Millennia, architecture was an effort to find structures to carry
vertical weights and counter the lateral forces, effectively and efficiently. The manner in which
architectural ingenuity has evolved in dealing with these two static factors has marked the
evolution in architectonic form. Thus, in analyzing Kasta and its various theories about it, one
need be able to satisfactorily address these two issues. This is where some scenarios about
Kasta Tumulus fail, as we’ll see.
Pieces of architectural type evidence were presented on 9/30/2015, quite critical in so far as
the real character of this Tumulus/Hill combination is concerned and the tomb and/or
monument and/or temple it contains. Evidence was produced directly pointing to remnants of
a shaft and the mechanism-structure installed at the top of the Hill to support a pole. That pole
in effect was to be used as the stable leg of a “compass”, a single compass, to draw the circle on
the Hill’s ground. This part of the evidence was acknowledged by AT and was correctly
interpreted thus far.
If indeed the intended shape of the perimeter wall was an ellipse, to draw it the soil engineer
would need two centers, as already mentioned, the two centers of the ellipse and two poles.
They only used one pole, based on the evidence presented by AT. In fact they located the exact
width and depth of that pole in the ground. This by itself should act as very strong and good
enough evidence to accept the fact that we are dealing with a circular perimeter wall.
Obviously, the function of the wooden mechanism-structure () must have been a
bit more complex however, and not simply to provide support for the pole erected there: it
must have been set up on top of the Hill to act also as an observatory-work station for the
engineer responsible for guiding the elaborate and significant transformation of the natural Hill
into the exact 3-d shape the architect of the monument desired, making it thus a Tumulus.
According to AT, D. Lazaridis (who, in the 1970s undertook excavations not only on the Hill but
in the broader area of Amphipolis), had found (in 1973) remnants of a limestone structure,
forming (according to AT) a horseshoe (), of dimensions 9.90mx9.90m and about
5.30m high, along with tons of small pieces of marble (from chiseling) all buried in the ground
on top of the Hill. Part of this masonry support structure is surviving today, Figure 1. AT
attributes all this to an effort by the architect of the monument to establish the foundations to
be used to form a flat area (along the ziggurat tradition) so that (according to AT) the ground
would be prepared well enough and compacted to put on top the (approximately) 10.15 meters
high (reconstructed in the 1930s) marble base of the Lion of Amphipolis, with the
(approximately) 5.30 meters high marble Lion on top.
The Lion was in effect (according to AT) to act as the marker (HMA) of the whole monument.
It is noted parenthetically that Lazaridis in the 1970s attributed the Lion of Amphipolis to
Laomedon not Hephaestion. The many small pieces of marble found on the site AT attributes to
work being done there, setting up and installing the Lion’s pieces, while working at them and
shaping them in situ. Of course, it could also be argued that these pieces are the result of
“dismembering” the Lion there, on top of the Tumulus now at some later date. Let’s examine
both possibilities in turn.
In considering the merits of this proposition, in linking evidence (like the small pieces of marble
found buried in the soil by Lazaridis), as evidence to suggest that the shaping of the Lion’s
marble pieces took place on top of the Hill one wonders really: would that be the optimum
place to do so? To carry heavy loads up on a 30-meter (the height according to AT) to rid it from
all its unnecessary weight (scrap)? Obviously not. It would be far more efficient to do the
sculpting by the riverbank, once the marble pieces were unloaded from the ship that carried all
that weight from the quarry in Thassos to Kasta. And there’s even a better candidate as to
where this sculpting of the marble pieces to form the Lion could (and probably did) take place.
Elementary Economics of Location dictate that processing of raw material takes place closer
to the place of origin, rather than the destination as a final product. A whole field of scientific
work exists in the field of Economic Geography and Location Theory from where this dictum is
taken. This author’s major scientific work is found in these fields, which the interested reader
can easily access. For an elementary and early introduction the reader is directed to: R. D. Dean,
W. H. Leahy D. L. McKee, 1970 Spatial Economic Theory The Free Press, New York, and to the
work by W. Isard, 1975 Introduction to Regional Science Prentice-Hall, New Jersey. Of course
the field has evolved considerably since the 1970s (and the work by this author in the 1980s
and 1990s contributed in some modest way to that evolution), although a review of this field is
not of importance for the subject in hand.
But the clear conclusion is this: AT’s suggestion that work on the Lion’s marble blocks was to
take (or actually took) place in situ on top of the mound must be rejected. Now let’s examine
the possibility that the “dismembering” of the Lion took place there. That process would entail
two things: set up the platform to do this “disassembling” largely destructive job, while
maintaining the integrity of the Lion’s pieces to the extent found in the 1930s when they were
“re-assembled”. This proposition is again failing the criterion just stated, for a simple reason: if
they were after the exquisite statue of the Lion, and assume for the time being that
“disassembling” of it is feasible without severely and irreparably damaging its form, why would
they bother disassembling the base also and transport far away (presumably Rome) simple
marble blocks? They could have made some in situ in Rome. Thus we must reject this scenario
also. In [2] the argument is made that in effect the Lion was never assembled, as it came in
pieces from Thassos and was left at the riverbanks of Strymonas.
There is a far more plausible explanation as to why so much of marble broken pieces were
found there, up on the Hill: to be used as fillers mixed with soil to shape the Hill to
specifications. We of course today, do not know the exact configuration of Kasta Hill back then,
when work commenced to transform it into a tumulus. Clearly, the top needed extra
protection, because it is the top which naturally suffers the most when soil erosion takes place.
It is thus reasonable to expect that such soil compaction and filling did take place up on top of
the Hill to prevent erosion.
Notice another interesting element of the surviving masonry wall shown in Figure 1, especially
the bottom photo of Figure 1. Keeping in mind that the wall was totally submerged in packed
soil, and no matter what the load it carried was, it shows that it collapsed – fractured in at least
three points: close to the extreme left border, at about 2/5ths its length from the left, and
close to the right border, as shown in the photo. How unstable that structure was to carry any
loads over any extended period of time is just imprinted on the structure as seen today.
The wall of Figure 1 was not meant to be a carrying wall (to withstand any great vertical, weight
or load forces); it was not meant to be a retaining wall (to withstand any significant lateral
forces) either. It was simply a partition wall. Its assembly is quite unimpressive, non-refined (in
fact far inferior to that of the two diaphragmatic walls used in the sealing of the tomb’s
interior), and evidently very hasty. In a similar fashion as the hasty construction of the two
diaphragmatic walls inside the tomb were there to stabilize the tomb, the purpose of this wall
(in fact the main purpose of the whole horseshoe structure) was very likely to stabilize and re-
enforce the shape of the Tumulus, and avoid the soil erosion at its top. Work was also done by
geologist Kabouroglou on this issue, which is further discussed in Appendix A.
It is extremely difficult to precisely identify the exact geology of this Hill/Tumulus, without
severely intervening in it and seriously affecting it. Non evasive means do not allow us to obtain
a detailed view of its micro-geological structure. Lack of complete knowledge of its micro-
geology applies to the way the Hill is today. It is doubtful if it can still be called a “Tumulus”,
given all that violent activity which has taken place on it, from excavations to bombardment to
erosion during the Millennia of its eventful past. A fortiori so if we wish to examine how the Hill
was back then, before the major construction phase (or MCP, as discussed in [2] and especially
in more detail in [3]) occurred.
To determine the exact extent (where and by how much, as well as how) the architect of this
tumulus (most likely Deinokratis) intervened and changed the Hill’s configuration is largely a
thankless and arbitrary, and to a large extent useless task. Besides offering some rough ideas on
how this was done, it is next to impossible to attempt a detailed simulation and re-enactment
of the 4th Century BC intervention and reconstruction and description of its micro-geology then.
However, we do have a general idea what he did and how. That is the best we can hope for of
attaining, at least for the time being, and given the means at our disposal at present.
In conclusion, what we see in Figure 1 is the remnant of the structure used for (a) to provide
support for the wooden foundation in turn used to support the pole to draw the perimeter
wall’s circular boundary; (b) to be the workstation used to shape the Hill into a Tumulus in the
shape of a sphere; and after these tasks were completed (c) to be used to prevent soil erosion.
This limestone structure was incapable of carrying any heavy direct vertical load.
Figure 1. The limestone structure, part of the horseshoe shaped area, on top of Kasta Hill.
The Amphipolis Lion issue.
A number of points have already been made regarding the Amphipolis Lion issue in this
author’s papers [2, 3]. These points will not be repeated here, as the arguments against the
“Lion on top of the Hill” proposition are numerous and have been clearly stated. Here some
additional points will be inserted, in view of the new evidence AT presented on 9/30/2015.
It should be kept in mind that there are two different bases in question for the Lion; the actual
base the Lion had back at the time it was constructed (and no one knows for sure what that
base was, since the Lion was not found on that base); and a reconstructed base, and on which
the Lion of Amphipolis currently stands. The analysis that follows is based on the reconstructed
basis. If the actual basis was taller, the results hold a fortiori. As we shall see in a moment, AT
assumes that the original height of the Lion’s base was 10.15m, for reasons unclear.
According to the 1930s reconstruction, the Lion’s base comprise four distinct sections, Figure 2.
Although the exact height of this base is not known with the needed precision (in centimeters),
the height is of no particular interest for the arguments to be presented. It suffices to say that
this base is nowhere near 10.15 meters tall.
The first section (S.1) contains the crepidoma () consisting of three ziggurat type steps
of approximately equal height (of unpublished dimensions); it is followed by (S.2) the main base
containing four layers of marble stones (an orthostate layer and three layers of equal height
and two different widths, all of unpublished dimensions); it is followed by (S.3) two layers of
support (each layer of a different height – the first actually being quite thin, and both of
unpublished dimensions); finally the last section of the base, is another ziggurat type summit,
on which the statue directly stands (S.4) is a set of three steps of approximately equal heights.
It is noted that the non-visible, underground foundations of this Lion where it now stands and
the impacted soil and geological conditions there are not published also.
The flat dimensions of the top step in S.4 where the Lion sits are available: 3.30x2.10
(Mavrojannis [6] p.1), but the exact 3-d dimensions of the Lion itself are not. A photo of the way
the Lion of Amphipolis looks today is in Figure 2. It is noted that the width as well as the length
of the Lion’s base (the first step of its crepidoma, that is, the first step of S.1) have not been
made public, to this author’s knowledge. This is a critical set of variables, since it’s their sizes
which should be studied (of course along the Lion’s total weight) to determine the distribution
of forces exerted on the foundations of the statue on the horseshoe – argued by AT as the
place where the Lion was to be (and apparently according to them was) installed.
Notice the difference in the layout of the Lion on the S.4 section of the base, as well as the
setting of the whole structure relative to the S.1 section. The center of gravity seems to be
pretty much close to the center of the rectangle the Lion rests. However, the frontal part of the
Lion is much closer than its sides to the edge of both S.1 and S.4 – implying that the
distribution of forces would be different in front (and back) and at the two sides. Note that this
would had been the case also in the original and actual Lion’s base, no matter the height of that
More specifically, the frontal (supposedly Southern on the Hill) weight distribution of vertical
forces on the soil would be far greater than at any other part of the foundation. This effect
would be accentuated by the very natural slope of the Hill (from North to South) itself
overtime, as soil erosion was to set in. As a direct result of this uneven distribution of weights
upon the soil, gravity alone would cause over time (but in relatively short order) the Lion to tip
over on its face.
To this author’s knowledge no systematic study exists, which examines in detail the masonry of
the reconstructed Lion or/and its underlying module (if any) and ratios. That is not to imply that
whatever the module of the reconstruction was, it necessarily was how the sculptor of the Lion
was envisioning the actual base to be. It only reflects how those responsible for its
reconstruction thought the Lion’s base was supposed to look like. As reconstructions go (and
we shall look at one – the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus - in some modest detail later in this
paper) a lot of uncertainty is justifiably appended to these “reconstructions” along with many
(largely unanswerable) questions.
Moreover, it is not at all clear where all these marble blocks were exactly found and used as the
lion’s base. Of course, this introduces a great deal of uncertainty not only about the origin of
these blocks, but also on the count that it is not for sure known that all the marble blocks used
for the base did in fact belong to the original base – and if not, where exactly did they come
from. AT argues that the patterns depicted on some of the Lion’s marble blocks point to them
belonging to the Lion. AT also contends that these blocks determine that the lion was looking
towards the South East. This could be so, but this doesn’t put the Lion on top of the Hill.
Of course, there is no definite proof of any of this, since we didn’t find the Lion assembled, and
no one did – it was reconstructed on hypotheses various people made at different points in
time. This uncertainty a fortiori is worrisome, for the reason that according to AT inscriptions
and initials were detected on some of these stones (not yet made clear which ones) – and these
inscriptions are used by AT as evidence that the monument was intended for Hephaestion. We
shall come back to this issue.
To conclude the Lion issue, the arguments presented here are only parts of the purely physical
reasons why the “Lion on top of the Hill” hypothesis must be rejected. The argument that the
Lion was too heavy from a structural viewpoint was also addressed by geologist Kabouroglou,
and that work is reviewed in Appendix A with some personal remarks. There are other multiple
reasons offered in [2] and [3], having to do with the aesthetics of the matter. Namely, that the
Lion was aesthetically too heavy for the top of the Hill. Moreover, the author has pointed out
the existence of alternative scenarios available for the proper location of the Amphipolis Lion,
within the context of the System of Monuments Deinokratis envisioned along with the
monument/tomb/temple at Kasta for Hephaestion.
We shall return to this issue later in this paper, when some additional evidence presented on
9/30/2015 will be discussed. That part of the evidence has to do with the inscriptions found on
blocks from the perimeter wall and on marble slabs at the present base of the Lion, pointing to
Hephaestion, as well as to someone by the name “Antigonus”.
Figure 2. The Lion of Amphipolis.
Kasta Hill’s height issue.
Related to the Lion issue is also another issue and question, and that is “what is really the
height of Kasta”? During the 9/30/2015 presentation, and also in a follow-up radio interview by
the architect of the team [8], AT contended that the “30-meter high Hill” which now was
transformed to a Tumulus, had a shape of a curve “optimally” designed so that it could be
supported by the perimeter wall in its horizontal (lateral) forces exerted by the tumulus load at
the ground level. It remains of course to be examined how this “optimality” was derived, since
no specifics were provided. Certainly no mathematical model to prove this assertion was given,
especially to back up the “30-meter high Tumulus” suggestion. A small digression is needed
thus here to analyze this “30 meter in height” issue.
Of interest again is the fuzziness (since the beginning of the excavation) surrounding the exact
height of the Tumulus at three points in time: of course back then (that is the time when the
natural Hill was transformed into a tumulus); during the D. Lazaridis excavation in the 1970s;
and its actual current height. We have been given differing accounts on this question, ranging
from 30 meters, to 23 meters by the members of AT and by various geologists that undertook
studies on the Hill. The AT geologist, supplied the 23 meters height count in his 9/30/2015 brief
remarks, among others who did so at different occasions since August 2014.
The 30 meters height was used by AT to argue that the total height of the tumulus, when one
includes the Lion and its base (5.30+10.15=15.45), plus a step of about 3.40 meters
(Mavrojannis [6] p. 1) would make about (30+15.45+3.40) 48.85 meters, or close to 100 cubits.
Again, on what basis AT estimates the Lion’s base to be 10.15m is very unclear. This
measurement offers a supporting argument for them pointing to Deinokratis as the Architect.
Deinkratis can be argued as a logical choice for Alexander for many other reasons, this one
being among the weakest. In addition, to argue about a measurement of “100 cubits” utilizing
modern (1930s) reconstruction of the Lion (done while oblivious to Kasta Hill, Deinokratis and
Alexandria) is at least questionable. A side note here: in Mavrojannis’ calculations on the 48.85
meters count, by apparently an error, the 23 meters height is listed in his equation instead of
the 30m needed to derive the 48.85 meters shown above.
To make waters a bit murkier, there is also another count floating out there: a seventeen meter
height derived through a careful review of various geological surveys done during various time
periods in the 1990s and 2000s. What of course is for sure, is the height of the remnants of the
Tumulus/Hill as of 2006 and 9/30/2014 by Google Maps: approximately 15.50 meters, from the
tumulus Southern ground level. And the tumulus ground level is the level where the perimeter
wall is set, not the top of the staircase leading down to the Sphinxes’ Entrance.
A number of things are quite clear, regarding the height of the tumulus, from the actual
evidence (not the assertions by AT). The height of the finished tumulus, under little doubt,
could not have been 30 meters. It could not possibly be so, because the amount of soil needed
is prohibitively large; in [3] Section 5.c pp. 70-5 some calculations are offered as to the
quantities of soil involved for a far shorter tumulus. In addition, the instability of doubling its
height from its natural height (which is about what we have now) would make this tumulus
highly unstable due to both natural soil erosion and earthquake related causes. Moreover, it is
impossible to argue (given the calculations in [3] cited earlier) that Lazaridis with his
excavations reduced the height of the Hill either from 30 meters (or even 23 meters) down to
about 15.50 meters we have today. Such a shock to the ground would had resulted in a
collapsed tomb in the 1970s and not a tomb the way we found it in August 2014.
On the other hand, the original architect of the project (Deinokratis) would never think of
doubling the natural hill’s height, by filling it up with packed dirt, considering that he was
planning to put on top a statue about 16 meters in height (half the height of the tumulus) made
out of marble. No wood stick in the middle of the statue (another suggestion made by AT)
would prevent the collapse (in short order) of the heavy marble construction on top of a Hill
that has been half filled with Strymonas sandy soil.
The statue would lean and tip over, no matter any ziggurat type foundational base (certainly
the limited one of the 9.90x9.90 square meters area as suggested by AT) on a hill about 160
meters diameter at its ground level. Moreover, the about two-and-a-half at most, and possibly
close to two (and certainly not three, as we shall see shortly) meter high perimeter wall would
not be possible to withstand the lateral forces from the tumulus’ volume. The tremendously
huge quantities of soil added, would gradually, steadily and mercilessly erode and disfigure the
Tumulus, and collapse its perimeter wall.
The Entrance issues (again).
Keeping up with the effort to avoid duplication, this section of the paper will not repeat the
bulk of the points made in [2, 3, and 4]. However, some points will be briefly repeated since
without their repetition the discussion of the new evidence would not be possible.
Beyond the conclusions and the evidence presented by AT thus far, there were other
conclusions reached and evidence presented on 9/30/2015. They include, without being limited
to; (a) the tomb was used as a monument at some stage and it was accessible; and (b) that “the
Romans ripped the stones from the perimeter wall, which was exposed well into Roman times”.
These two conclusions are in affect contradictory. As we shall see here, the pieces of evidence
they presented can be used to derive far more plausible and simpler conclusions, conclusions
which avoid the self-contradictory nature of the statements found in AT’s “conclusions” just
What was of interest in the 9/30/15 presentation was that two key element of the tomb were
not discussed to any significant degree, the Entrance of the monument (Figure 3) and the
monument’s ground level at the time this monument for Hephaestion was to be accessible
(that is, when it was “”). These two elements of the monument (central
components for a full understanding of the monument’s historiography) although directly
linked to the main premise of AT’s conclusion (that the monument was accessible) were rather
sketchily addressed. These two conclusions contain however a fundamental inconsistency
which drives into the wrong path a great section of AT’s total narrative about the monument.
Issues surrounding the Entrance and the ground level of the monument while it was accessible
are also absent in a description of the monument suggested by Professor Mavrojannis in his
forthcoming paper [6]. In Section 2, (pp 10, 11) of that paper, Professor Mavrojannis discusses
the Entrance to the tomb; however, he fails to address its details. Specifically, where exactly did
the actual ground level stand, at the time the monument was to be accessible? This is not a
topic attracting Professor Mavrojannis attention, understandably so since he is not an architect.
The issue of the Entrance is important in the monument’s narrative for multiple reasons, but
foremost among them is this: if the monument/tomb was accessible at the time where the
staircase leading towards the tomb was in place, then that necessarily means that the ground
level of the Hill was over the level where the perimeter wall stood, over the cornice of the wall
in effect. Consequently, this would imply that the perimeter wall was buried. And it was buried
before the inside of the tomb was, and long before the Romans arrived at the scene.
Figure 3. The Entrance at Kasta, as found in August of 2014.
Thus, here lies the basic contradiction in the AT’s narrative about the tomb. They argue that the
exterior wall was exposed in “Roman times”, meaning post 147 BC, while the tomb was
accessible. How was it possible for people to get to the top of these stairs, while the ground
level was about three meters (AT’s height) below? So this fantastic story goes, when the
“Romans” marched in, they found a rich half kilometer long, 3-meter high exposed exquisite
marble wall, ripe for their picking. And according to AT, the “Romans” did some picking indeed.
AT mentioned in its 9/30/15 presentation that they located the remnants of a “Roman crane”
apparently used to do that heavy duty task. They also announced that they found the remnants
of three ramps, which according to them apparently were used to get to the top of the Hill (to
place the Lion) and maybe also for the “Roman crane” to pick the marble slabs from the
exterior wall.
Continuing on the subject of the exterior wall, according to AT’s narrative, the “Romans”
selectively ripped off sections of the perimeter wall, leaving some to us for posterity. But they
didn’t apparently get a hint that the Entrance of this exquisite monument enclosed by such
marvelous wall, could lead to some really valuable objet d’ Art (and History leaves us with little
doubt as to how tempted these Romans were to picking up Classical Greek and Hellenistic Art
So, these looting but otherwise welfare conscious Romans picked the marble walls for some
public project they wanted to set up for their subjects (Macedonians and others living in that
Region along River Strymonas). But they left the inside of this monument untouched. They
maybe knew that the inside was already looted before they arrived at the scene, so they didn’t
even bother to check. Maybe they didn’t know where the Entrance to the tomb was, although
this seems unlikely. We were told by AT that this “Macedonian” tomb had acquired a
marvelous “covered Entrance” (which in all probability it did, during SRP) with a double
colonnade and a pediment seen from long distance. So the Romans left all that untouched. The
Roman provincial Governor, moreover, apparently mentioned nothing of the sort, about the
whole monument and the social welfare program about Strymonas to Rome – since no
historical record (Greek or Roman) on this magnificent monument exists. These otherwise
meticulous in record keeping Romans were silent on all of this.
This narrative of course leaves another question unanswered: who then and why buried the
exterior wall (or whatever was left there)? It would be interesting to know AT’s views on this.
One is at awe, with such a fantastic narrative, no matter how amusing it may sound. In the
Quantum World of History and Archeology, one supposes that such a narrative has its place,
along with many others of a more sober genre. However, gradually but steadily some persistent
erroneous assertions are repeated over the past year, and some myths are beginning to form
and emerge about this monument at Kasta. The “Amphipolis Lion on top of the Hill” is one of
them, the other being “the Romans ripped the stones off the wall”. These claims are creating a
movement sweeping people’s views, especially those not conversant in matters of Architecture.
But how does one then explain the findings of the remnants from a “roman crane’s
components including the counterweights” it used? The answer again is quite simple: the final
sealing of the monument (as again discussed in [3]) took place close to the so-called “Roman
times” and it was likely used in filling up and sealing the tomb’s interior in the tea-cup like
fashion described in [3] pp. 34-7. And so was the use of these unimpressive ramps, to carry the
loads of all that sandy soil from Strymonas used to fill the inside of the tomb, as discussed in
The perimeter wall (again).
The above two are not the only myths that have gotten hold of many individuals’ views about
Kasta, A vast variety of people are interested (professionally and as aficionados) in analyzing the
tomb and monument at Kasta. They are interested for a host of reasons (most of them of no
import here). It would be a service to Architecture, if more of the architectonic aspects of the
tomb and its fascinating architectural details were to permeate into the general public. It is
hoped that, alongside benefits to History, Archeology and Greece this excavation will generate
also benefits to Architecture and the Arts, as potential fields of study.
Perpetuating myths however isn’t helpful. And there is another one, as apparently false as the
“Lion on top of the Hill” or the “Romans did it” myth. This is the phrase “a 497 meter long
perimeter wall fully covered by a marble clad, three meters high”. Actually this phrase contains
one disputable statement (the “fully covered by a marble clad”) and a myth (“three meters
high”). Whether the perimeter wall carried a full marble clad can be debated (and an
alternative was presented in [3] explaining why – although the matter is obviously subject to
debate). But the “3-meter high” claim is a myth. And here’s why.
In their presentations of 9/30/2015, AT brought up the name of Steve Miller [7] and his work
(done with his wife) on “perimeter wall stones found spread around all over the riverbanks of
Strymonas”. Well, the Millers did provide “sizes” for these stones (no matter how wrong these
“sizes” were estimated by the Millers - see [3] Section 3.a on that subject). AT considers the
“Millers blocks” part of the perimeter wall. Let’s assume for a moment that this is so, for the
sake of the argument (although it isn’t and the reasons are also supplied in [3]). There are four
different types of stones according to the Millers all with differing lengths and heights. This
issue is extensively discussed in [3], Section 3.b. None of the lengths produces an exact integer
count in fully encircling 497 meters, [3] Section 3.b pp. 50-8. However, in Figure 3 it is shown
that the three types of stones and the cornice have (and should have) equal lengths. This in and
by itself should have taken care of the issue and persuade all that the Millers were prima facie
wrong, although they never suggested themselves that these stones belonged to Kasta (they
didn’t know in 1972 that Kasta Tumulus existed and it was round).
But now let’s address the myth about the 3-meter high wall. Assuming their heights as given by
the Millers, they cover only about 2.45 meters and not three meters [3] p. 58. The exact Millers
size of the four layers shown in Figure 4 is: .845+.325+.665+.345=2.18 meters plus the base
layer (which the Millers didn’t anticipate). Assuming their .325 or their .345 stone was used as
the base, their total height is either 2.50 meters or 2.53 meters, and in any case not three
meters. This author’s own estimates for the five layers in Figure 4 are found in [4] and they are
close to 2.10 meters (a sizable amount lower than the 3-meter high myth).
AT needs to reject altogether the “Millers hypothesis” regarding marble blocks length and
heights if they wish to keep their “3-meter high” wall motto. They can’t admit “Millers sizes”
and keep their 3-meter high narrative, as the two are mutually exclusive. As to how they
rationalize the non-integer (decimal) number of Millers stones fully encircling the 497-meter in
length wall is truly unknown. They have never addressed it. No one has ever asked them to
address it. Various analysts just assume it is so, more or less “because they said so” and they
keep saying so unchecked. Here one may question even the “497” perimeter length count. But
this is another issue altogether.
Figure 4. The uneven layering of three rings of masonry and the cornice along the exterior
perimeter wall. This is not a 3-meter high wall.
In his paper, Mavrojannis touches the fact that these stones as shown in Figure 4, obey a
technique called “pseudo-isodomic”. He goes on to define it as “an ashlar masonry of squared
stone distinguished by alternating rows of two different measure of height.” (p. 10, paragraph
2, lines 3-6). It isn’t at all clear that this is the case here. Of course it is clearly ashlar masonry,
but it isn’t “alternating”. It is just a single occurrence of three differing in sizes stones. All three
have the same length and all three have differing heights. But this isn’t the key issue here. One
might excuse the construction as a special case of a “pseudo-isodomic” masonry construction
(not encountered however anywhere else in Greek Architecture). Thus, if it is representative of
a style or technique or a branch (or special case) of a style, Kasta’s exterior (and interior) wall(s)
is the only specimen of this style. Obviously, this style was born and died at Kasta.
Parenthetically, Mavrojannis also claims that this type of masonry is encountered at the “Ieron
of Samothraki” (the Sanctuary of the Great Gods in Samothrace). Actually to be exact, it is
encountered in an axonometric drawing produced by Phillis Williams Lehmann in her 1969
book Samothrace III, 1-3: Ieron, published by Princeton University Press. We shall have more to
say about this subject later in the paper. The marble clad that is similar to Lehmann’s
Samothrace reconstruction is not Kasta, but the Athenian Treasury in Delphi.
The key issue here in so far as the monument at Kasta is concerned (leaving aside AT’s
conundrum), is not the height of the blocks shown in Figure 4, of course. It’s the off-alignment
positions of the three layers of marble blocks. Layer at the bottom, in Figure 4, isn’t aligned
with the middle layer on top of it, and the layer on top isn’t aligned with either. If all three
(again, disregard the cornice for the moment) were to have uneven lengths, as the Millers
suggest, and disregard for a moment the fact that even if one of those three block types were
to have a length leaving no residual as a divisor of the total perimeter length, the other two
wouldn’t. In combination with their vertical misalignments, they would be chaotically varying
encircling the wall in a most unpredictable pattern. Clearly, this is not encountered anywhere in
Architecture of that Era (Classical and Hellenistic, Greek or Roman, using these “labels” again).
Which leads to some interesting conclusions, as we discussed in [3]. Hint: the marble blocks
were not designed to fully encircle the wall, necessarily so if all three types were of uneven
lengths. This is the base of the “Bull Horns” argument of the perimeter wall linking Kasta to
Newgrange, and the Millennia long deep roots of the Bull Cult found at Kasta.
In summary, to all these internal contradictions in AT’s statements-conclusions, and to all the
evidentiary material presented on 9/30/2015, there is a much more plausible and reasonable,
simpler and more complete and compelling explanation, accommodating well all that evidence
located by the diligent work at excavation AT has done at Kasta. Such an explanation is found in
the string of papers [2 – 5].
The perimeter wall: the module, Kasta’s main contribution to Architecture.
In this section some new material is added, to the paper by the author [4]. What is in fact the
major contribution to Architecture made with the construction of the Monument at Kasta
Tumulus is now more fully documented. Many remarkable objects of Art are inside this Great
Tomb, and some of them have been extensively discussed by the author {at various section in
[2, 3, 4, and 5]} and of course by many others in a variety of contexts. None of them however,
compares with the Architecture of the exterior wall – the calendar built into this monument, a
calendar which will undoubtedly mark Kasta for the Ages.
The key measure of the module of the Great Tomb at Kasta is the length shown at the base of
the Maidens, its measurement in our current metric system being 1.36 meters [4]. It is not of
course known what Classical Greece measure was actually used, only inferences can be made.
One can venture into the Labyrinth world of ancient Greek (Babylonian, Alexandrian etc.,) units
of measurement (mainly in cubits and stadia). Not much will be gained by doing so. Thus, all
work regarding the perimeter at Kasta in [4] is done using the current unit of measurement
(which is not that important because it is the ratios which matter and are studied.) In any case,
some brief introduction to the subject will be supplied here. It is noted that back then, every
City State used its own unit in length (the Greek foot or “”) and keeping up with the
ancient Greek tradition, almost all Greek Cities had different sizes for a “foot”. Their study has
preoccupied Archeological and Historical research over a century, and results are quite
In general, the Babylonian cubit could be one of them and it was about .54 meters of today, see
[9]. Another possible measure was the “itinerary stadium” approximately equal to 157.7
meters. Its length was statistically estimated by Lev Vasilevich Firsov. It was based on
Eratosthenes and Strabo reported distances on 81 specific sites. Firsov compared these sites’
contemporary lengths using the current units (meters), to the lengths reported by Eratosthenes
and Strabo. This work is reported in [10].
More work on the Greek measures is also found in Ferguson [9], who computes the
measurements of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum in terms of “Greek feet” versus “British Feet”
(a correspondence in ratio of about 1.0125 – 100 “Greek feet” being equal to about 101.25
“British feet” [9] p. 20). This correspondence would translate the 497 meters long perimeter
wall at Kasta Tumulus to about 1610 “Greek Feet” and about 1630.7 “British feet”. This in turn
would imply that the 1.36m length of the modulus at Kasta is 4.49 “Greek Feet” and 4.55
“British feet”. Informative as this “translation” into “Greek feet” might be, it doesn’t seem to be
particularly illuminating.
It is quite possible that for the perimeter’s length, the stadium of 157.7 meters was used, as the
unit to construct the Tumulus at Kasta, and possibly the Lion (a tenth of it would be about what
the Lion and its base come to, again keeping in mind that we are looking at the Lion’s assumed
and reconstructed sizes at least as far as the base is concerned). A perimeter length however of
157.7 meter long diameter is about 495.4 meters, about 1.57 meters less than the official
measurement announced by AT of 497 meters. Although this represents only about .3 of one
percent difference, it is a significant difference if we are to make statements and derive
conclusions of the magnitude and precision envisioned.
This author has no way of verifying the exact measure of the perimeter at the desired accuracy
of a centimeter. An estimate was obtained using the Google Map (discounting for the Hills
curvature), and by measuring the Hill’s diameter as a basis to derive that estimate. This
estimate falls roughly in the range 495-500m. Since the “497 meters” count by AT falls close to
the central point of this range, it is considered acceptable. It will be assumed then from now on
that the “497 meters” measurement is accurate. It is noted here that this range was obtained
by considering the Hill’s 15.50-meter height, by using Google Map. If the Hill were to have an
actual height greater than that, the range would be considerably less than 495 meters. Being so
critical for this work however, it needs to be thoroughly checked by field work, and the findings
reconfirmed. The same applies for the 1.36m length, which is not the author’s estimate, but a
length announced by the Ministry. It formed the basis for a significant part of the research in
The perfectly cyclical form of Kasta’s ground level base leaves little doubt that this
circumferential wall was meant to function as a calendar. Cyclical structures over the
Millennia were just that, calendars. One may argue whether the specific calendar suggested
here was in fact intended to be imprinted on its perimeter, under MCP and with a marble clad
in all or in parts. But the argument as to whether this perimeter was meant as a calendar seems
to be beyond dispute. It is not the position of this author, given his inclination to admit
“Quantum states or superposition” in these fields, to state unequivocally that this is a “fact’. It
will be viewed as a very likely possibility. In combination with the finding of course, which can
be strenuously argued that it is not a random coincidence (the 365.44 ratio), it strengthens the
proposition, that this perimeter was to act as a calendar, quite significantly in fact.
Considering the accuracy in measurements achieved and imprinted in their structures, Greek
Architects of that Era elevated Monumental Architecture and stamped on it Astronomy and
Mathematics of levels never achieved hitherto. Classical Greek Architects (and this is the
architectonic tradition which produced Deinokratis) employed stunning levels of accuracy in
pursuing ratios they were after to attain. Some of that has already been recorded at Kasta’s
interior in [4 and 5]. They used these mathematical and astronomical elements recorded in
their edifices to construct aesthetic marvels (in both sight and sound) and built harmony in the
Architecture they produced. This is more or less universally accepted by now. But there’s
another aspect of that Architecture which has not been as widely perceived.
Special optical and behavioral effects they carved into and shaped by that Architecture were
meant to stimulate and please the users, viewers and all those experiencing their imposing
presence. But that was not all. Even in their tombs, the eponymous or anonymous architect
constructed passages by the soul to another type of existence beyond. In that passage, the
architect built in spaces and inserted objects to please not only the mortals, but also the spirits,
the soul, and the gods. Now we come close to realizing what Monumental Architecture was
about. Monumental Architecture’s customer was not any single person or entity: it was a
multiplicity of agencies, and all very demanding. The interior of Kasta, in all its three Chambers,
is a testament to such intricate, imposing and pleasing interaction between users and
Architecture, between the mortals and eternity, between their soul and the gods.
Thus, users and viewers of structures in Monumental Architecture (certainly not only in Kasta,
for sure not only in Greece, most likely all over this World since the Dawn of History), were not
thought back then to be only the mortals walking by these structures, ceremoniously utilizing
them to get in touch with their gods and the spirits. It was also their gods, they thought, that
were to view and use these monuments, temples of worship and passages to the afterlife too.
In a two-way manner, users of monuments look at the Heavens, and the Heavens look back at
them. That viewing is what the Architect wanted to capture in the design of a structure, be that
a floor plan or a site plan. And this is what we should be trying to figure out, when analyzing
monumental construction: the message the Architect wanted passed on to the Heavens.
In summary, this is the essence of what all the work in [2, 3, 4, 5] contains, and also the author’s
work on certain Neolithic Monuments of the British Isles – Stonehenge, Durrington Walls, and
Deinokratis and all architects of post Golden Age Greece were formatted within this tradition.
Part of this tradition has been documented by a host of 19th Century scholars, who (for a variety
of reasons, partly serving their own interests, but in any case accurately – to an extent always)
depicted the levels of achievement attained in the Architecture of Classical Greece. They have
glazed the path towards understanding Greek structurers of that Era. It is within this tradition
of scholarship that Kasta must be analyzed.
A central figure (and representative of a deep British tradition in the study of Classical Greece)
in analyzing Classical Greek Architecture is Francis Penrose, whose treatise (“An investigation of
the Principles of Athenian Architecture, or, the results of a recent survey with reference to the
optical refinements exhibited in the construction of the ancient buildings at Athens” Edited by
the Society of Dilettenti, London 1851) has become a classic and has set the bar and the tone
for analyzing the complexity and sophistication of Classical Greek Architecture. Again, it is
within this tradition of rigor and high standards that one must approach Kasta and its measures.
Thus, an extremely careful analysis must be undertaken on its multiple but core sizes, both in
the interior as well as the exterior of the Tumulus. Especially the measures involved in the MCP
transition and construction of the monument/tomb/temple. Since this author has no direct
access to the edifice, he can only make hypotheses based on publically available information.
However before we explore in this paper further the esoteric mathematics and astronomy at
Kasta Tumulus (enriching the analysis in [4] without duplicating it) a word of caution is needed.
There’s a fine line between rigorous analysis in Greek Architecture and “numerology”. It is
perfectly fine to seek and discover hidden and fascinating but basic mathematical details which
link various core components of a building. But it is an entirely different mater when non-
intended and indeed not existent and otherwise accidental “ratios” are produced, linking either
non basic or core parts of the structure. It must be recognized, that when many components of
a building are put together and then studied, a very large number of associations can be found
ex post facto. It can’t be assumed that all such alleged associations (if indeed they can be
independently verified) were in fact intended to be made by the builder, designer or architect.
Moreover, often an analyst would seek and “see” ratios and relationships when in fact none
existed or was intended. At times these relationships postulated and claimed are
mathematically infeasible.
Here’s an example to make the point on both counts, numerology and infeasibility: using [9] as
a reference, one comes across the following passage on p. 38 (Chapter II): Ferguson estimates
(in his reproduction) the total circumference of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum at the lower
steps in both “Greek Feet” and cubits to be 462 GF and 264 Cubits. He then adds an asterisk to
the finds to note that, “it may be accident, but it is a curious coincidence that the number of
feet read backwards gives the number of cubits, the number of cubits read backwards gives the
number of feet.” This is an excellent example of “numerology”. For more on this see Note 1.
Using Ferguson again, on p. 17 in [9] the principle of the “principal ratios” is presented. In that
presentation the kernel of infeasibility is depicted. Ferguson discusses the Penrose theory
regarding the Parthenon, and combines it with the work by Cockerell (on Bessae and Aigina),
and also with the work by W. Watkiss Lloyd [11] in disproving the Vitruvius assertion that all
Classical Greek Temples’ modulus was the diameter in the lowest part of their main column’s
base. So, in expanding this theory of “principal ratios” Ferguson suggests that Greek Temples
obeyed by design a sequence of ratios of a particular type (integers in increments of unity, not
exceeding 16, and no difference in any of them greater than 5).
The latter produces an inherent mathematical infeasibility, since one can define a number of
“major components” of any building and generate a system of equations such that it lacks a
single and real solution, or doesn’t obey the rules set up to obey in accordance with the
principal ratios model. Formal proof of this theorem is left as an exercise to the interested
reader. Reading the frustrating (and failed) attempts by Ferguson in coming up with
reconstructed sizes of the Mausoleum’s components, as he envisions them, is an indication of
the obsession by the British Architecture and Archeological establishment back then about
And there were about four dozen attempts by then (1862) in England alone, just to reconstruct
the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, some well summarized in a paper which included his own
reconstruction efforts by J. J. Stevenson [12]. There was a very strong love affair between 19th
Century European Architecture (mainly British, but also French and German) and Classical
Greece. It was a “golden era” of sorts, when picking up, loading and shipping to the British
Museum in London Classical Greek antiquities had reached a fever pitch. The British were not
alone of course in this act of “kidnapping the loved one and eloping”. The French and the
Louvre were a close second, among other European powers of the time. All of them had no
difficulty in quite promptly obtaining in each case an appropriate firman from the Sultan in
Constantinople, someone who was all too happy and eager to oblige – and the fee extended
was by no means the only reward and cause for satisfaction by the Ottoman Turk.
What becomes apparent in reviewing the work British Archeologists of the 19th Century carried
out is an obsession in seeking to reconstruct a World in Classical Greece which in many regards
simply wasn’t there. Closing this digression into British Archeology of the 19th Century, we turn
out attention to the exterior wall at Kasta Tumulus.
In concluding this reference to Halicarnassus Mausoleum, a note of interest. Sculptor Scopas
(Praxiteles co-worker) sculpted part of the frieze at the Halicarnassus Monument. He died in
350 BC, but some of his associates or students may have been a Deinokratis associate, and
possibly to have worked at both Kasta Tumulus and the Sanctuary of Samothrace (a subject
which we shall address in a bit.) Having worked in Halicarnassus, Scopas must have known
firsthand about the rule governing the main ratios in Classical Greek Monumental Architecture.
We return now, after this long digression to Kasta. In [4] the key floor plan modulus dimensions
were found to be 1.36m and .72m. Before we venture more into this modular size 1.36m in
specific, and link it to the perimeter wall’s length, it should be noted that these lengths (more
precisely, close approximations) are encountered in a different context as well. In the work by
Alexander Thom, while working on the megalithic Neolithic structures of the British Isles, and
by employing rigorous statistical methods, estimated the unit length the masons working there
and then used: 1.60m and .83m {on this issue see the author’s work (p. 14) in:
ptian_Bull_and_Cow_Cults_and_Origins_of_Innovation._Update_5 }
The proximity to 1.36m and .72m is noted, especially their corresponding ratios (1.176 and
The major claim made in [4] about the modulus at Kasta (the 1.36m length) and the announced
length of the perimeter wall (497 meters) is their ratio: 365.44. This is a ratio which has been
argued by this author as not being a random number, and an excellent indication of the
Architect’s genius. In this author’s view, it is this ratio (in effect the extremely close
approximation to a core astronomical quantity), the key factor which elevates the Tumulus at
Kasta to a really unique Monument in Architecture and Astronomy, equivalent to the century
later Antikythera Mechanism, a unique technological achievement in computing and
AT has been claiming that the perimeter wall at Kasta was totally ringed by a marble clad. This
author has made the case that it was not. In reference [3] the author has suggested that it was
partially covered by marble blocks, in the form of a bull’s horns. How was the perimeter wall
covered is however not of relevance here. The only point of relevance is its exact length. As for
what a partial coverage does signify, and how it could pick elements of critical astronomical
events, see [3], especially Sections 4 and 5.
Not much more will be added here to what has already been said about the accuracy in the
measurement of 1.36 and 497. What is now being addressed is the following question: was it
possible for the Architect of the Empire Deinokratis to possess (either himself or his associates)
the knowledge base to derive this astonishingly accurate (certainly not random) estimate in the
count 365.44 (number of days in a year). In other words, was the World of Astronomy then
ready to produce such a staggering approximation? The case will now be made that in fact it
was, and there’s a candidate as being the brain behind this construction and ratio.
Aristarchus of Samos was about to be born in 310 BC when construction at Kasta was already
underway. The first Heliocentric system by the Greek Copernicus was about to be introduced to
the World a few decades later. But no mathematician or astronomer (or artist) produces new
ideas in a vacuum, no matter how creative. Aristarchus had knowledge passed on to him from
previous scholars. In Aristotle’s Metaphysics, (XX, 8) the work by Eudoxus of Knydos (410-347
BC) is mentioned. Eudoxus was the first to suggest a geo-spherical model of the Cosmos, and is
considered to be among the Greek World’s greatest mathematicians, and a great astronomer.
There must have been a link (possibly lost in History) between Eudoxus and the Heliocentric
model of Aristarchus (310 – 230 BC), and the suggestion here is that this link (or a
representative from Eudoxus’ school) was present at Kasta. Thus the question is, who could
that person be?
If not in person, his ideas must have been there. The link between the tomb’s modulus 1.36m
and its perimeter wall (producing an almost exact approximation of 365.44 to what we now
know to be about 365.25) is by no means a random association. The perimeter wall was a
calendar – in the tradition of all cyclical monuments with such perimeters since Stonehenge.
Thus we must seek this link, the link that has produced the most amazing calendar the then
World had known. It produced a number which was very recently improved, 23 centuries later.
A candidate for this link may be the astronomer and mathematician Callippus, (370 – 300) BC, a
student of Eudoxus. We do not know for sure if he had any influences on Aristarchus – probably
he did (the academic world back then was small). What we do know is that Callippus’ work is
also mentioned in Aristotle’s Metaphysics. It is also known that he worked with Aristotle [13]. It
was a period of explosive mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the Hellenic space –
about to produce Archimedes (287 – 212 BC), possibly the greatest mathematician ever lived.
Callippus worked on the inaccuracies of the Metonic cycle [13].
Moreover his 76-year cycle was accumulating data for confirmation, as the quite accurate
astronomical observations Greek record keeping was significantly enlarged by then to test such
frequency cycles. In conjunction to this work, we know that he was also working on improving
the estimate of the year’s length and produced a lunisolar calendar. This is the key feature in
his work. He is the strongest possible candidate to have worked on Kasta Tumulus, and if not
him directly, his work was the intellectual force behind the Kasta’s circumference size.
Callippus seems to have possessed the algebra necessary to derive this estimate; he had the
data to calibrate the model. We may not have direct proof of this achievement, but we have
every indication that someone in his astronomical and mathematical environment (if not him)
could do it. In an article by J. J. O’Connor and E. F. Robertson ( the argument is made that Callippus by adjusting the
Metonic cycle by a day (on the basis of calibrating his algebraic model using the data from the
76-year cycle), he obtained an estimate for the “tropical year” (as opposed to the vernal equinox
year, or the sidereal year) of exactly 365.25. We now know that this is a variable count, and on
January 1, 2000 the mean tropical year was 365.2421897… days.
The mathematics, however, to prove this supposition that Callippus had estimated the number
of days at 365.25 need to be presented, as computed from the data of the 76 year cycle. This
could be an excellent topic for a Ph.D. Dissertation in the history of mathematics and
astronomy. On the basis of this, one must assume that the knowledge was there to produce the
approximation we are observing on the exterior wall at Kasta. Whether the 365.44 was meant
to be such, or it’s the result of our measurements now, remains still an open question.
It was a period where many ideas were incubating; any elite architect of the time must have
been familiar with the then current trends. Conon of Samos (280 – 220 BC) and Eratosthenes of
Cyrene (276 – 194 BC) were in the wings. Eratosthenes (using stadia) was the first to quite
accurately estimate the circumference of the Earth and the tilt to the Earth’s axis. He was
already knowledgeable with the observations collected by that time, and the necessary algebra
of the mathematical model to make the estimate.
What all this suggests is that either Callippus or a very close associate of his, a very bright (and
largely unknown person in the history of mathematics and astronomy) worked at Kasta’s
perimeter wall and modular code – far ahead of his time in knowledge and skills. Another
alternative would be to argue on the mathematical and astronomical knowledge of that Era,
and on the basis of the exterior wall at Kasta as a calendar, that Kasta’s exterior and interior
clad were constructed in the middle of the 3rd century BC, under either Aristarchus, Conon or
Kasta Tumulus, Samothrace and the Bull Cult.
Kasta’s tomb is not a Macedonian tomb, this point must by now have been quite clear. It is an
ecumenical monument extending far beyond Macedonia, Greece, the Middle East and North
Africa. Linkages to this tomb must be sought in far distant places and times. But before this is
made patently clear, far clearer maybe than in [2 and 3], a short trip to Samothrace is needed.
Mavrojannis perceptively enough, brought up in his paper [6], p. 10, the Sanctuary of the Great
Gods in Samothrace. Mavrojannis makes the claim that the marble clad of this Temple, in its
reproduction by Phillis W. Lehmann, has a “pseudo-isodome” style “identical” to that at Kasta.
A careful look at the reproduction as suggested by the Lehmanns (Phyllis Williams Lehmann and
her husband Karl Lehmann worked in Samothrace in the late 1930s and in the 1950s) reveals
indeed a marble clad for the IEPON which obeys the “pseudo-isodome” style. However, as
already discussed, Kasta isn’t obeying such a style. Samothrace’s IERON (according to the
Lehmann reconstruction) might “look like” but certainly is by no means identical to that at
Kasta. A simple but careful comparison between the two (in addition to all that already said
here and in [2, 3]) suffices to make the point. Among other things, they differ in total height,
and in the sequencing of layers of blocks. Moreover, the marble blocks at Kasta and IERON have
different heights, lengths, as well as thickness. In Figure 5.b we see Phillis W. Lehmann standing
on the blocks of the IERON – and they certainly do not even “look like” those of Kasta (let alone
being “identical”).
The Lehmanns’ reconstruction of the IERON was influenced by the marble clad of another
reconstruction, that of the Athenian Treasury at Delphi commemorating the battle of
Marathon. A review of P. Lehmann’s book “Samothrace 3: the IERON” (which is of direct
interest here), is found in [14]. All the work by Phillis W. Lehmann (and a compendium of
papers and books on the archeology of Samothrace can be found in Emory University’s
“Samothrace” website [15]).
In that compendium a reference by P. Lehmann is provided of some interest, since she tries to
link the sculptor Scopas directly to Samothrace: P. Lehmann, 1973 Scopas in Samothrace,
Northampton Mass. This is however an assertion in need for further study, as is an equivalent
assertion about Scopas in Kasta (discussed among some members of a Facebook group this
author belongs; see Acknowledgements for details).
Both the Delphi Temple as well as the Samothrace Temple are constructions prior to Kasta.
They consist of a much simpler masonry construction, to Kasta’s highly complex structure and
style. Here a note is warranted also regarding the Millers. Undoubtedly, both Stella and Steve
Miller in their work during the early 1970 at Amphipolis were influenced by the Lehmanns.
Moreover, D. Lazaridis must have been influenced in his work by both couples, the Millers and
the Lehmanns. History will determine of course how productive that influence was, in view of
events as they have unfolded since then, and the information we now possess about both Kasta
and Amphipolis on the one hand and Samothrace on the other.
However, Samothrace is indeed of interest to analysts of Kasta. But not primarily for reasons
involving their marble clad. Samothrace is of interest in that it clearly demonstrates a strong
link to the broader Bull Cult which apparently was still strong in some parts of the broader
Hellenic Region. It is also the Cult constituting the religious (and design configuration, as argued
in [3]) foundations of Kasta tumulus, at its Temple and memorial functions.
The cult is shown in a number of ways at Samothrace. The Temple of Arsinoe at the Sanctuary
(a Temple built later than the IERON and of course also later than Kasta) contains a frieze of
some interest, Figure 5.a. The Temple of Arsinoe is dated at around the first half of the 3rd
Century BC. Its location in the broad area of the Sanctuary’s layout, Figure 6.a., is an indication
of the central position it occupied in the first phase of the Sanctuary’s building stages. Its frieze
is the clearest indication that the Bull Cult with the Macedonian Royalty imprint on it, in the
form of an 8-leaf rosette, was still alive and well in Samothrace at the time. However, the site
map of the Sanctuary at Samothrace offers us a bird’s eye view of what the whole layout was to
reveal to the Heavens: it grants us a glimpse at what the architect of the site wanted to convey.
Figure 5.a. The frieze at the Temple of Arsinoe in Samothrace: the Bull Cult and the Rosette.
Figure 5.b. Phillis Lehmann standing on marble blocks from the IERON of Samothrace.
Source: Emory University’s Samothrace site.
Figure 6.a. Samothrace site plan, utilizing data from Phyllis Lehmman.
Building 13 is the IERON, and 15 is the Temple of Arsinoe. Location 9 was where the Wingless
Nike stood.
Figure 6.b. The Sanctuary at Samothrace, contour map and site plan.
Source: Emory University’s Samothrace site.
In Figure 6.b the Sanctuary’s layout is shown with the topographical contours. The layout clearly
shows that the Architect had many options as to where to locate the individual buildings
especially those of Phase I, the early ones at the right hand side of the map. His choice was
clear. In fact if one were to look at the site map with the North pointing down, Figure 7, then
the picture becomes even clearer: the horns of the bull, as depicted in the Celestial scene, by
the Constellation of Taurus, Figure 8. The Sanctuary of Samothrace was to replicate the inner
square part of the Constellation, with the Temple of Arsinoe at the position of the Hyades Open
Star Cluster.
West is to the right in Figure 6.c with the steep ground slop and the view to the Aegean. To the
right of the Constellation Taurus is the Constellation of Aris the Ram, the horns of which
decorate Alexander’s head as Zeus-Ammon in the paper’s emblematic photo at its cover.
Figure 7. The site map of the Sanctuary of Samothrace, North pointing down.
Figure 8. The Constellation of Taurus, and the Hyades Open Star Cluster
The Evidence on Hephaestion.
On 9/30/2015 indeed a major announcement was made by AT. And it had to do with
Hephaestion. It was presented and established that at the interior of the tomb, and at one of
the sections of the ceiling in Chamber No. 2 (the Chamber with the mosaic floor) evidence was
located that links this tomb directly to Hephaestion. Two types of evidence were presented: a
somewhat weak one and a rather strong one. The weak one had to do with the painting on the
architrave ( or ). The strong one was associated with a carving on a
section of the Chamber’s ceiling.
Let’s review the weak evidence first, the painting on the architrave. Sections of the architrave
had been located and presented earlier (by the end of 2014). The architrave was apparently
running in all sides of the Chamber, but only sections of the Northern, Western and Eastern
sides have been found. The architrave contained painting on gypsum applied on its marble
base. The painting had “faded” considerably throughout the length of the architrave. Sections
of it are extremely difficult to properly and clearly describe. So much so that it is subject to
interpretation as to what exactly was painted, and what was intended to be represented by the
various scenes depicted, by the artist.
A section of that architrave located at the Northern part of the chamber, thus to be faced by
someone entering the Chamber, contained a clear figure of a bull. The bull was prominently
displayed and positioned (not at the margins) along the Northern section of the architrave
(often referred to in Greek as: ) This is the direct evidence linking the tomb or the
temple or the monument (the function that is, this structure was to perform when the
architrave with the bull figure on it was installed) to a Bull Cult. As stated, in spite of the fact
that the painting throughout the architrave has faded, the image of the bull lends itself to little
doubt. This part of the evidence was however known since last November 2014.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the rest of the architrave’s representation(s), new
and old (that is, the sections presented back in November 2014 as well as those presented in
9/30/2015). AT said that the use of various photographic filters (allowing light from the
architrave at various wave lengths to be analyzed) leaves little doubt as to what the scenes
depict and what they are all about. They further emphasized in their presentation that they are
not “fantasizing” or “seeing things” (the architect of the team, Mr. Lefantzis’ words, as he
presented a reconstructed drawing of these “scenes”).
Since these issues do not directly impact the arguments here, there is no need to discuss them
in any more detail. Further, since no copy of the video containing the actual presentation of the
9/30/2015 event at the University of Thessaloniki (where the event took place) is available,
anything said about it would be highly speculative. The actual Lefantzis drawing has not been
published or made public at this time, only fragmented and photo-shopped views of it exist,
along with at times quite odd interpretations by various individuals of what they may contain.
One of these processed images of the Lefantzis drawing is found in [16].
The view of this author is that whatever is depicted on the severely faded sections of the part of
the architrave which has survived, may be of interest to specialists. It is not of any great interest
to the main arguments regarding either the fact that the tomb was intended in its MCP for
Hephaestion, or to the overall historiography of the monument. However, a lingering question
is this: is the fading of the images on the architrave just a result of weathering and wear and
tear? Or was it done by human hand with intent to erase it?
AT also stated that what they produced as drawings are not a “reconstruction”. They went on
to say that whatever they produced corresponds and accurately depicts what’s on the
architrave. Their bottom line was that whatever they think they saw on the architrave can
potentially be linked to Hephaestion. Be that as it may, the “Hephaestion case” doesn’t need
the architrave. It is very clear that the team’s ace in the hole regarding the “Hephaestion
hypothesis” was the monogram found on the ceiling of the Chamber, shown in Figure 9. This
piece of evidence clearly trumps all about the architrave, and in fact it is the key evidence tying
strongly Hephaestion to the tomb/monument, and settles the argument. The case about
Hephaestion is now set in stone.
Figure 9. The strongest yet evidence that the tomb/monument at some time was intended for
The symbol depicted in Figure 9 is some radiating pattern (AT interpreted it is as a 9-leaf
rosette) that contains in its center a circle with Hephaestion’s monogram. The shape of the
symbol with the nine rays in it is of some interest, as Hephaestion’s name contains nine Greek
letters (). But what is of major importance is the monogram shown. It was and is
not directly known that Hephaestion had a monogram, let alone that it looked like the
monogram shown in Figure 9. A close-up photograph of this monogram is shown in Figure 9.a.
Figure 9.a. Hephaestion’ 9-letter monogram. The letters  are carved, around the
H, with the rest eight letters (some clearly, some not so clearly) identified at the top left, and
the right side of the letter “H” (the Greek letter eta) with the letter N clearly shown at the right
middle section and crossing the right line of the letter H.
Most likely, Hephaestion had a ring or a seal with this monogram, and the engraving was done
by an artist right off the seal or the ring. Rings or seals with monograms are extremely rare
items. They were meant by their owners to be used either as symbols of social stature to be
worn exclusively by them; or as the stamp to seal edicts, or express approval of statutes in
effect as proof of authenticity. Such was the use in Egypt of scarabs during the Old Kingdom,
but especially the Pharaonic cartouches: they were to be seen by very few, and used by even
fewer. Thus the presence of this monograph is a single and unique event (as opposed to the
one we shall be discussing next). Finally, another important feature of this monogram is that it
is a clean monogram, just for Hephaestion. Keep this in mind when we look at the other
monogram that AT produced, which contained a composite one.
However, before we switch to that part of the evidence, a similar question posed about the
faded painting on the architrave will be posed also here: is the obviously weak imprint, the
faded colors of the rosette, and the less than well-defined and shallow carved monogram the
result of natural or human causes? We do not possess at this time enough information to make
a clear determination, but till we do, this should remain an open question.
It turns out that his is not the only place where the Hephaestion monogram shows up in Kasta
tumulus, or the broader vicinity of Kasta Hill. Apparently the architect of AT located on the
external wall as well as on blocks from the Lion of Amphipolis’ base, some inscriptions that
partly bear Hephaestion’s monogram as well. It is not exactly known, at this time, where these
blocks are, and we only have a reproduction of their inscriptions. We should make clear why
and to what extent this is important evidence, since the key issue (Hephaestion being the
person this tomb and monument was intended in its MCP transformation) is now quite
certainly settled. No matter what is the strength of this evidence, Mr. Lefantzis discovery of
these inscriptions is important, and History will recognize his work on this count.
The life cycle of the monument seems to be quite clear, and we shall briefly review it now. A
pre-existing tomb and possibly a temple to Artemis Tavropolos (more on this in Appendix A) at
Kasta is taken over in November 324 BC to be used as a tomb and monument for Hephaestion,
as well as a Serapion Temple [3]. It was to be part of a major System of Monuments to be set up
around Kasta, designed by Deinokratis, under King Alexander III and under Regent Antipatrus’
supervision, as discussed in [2]. King Alexander III dies in June 323 BC, Phillip III Arrhidaeus
becomes titular King and the brief moment of Kasta’s glory starts to wane fast. Strong man
Antipatrus (especially after Triparadisus) continuous as Regent till his death in 319 BC. At some
time around this period, Deinokratis’ tenure at Kasta ceases completely. The MCP phase of the
monument is over. Whether Hephaestion was buried there in the 323-319 BC period is still
Polyperchon takes over as Regent, initially strong (maybe still keeping Deinokratis as the titular
Architect), but his tenure is gradually weakening. He lingers on there (but not Deinokratis, who
is by now long gone from Kasta) till 316 BC, when Cassander becomes Regent and the strong
man in Macedonia. Meantime, Philip III Arrhidaeus dies in 317 BC and Alexander IV becomes
titular King till. His murder by Cassander in 310 BC marks the formal end of the Argead
Dynasty’s Rule in Macedonia. SRP commences at Kasta Tumulus, in the 318 to 316 BC period,
the Bull Cult stamp on the tomb and its brief use as a Serapion is over. The exterior wall is
buried, the ground level is raised. The stairs are built, some roof at the Entrance is constructed
The right to use Kasta as a tomb is transferred to another prominent Macedonian family
friendly to Cassander. In [3] a number of scenarios are offered as possibilities, Nearchus being a
strong candidate among some others. Cassander remains Regent and the strong man, till he
declares himself King in 305 BC. It is not clear who was King (if anyone) in the period 310 BC till
305 BC in Macedonia. Cassander establishes in 305 BC the Antipatrid Dynasty, and sets up a
merry-go-around, whereby the Antipatrid, the Antogonid Dynasty (set up by Dimitrios I
Poliorcetes in 294 BC after Cassander’s death in 297 BC), and non-dynastic Kingships succeed
one another in rather quick succession over a period of 150 years or so.
This in fact becomes the most turbulent of times in the Kingdom of Macedonia, the buffer to
mainland Greece from the Balkans. And this turbulence rubs onto Kasta. During that period
Kasta Tumulus and the tomb are raided multiple times, by multiple entities, for multiple
reasons. It’s the period in which the tumulus loses its glory and it becomes the insignificant
burial place that History would forget to even mention.
So we record three different types of rulers, in the Macedonian elite of the period, the king, the
Regent and the strong man. The fortunes of the tomb at Kasta rests with and is decided by the
strong man, for it was far big of a monument (and in fact far big of a System of Monuments) to
be left to the second tier ruler, or a local administrator, or a bureaucrat. And the strong men at
the time were Alexander in 324 and Antipatrus. They instigated and supported Deinokratis and
the MCP during the Tumulus glory days. Then Cassender became the strong man, he took it
over and the monument changed hands, and religious sponsorship with SRP, when the
downgrading of the Tumulus commenced, as described in [2, and 3]. It is with these conditions
and chronology in mind that the monograms we shall examine next must be viewed.
The engraving on some (unidentified) marble block(s) (about two or three) were definitely not
from inside the tomb. Part of that engraved inscription is shown, as reproduced by the architect
of AT, in Figure 9.b. It must be noted immediately, AT alleges, that this is a composite
inscription which bears two distinct monograms drawn into a single monogram. And this is
true. This composite monogram indeed contains in it two monograms, an “imitation”
Hephaestion monogram, and one familiar from other sources, the ANT monogram.
Figure 9.b. Hephaestion’s reconstructed composite monogram shown as part of an inscription
on an (unidentified) representative marble block.
AT suggests that the monogram of Hephaestion is in there (which clearly is), as well as the
monogram of an individual by the name of Antigonus (ANT). It is not disputed here that indeed
an “ANT” monogram is included in this composite, but it is interpreted quite differently than its
interpretation by AT. For the time being, we shall disregard the ANT part of the composite
monogram, and instead focus on the section of it referring to Hephaestion.
Assuming that the reproduction is sufficiently accurate, one can make a number of
observations. There are numerous difference between the two monograms, mainly because
they were engraved by two different individuals, not so much because the monogram in Figure
9.b is a composite. The monogram of Figure 9.a was unique and it was created by an artist. It
was a seal, a type of a “cartouche”. Whereas the one in Figure 9.b was done by a worker, a
special worker, definitely a supervisor who received, verified the suitability, accepted, and
certified the merchandise. In effect, he acted as if he used the stone in the form of a formal
receipt, the signing of a commercial contract.
Of key interest is the leaning of H’s two legs in Figure 9.a, and the manner it shows straight up
and parallel in Figure 9.b. On aesthetic grounds, the leaning legs H leaves an Imperial aura in its
signature, whereas parallel legs H signal a contract signature. In addition, the monogram of
Figure 9.b, although a composite of two monograms, is more easily reproducible than the
monogram shown in Figure 9.a. Another major difference between the two is the way that the
letter “N” intersects the letter “H” in Figure 9.a, but it stays clear of it in Figure 9.b.
There are numerous other slight differences between the two; for instance, the different way
that the Greek letter is formed in the two contexts. One could, if forced, to conclude that the
monogram on the marble block as shown in Figure 9.b looks like a “forgery” (using the term
quite liberally here and in reference to the worker who engraved it on the block, not certainly
to the person who reproduced it), assuming (and with great degree of confidence) that the one
in Figure 9.a looks like a genuine item.
As already stated, in Figure 9 (and Figure 9.a) we have the strongest possible evidence that
during MCP, the tomb was intended for someone by the name of Hephaestion. Since we are in
an Era that Hephaestion, Alexander’s deputy, was by far the most prominent “Hephaestion” of
the period, one must conclude that this was indeed the person for whom this monument (and
tomb) was INTENDED, by order of Alexander III (the Mavrojannis hypothesis finally confirmed).
Thus, we should have also no doubt that the blocks marked by the composite monogram of
Figure 9.b also belong to a System of Monuments (but NOT necessarily ALL to Kasta’s exterior
wall) characterized as belonging to Hephaestion’s memorial related structures, which for sure
included the Lion of Amphipolis (but not necessarily on top of the Hill).
Setting aside this quite certain now conclusion, that we are in fact dealing with a composite
monogram referring to Hephaestion, and to someone identified by the letters ANT, one has to
address the following question: why would a worker provide such an elaborate (time
consuming and repeatable) monogram on a marble block as that on Figure 9.b? What purpose
does it serve? Obviously, the worker (supervisor) could not be doing this for each and every
block received and certified. It would not only be time consuming, but also unnecessary.
No matter how many blocks were intended or used for the perimeter wall the number was still
quite large. According to my hypothesis (that is, not the whole perimeter wall was ringed by
marble clad) the number of stones needed would still be in excess of 300. If one accepts AT’s
proposition that the wall was fully ringed by marble clad, there would be close to 1800 marble
blocks needed. It is highly unlikely to expect that a mason-supervisor was to mark as accepted
and certified (by inscribing the monogram of Figure 9.b) that many blocks. It must be also noted
that many additional processed marble blocks would had been rejected as not meeting
specification requirements (an argument made in [3]) and thus marked as well.
In addition, as I recommended in [2, and 3] very likely Deinokratis planned a system of
monuments there, not just the Hephaestion memorial and tomb at Kasta Tumulus, but also
others (one of them being the Lion of Amphipolis). Thus many more blocks most likely had to
be produced, conforming to a modulus responsible for the entire System of Monumnets at the
whole area North of Amphipolis till Hill 133. In effect, a great deal of blocks, possibly in the
1000s had to be inspected and appropriately marked. No doubt some of these thousands of
blocks are the ones located at various times during the 20th Century by many entities, scattered
all over the Region. Obviously at some point in time, back in the penultimate decade of the 4th
Century BC, this part of the System of Monuments’ construction was abandoned, [2, 3].
We thus come back to the question: was it really feasible for the supervisor to keep certifying
each and every block in such huge undertaking? Obviously not. Thus we are led to the
reasonable conclusion that these blocks containing the repeatable composite (inclusive of
Hephaestion’s) monogram of Figure 9.b are representative blocks of a set of blocks in each
case. Thus, we can understand why they contain such an elaborate monograph.
It is possible that the certification process worked as follows: a set of blocks (certainly more
than a dozen, probably less than 100) by visual inspection and careful measurement were
certified en mass, in a two-step process: all were stamped by some initial, both simple and
erasable, marking; then they were piled up together so that their representative (single) block
was an indication that the whole set had been certified as “suitable”. The much simpler
marking was erased as the final smoothing of the marble block’s surface took place, before the
block was inserted in its final location on the monument’s exterior or interior wall.
Those found to have the Figure 9.b mark in situ were left unprocessed, showing the marking-
monograph on purpose. It was part of the monument’s aesthetic, and the seal of approval by
the mason-in-charge who was primarily responsible for the monument’s actual construction.
And they must have been few of these stones. Whereas the rest of the blocks carrying the
simple marking (whatever that was) were smoothed over as the blocks were set in their final
resting place on the wall. But this provides the base for another statistical argument in
conformity with the proposition of rejecting the “Romans did the ripping off of the blocks from
the wall” hypothesis: the chances of locating the very few representative blocks bearing this
monogram, among those untouched by the Romans, when the Romans removed the bulk of
the wall, is extremely small.
We now turn to the ANT part of the monogram, as well as to the rest of the reconstructed
inscription, which contains the letters “”. They will be addressed in turn. In Figure
10 the inscription is shown in full. It must be noted, at the outset, that the analysis of this
inscription might be of interest to specialists, but it isn’t of much interest for the main topics we
are focusing on here, since they don’t bear directly any longer on the “Hephaestion
Hypothesis”. However a few remarks will be made on this inscription, since the name of a
certain “Antigonus” is involved (in reference to the ANT part of the monogram), according to
AT, and this might impact the historiography of the monument.
Figure 10. The reconstructed by AT complete and engraved (on certain marble blocks)
AT in its 9/30/2015 presentation notes that this inscription should read as “” and
not “”. Given that the same “mistake” (of a missing Pi, the Greek letter “”) is
made on all two (or three) blocks where the inscription has been located, this looms as a very
unlikely interpretation. The same “mistake” can’t be thought of as a typo, when it is met in two
or three occasions. Especially when the two or three occasions form the universe of
observations (i.e., when we only have these two or three cases to look at from hundreds of
other marble blocks which do not bear any inscription at all.) This requires that the person who
marked the stone with the objective to leave it to posterity (since it was not smoothed over and
covered – it was the representative block we discussed earlier) wanted this repeated “error”
(the missing “”) to be kept for posterity. Why? This author finds no satisfactory answer to this
question. Instead, the author finds another more plausible explanation for thus inscription.
The term “” means “received”. So AT, assumes that the “corrected” (but not
there) inscription simply says, that someone by the name of Antigonus (and they have a theory
as to who this “Antigonus” is, to which subject will come in a bit) “received” for the
Hephaestion monument construction purposes this block. This was in effect a commercial
agreement and contract signing by “Antigonus”. It is not clear as to whether AT believes that
actually this person “Antigonous” personally carved the blocks with his monogram. Even if they
do not, and they assume that someone with authority to act on his behalf did it, there is a
significant problem. But before we address the “who is that ANT” and the question as to
whether he was the actual person who did carve it, we need to state what our position is on
this inscription’s real reading.
AT’s hypothesis is not this’ author’s interpretation of the inscription. The very likely
interpretation of what we see in Figure 10 is the following: someone with the initials “
states that he “got hold of” () the marble blocks represented by this special block;
and that these marble blocks were for the Hephaestion set of monuments (not just Kasta
Tumulus) under the orders of the Commissioner (or head bureaucrat) responsible for
construction, whose monograph was “ANT”.
Note the difference, as to where in the inscription, all these three initials are found: the initials
(monograph) designating the supervisor, mason, worker (AP) are to the left of the inscription;
the monograms designating Hephaestion and the Commissioner (ANT) to the right of the
Now let’s focus on the ANT part of the composite monograph. Nowhere does it follow that the
letters ANT correspond to the name “Antigonus”, let alone the name of “Antigonus the
Monophthalmus” (AT’s choice) or “Antigonus Gonatas” or any King of Macedonia for that
matter. It is absolutely correct that this ANT insignia, or monogram is also encountered on coins
of that Era. Coins which span the reins of a number of different Kings of Macedonia, as we shall
see shortly. Monograms of Kings of that Era do not appear though on coins.
These monograms usually refer to the Commissioners either in charge of the Treasury or the
bureaucrat in charge of the mint, or even (much later) the artist who did the engraving. A very
informative reference on this subject is that by Francois de Galatay [17]. As an indication only,
(not proof of the proposition of course, that is found in [17)], the following fact should be
mentioned: in the US, the President doesn’t sign the US Dollar denominated Bank Notes, the
Head of the Federal Reserve (the US Central Bank) and the Secretary of the Treasury do.
Thus the argument that some King or even a Regent would sign this marble block is extremely
unlikely. The most likely scenario is that some arch-mason, acting on behalf of the bureaucrat in
charge of the System of monument’s construction, in situ signed these representative blocks.
He wanted both of these names to remain on these (few but representative) blocks, along with
his initials (not monogram).
AT’s suggestion is that Antigonus the Monophthalmus is behind this ANT monogram. They
argue that he could be the powerful Commissioner of the Treasury at the time, as we see this
ANT (AT assumes it is his) on King Philip III Arrhedaeus coins, who (as we saw) reigned while
“strong man” Antipatrus was Regent (another person whose name starts with ANT) and later
Polyperchon. Of course, later Antigonus the Monophthalmus became King of the Western
Asia’s Antigonid Kingdom (306 – 301 BC). He established the Antigonid Dynasty but not on
Macedonian soil. On Macedonian soil, at about the same time (306 BC) Cassander establishes
the Antipatrid dynasty.
An example where the ANT monogram appears during the reign of Philip III is shown in Figure
11. Thus, this argument has shortcomings, the least of which is that the same ANT monogram
we encounter in a much later period, under Antigonus Gonatas reign (276 – 239 BC), Figure 12.
And the final coin we shall discuss is that of Figure 13, showing a coin of Antigonus
Monophthalmus himself, with the same ANT monogram.
Figure 11. A silver coin of (titular) King Philip III Arrhedaeus, with the ANT monogram.
Figure 12. A bronze coin of Antigonus Gonatas, bearing the same ANT monogram, as its center
piece - emblem.
Having now found different coins of different Kings (Antigonus Monophthalmus and Antigonus
Gonatas) and different Dynasties (the Argead and Antigonid) the proposition that this ANT
monogram depicts either must be rejected, since admitting either would contradict the
evidence. And it must also be rejected on the grounds of coin in Figure 13: we do not expect a
King’s monogram on a coin [17].
As we encounter this ANT monogram on coins as well as construction blocks, we need to accept
all that as evidence we are dealing with someone (with a name starting with ANT – if that’s
what this ANT implies – which could be one of many Greek names starting with “Ant”,
Antigonus and Antipatrus being just two of them, popular at the time) who was responsible for
the Treasury at the time. From the longevity of the monogram on coins, it follows that he must
have been a person impeccable in his professional reputation and capable manager to handle
issues in finance, mint and construction projects. Kings came and went during his tenure, but he
remained in his position.
In concluding this Section, it must be noted that this ANT part of the inscription contributes
very little to the Hephaestion case, or the life story of the monument at Kasta. This Section
brings to a close the main body of the paper. Next, we turn to some auxiliary issues related to a
number of points brought up by the analysis by way of two Notes and a set of three
Appendices. In Note 1 we address issues that deal with “measurements” as we try to place
Kasta’s tomb within a context of Classical Greek Temples. Note 2 is a brief comment on
Archeology and the accuracy of numbers. The set of the three Appendices follow.
Figure 13. A silver coin of Antigonus the Monophthalmus, bearing the ANT monogram.
Note 1. On measurements, core parameters, and the key features of an edifice-Temple:
Kasta’s Tomb, the Parthenon and Epicurius Apollo.
The objectives of this Note are twofold: first, to test the theory suggested by some British 19th
Century scholars that Classical Greek temples follow as buildings certain rules regarding
particular ratios, as they suggested; and second, to see where does Kasta’s interior fit in regards
to those rules. In discussing the rules which the British Architecture and Archeological
Establishment derived regarding Classical Greece and some Hellenistic period monuments and
temples, Ferguson in [9] p. 18, offers a complete list of “axiomatic” (as he puts it) rules of
“definite proportions” in effect “key ratios” (discussed earlier in the text.) For a more recent
reference on various rules in ratios used in architecture, see: Patrick Suppes, 1991, “Rules of
Proportion in Architecture”, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Volume XVI, pp: 352 – 358.
What is absent from the Ferguson discussion, which emphasizes ratios in integers (within
specific ranges), and from the Suppes analysis, is the fact that some ratios of extreme aesthetic
value are absent. The Golden Ration (of about 1.61803398….) as well as the Silver ratio (of
about 2.41421356…..) are not only absent from his discussion, but also non-integers; they are
what is called in mathematics “irrational numbers”. To approximate these numbers to an
acceptable degree (say the first two decimal places) is an extremely challenging task. It not only
implies knowledge of these numbers’ algebra, but also extremely skilled construction and
engineering. Testing thus for the presence of such numbers in Classical Greek Architecture is a
very interesting research project.
It so happens that the basic parameters of a distinguished example of Classical Greek
Architecture is the Temple of Apollo Epicurius in Bessae. A floor plan of the Temple is in Figure
N.1. It turns out that the dimensions of the krepis, the lowest step at the base of the temple,
obey quite closely the silver ratio: about 39 meters in length over about 16 meters in width.
Their ratio is about 2.4375. This ratio is quite close to the silver ratio and for all practical
purposes we must assume that the Temple was built on this basis.
Another ratio of extreme importance, albeit again absent from all these discussions on
axiomatic “ratios”, is the number of main columns in the front and side of the temple: The
temple of Apollo at Bessae has a ratio of exactly 2.5 (counting the angle – corner – columns
twice). As to the cella of the Temple, its ratio is 3.666…. certainly not an integer. In effect, none
of the ratios suggested in any of the references describe a major Temple, representative of
Classical Greek Architecture.
Figure N.1. Floor plan, Temple of Epicurius Apollo. The Silver Ratio?
As far as the Parthenon is concerned, the most basic ratio of this most extraordinary edifice
ever constructed, that of its frontal width at the stylobate (the top step, where the columns
stand) to the total height of the eight columns is 2.9 close enough but not exactly an integer.
Moreover, the ratio of the frontal (8) to the side columns (17) again, counting the angle
columns twice, is 2.125 exactly. These ratios it must be added (either in isolation or in
combination) are unique to each temple. They constitute its own signature. No two temples are
alike, as no two humans are alike. This must be kept well in mind when “ratios” and “rules” are
discussed. The floor plan of the Parthenon is shown in Figure N.2.
Checking the ratio of the side to the front, at the level of the stylobate, the ratio comes to
2.214, whereas at the level of the krepis, the ratio is 2.16 (recall, as shown above, the
corresponding ratio for Epicurius Apollo was close to the silver ratio, about 2.44). Given the
much bigger size of the Parthenon, it isn’t surprising that the ratios come close to the ratio of
the columns. Finally, if one separates the total estimated height of the Parthenon, from the
stylobate, to the tip of the cornice, into two parts: the height of the Doric columns (which
includes the capital) and the entablature (which includes the architrave, the frieze and the
cornice), and derives their ratio, one obtains about 1.429. Thus, none of these measures
correspond to those suggested by Ferguson in [9].
There should be little doubt that the parameters addressed above are the “core” parameters of
a monument, in this case two major temples of Greek Architecture. Their ratios as stated above
should be the “determining ratios” of these structures. No other ratio trumps these in
importance. Any theory of Classical Greek Architecture which doesn’t extremely accurately
account for these ratios should not be admitted as having addressed “core” ratios. One
measure however of Parthenon’s floor plan is of interest in reference to Kasta: cella’s width to
the length of the cella’s base. It’s about 3.14. This is a very interesting ratio, as it is close to a
universal geometric ratio: the ratio of a circle’s perimeter to its diameter, in effect the .
In view of the above discussion, a look at Kasta’s internal measurements becomes now of
import. In [3] p.36, the tomb’s internal dimensions were found to be: 4.5m width (W), 15m
length (L), and 6.5 meters height (H), at the top of the arched ceiling. The L/W ratio is exactly
3.3333… The L/H ratio is 2.3077 and the H/W ratio is 1.4444….
The L/W ratio at Kasta is very close to the cella ratio of Epicurius Apollo at Bessae (3.66…) and
to the Parthenon’s cella ratio of 3.14 just mentioned above. Kasta falls in effect right in the
middle of these two ratios. It must be little doubt, that in Deinokratis mind these two ratios
were present when he settled on the Kasta’s interior dimensions. However, before this
preliminary conclusion becomes final, much more work is needed. Many more Greek Temple’s
equivalent ratios need to be collected, and some statistical analysis needs to take place, where
such hypotheses can be tested.
Figure N.2. The Parthenon’s floor plan
In [4] the modulus of the tomb was found to be 1.36m (in length) and .72m (in width); it was
not possible to estimate the vertical component of the modulus with the information available.
Comparing the modulus 1.36m to the length of the tomb we obtain 6.5/1.36= 4.78, whereas on
the width, we have 4.5/.72=6.25. Undoubtedly, these ratios were linked to those of both the
Parthenon and Epicurius Apollo. But again, before these findings are written in stone, much
work needs to be done.
Overall, much more obviously needs to be done along the lines of firming up these “definite
proportions” theory, before this analysis is completed. However, one needs far more accurate
measurements of these edifice’s parameters to proceed with some degree of certainty in
arriving at conclusions. Especially if one wishes to compare the Kasta tomb internal
measurements to the basic measurements found to hold in the cases of the Parthenon and the
Temple of Epicurius Apollo.
Note 2. On Numbers in Archeology; a very short comment.
Having done work in terms of research, admittedly not field work, and having checked various
numbers of various authors in a variety of contexts, I must admit that these numbers leave a lot
to be desired. I’m sure this must not be so in all cases. One wishes that very high standards of
scholarship do set tent in Archeology, and that rigorous checking and double checking occurs by
reviewers of various Journals, when papers are submitted for publication that involve numbers.
It is of course expected, that as the field gets to be more rigorous in methods and techniques,
these advances will spill over to rigor in publications and the reviewing process as well. One
thing is becoming though quite apparent; this new World of the World Wide Web, which has
opened up for review what was so far hidden in the drawers of Archeology and History, is now
opening up for review by a huge number of individuals, amateurs and professionals alike. And
as a result, errors are now found more frequently.
Appendix A. More on the Hill’s Tumulus:
The Kabouroglou analysis; the length of the tomb and the trench; the tomb’s orientation.
An Artemis Tavropolos Temple in a pre-Hephaestion phase of the tomb?
A general comment and a personal remark. Work on a topic or subject by any (imperfect)
human, be that scientific or otherwise, is governed by three basic components present at
various (certainly not identical for all) degrees. These three components are: knowledge (of
prior information and data and other relevant material on the subject), judgement (in
ascertaining the validity of that information or data) and third, but equally important to the
prior two components, insight. Imagination and creativity are included in this third component.
It was my limited knowledge (Mavrojannis had far more knowledge than I did on the historical
sources and records regarding the “Hephaestion Hypothesis” – thus richly deserves the credit
for being the first to fully document the issue, see Appendix B for more on this issue), and my
judgement (in recognizing early on, when dozens of names and possibilities were tossed around
as to what this monument at Kasta was all about when I judged the Mavrojannis hypothesis as
being the valid one) as well as my insights are all reflected in my four-paper sequel of work. The
unfolding of events and the history on this issue (which I expect to last for a good part of this
Century) will render judgement on the validity on the rest of my suggestions.
Many a scholar on the subject of the Amphipolis tomb are in possession of undoubtedly far
more information on the raw material of the archeological findings and conditions surrounding
the Kasta tumulus and its tomb, than I am. Certainly the members of AT do. One of these
persons is geologist Kabouroglou who had direct access to material related to the excavation of
the tomb. His analysis (of March 8th 2015) confirmed my proposition that the “Lion of top of the
Hill” (a suggestion first made by the AT’s architect M. Lefantzis) doesn’t seem very likely.
Kabouroglou’s analysis confirmed one of the two “heavy” in my contention. Back in October
2014 I suggested that the “Lion was too heavy, structurally and aesthetically” for the top of the
Hill [2]. Kabouroglou addressed the “structurally heady” part of the argument, and his work was
consistent with my suggestion. With this paper I added more on the “structurally heavy” aspect
of it.
The analysis by Kabouroglou is presented here:
In this Appendix another, but related issue will be addressed: what is indeed the exact length
and width of the tomb proper? Lengthwise, two sizes are floating around, one is the exact size
of the tomb’s interior, which from the announced measurements by the Ministry can be
computed at around 15 or 16m (depending on the exact measurement of the Chambers’
separating walls), or the tomb’s suggested delineation (), which is suggested by AT to
be around 25 meters. These two measurements are of significance, since they hide in them
facts about the monument, facts which directly affect the monument’s life story.
In [3] the exact measurements of the tomb’s interior were given, from the exterior side of the
wall supporting the Sphinxes, to the interior of the Northern side of the funerary Chamber: they
are to not exceed 16 meters, depending on the exact size of the wall separating Chamber #2
(the mosaic Chamber) and the main funerary Chamber (Chamber #3). The dimensions of the
interior marble clad plus the thickness of its lime stone support infrastructure has been given by
the various members of AT, in various occasions, and also by Kabouroglou. It is set at a
maximum of 1.80m beyond the interior surface.
Adding to the (maximum possible) 16 meters interior length, the 1.80 meters depth of the back
(Northern) funerary Chamber’s wall, one derives a total of 17.80 meters. AT’s architect
proposes a total length of the 25 meters, where approximately 6 meters account for the length
of the staircase. That leaves a difference of about 1.20 meters. How is it possible to excuse such
an excess in length?
A similar excess occurs in the width of the monument: The (uniform) width of the tomb’s
interior has been given as 4.50m. Adding the 1.80m of the clad and its support structure we
obtain the total width of the structure, at about 8.10 meters. We are told that the delineated
width is more than 10 meters. In fact it is wider at the front than at the back. Frontal excess
space is well over 3 meters, with an average excess of at least about 2 meters along the length
of the 16 meters long corridor.
One then wonders why? What’s the role of all this excess space in the construction?
Of course these questions arise if these excesses do in fact exist and they are not simply errors
in the estimation of the delineation’s widths and lengths obtained from various geological and
seismic studies. If they in fact exist, they lead one to conclude that there was a natural schism,
ditch, or trench () in the natural Hill, which the architect used to set up the tomb,
given that he wanted to link the Entrance of the monument and the whole tomb corridor to a
pre-existing tomb.
In [2] it was proposed that the architect found the optimum location along the perimeter to put
the Entrance of the tomb, and marginally adjusted the tomb’s corridor like structure, so that
the orientation of the tomb would be as close as possible to the North-South axis, leading to
the funerary Chamber. Given the leverage of this extra space, it is reasonable to expect that the
architect had some degrees of freedom in finding the optimum angle in orienting the tomb’s
15.5 to 16 meters long corridor. In fact he had so much leverage, that he could make the tomb’s
orientation possibly a radius. He didn’t. Why? I suggest he didn’t because he wanted to have a
strict North to South orientation.
Another possibility (not in conflict with the North South orientation) is that a pre-existing (prior
to MCP) structure was there, not just an underground tomb. A make shift temple, wood or
masonry prior structure are all possibilities, which MCP replaced. Whether any prior structure
was there, and what was its function, it is doubtful whether it will be ever determined, or any
time soon at least.
In [4] a number of conjectures were offered that indeed the tomb’s three key slopes (the
ground’s natural slope, the wall’s designed slope to withstand the soil’s lateral forces, and the
angle to the radius the orientation of the tomb has) are all connected in a special way (possibly
all being equal). The mater of the tomb’s North-to-South orientation back then (the end of the
4th Century BC) was revisited in [3] and erroneously revised this conclusion.
However, since then, I re-tested this conjecture using the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) Magnetic Field Calculator, found in:
For the earliest possible time period offered, and for the exact position of the Tumulus
(40degrees 50’ 22” N and 23degrees 51’ 46”E) one obtains enough shift in the Magnetic
Declination to estimate that the change (towards the West) of the North-South orientation since
then has been quite enough to justify the gross validity of the conjecture made in [2]. The
ecliptic did change sufficiently over the 23 centuries that have elapsed, to make the conjecture
to stand as stated in the original paper. The corridor of the tomb had at the time a North-South
In concluding this Appendix, let’s go back to the excesses we found: the unaccounted for
(approximately one meter width) space around the tomb, along the East, West and North sides.
One must assume that there was a natural trench leading to the place where an original tomb
(and possibly another structure) was. During the period in question (and MCP) that excess area
was filled up with soil (or sand) to cover the space between the Hill’s natural form and the
structure inserted there. So this excess space might hide some interesting pre-existing history of
the space, now occupied by the great tomb at Kasta.
We know that a goddess worshiped at Amphipolis at the time was Artemis Tavropolos a figure
belonging to the Bull Cult. She is portrayed on coins in ways which leave little doubt on the
connection, and which are of extreme import to us here. Keeping in mind that this isn’t a
detailed study on the symbolism or religious aspects of the murky and confusing cult waters of
the Region of Amphipolis back then, the imagery of the representation will preoccupy our
analysis here a little. It will be where the main conjecture of this paper will be made.
Figure A.1. Goddess Artemis Tavropolos. Bronze coin from Amphipolis.
We do not know if a prior structure was there, when MCP for Hephaestion’s monument took
place, although the excess space may lead one to have reasonable suspicions that some
structure did exist, and it was not simply the underground grave we found in the funerary
Chamber. If so, we suggest that a Temple could be there, and if such a Temple was there then it
is further suggested that it could be linked to Artemis Tavropolos. This is our conjecture.
Artemis Tavropolos is shown in Figure A.1 in a manner which is of interest on multiple counts,
some of which will be addressed here. She is engraved as riding (in Amazon style) a beast,
which has the head of a bull and the body of a horse, under the crescent sign. The interesting
issue for the author here is the “quantum” nature of the beast. Is it a “horse with the head of a
bull” or is it “a bull with the body of a horse”? This is a subject which was discussed between
Pepi Serafeimidou, Vagelis Vagianos and me, concerning this coin, in the “
  
The discussion took place in the middle of October 2015. In Greek Mythology and Art, such mix
of animals’ bodies do suggest an abstract “quantum” nature – a condition in which the object’s
definition depends on the observer’s position (perspective). This is a case where two
possibilities can co-exist, as well as a third, that is the alternative “none of the above”.
In Figure A.2 Artemis is engraved on the bronze coin as riding a bull, and under the crescent
sign, as usual. Often the goddess is referred to as  (Moon) and shown under a
Crescent sign, apparently. But is this ubiquitous “crescent moon” sign really such a sign, or may
be something more? It is suggested here that in fact this isn’t simply a Crescent Moon sign.
Vividly shown in Figure A.3, this is a complex and composite sign: it is the sign of a partial Solar
Eclipse, a Crescent Moon and the horns of the Bull.
Figure A.2. Artemis of Amphipolis on a Bull, and the Crescent sign.
Figure A.3. Partial solar eclipse: the sign of the eclipsed Sun, the sign of the Crescent Moon and
the bull horns all in one symbol.
Appendix B. The Mavrojannis correspondence.
Throughout the period this author has been involved with the subject of Kasta, he has
maintained that the person who was first in arguing that “this is a monument for Hephaestion,
commissioned by Alexander himself for his deputy upon Hephaestion’s death” was Professor
Mavrojannis. This author expressed this view, after having listened to the presentation of
September 10, 2014 by Professor Mavrojannis at the University of Cyprus. In that lecture,
Professor Mavrojannis laid out all the historical work he did from the original sources and
documented how he derived that conclusion.
This author was impressed with that work, agreed with it, and set out to write a paper (in its
latest version is found in [2]) which he first presented in a communication with the website
ARXAIOGNOMON on October 20, 2014. All that is documented in [2]. In that paper, and ever
since, this author keeps referring to the “Hephaestion Hypothesis” as the “Mavrojannis
However, in the month of October following the 9/30/2015 presentation (in which the name of
Professor Mavrojannis was not mentioned, yet work very similar to his own work from the
original sources was presented) in some circles, the rumor circulated that Professor
Mavrojannis was not the original source of that work. I sent a letter to Professor Mavrojannis
asking him to clarify this issue, since I wanted to verify the accuracy of my assertion.
In response to that letter, Professor Mavrojannis in a communication dated October 17th 2015
was kind enough to forward this author a draft copy of his (yet unpublished) paper [6]. For that,
this author is grateful to Professor Mavrojannis. Along with his paper Professor Mavrojannis
also sent the author a personal letter, which is appended in its entirety below. In that letter
Professor Mavrojannis states that the Hephaestion Hypothesis is his “own work and his own
proposition” and he also addresses the rumors to the contrary. Thus, this author is pleased to
reconfirm his naming of the “Hephaestion Hypothesis” as the “Mavrojannis hypothesis”.
The letter by Professor Mavrojannis to the author (dated 10/17/2015) follows (please note that
“George Watkins” is a pseudonym I have been using throughout this period):
Dear Mr Watkins
This is my own work and my proposition. I was the first scholar all over the world that he made the
proposal of identification of the tumulus with the tomb – heroon of Hephaestion on 10th September
2014, without having any knowledge of the details of the excavation or acquaintance with the
excavators. I did not have any conctact with M. Lefantzis until Easter 2015, when I asked him the
permission to publish his designs for my first paper. People does know very well that I am the
Historian who reconstructed the historical framework of the tumulus at Amphipolis and this
cannot be at all denied. There are documents, my Conference in Greek at the University of Cyprus,
a great University, at the top of the research. Subsequently, Katerina Peristeri and Michalis
Lefantzis made me the honour to visit during the past summer the tumulus and the tomb. They
would like that I would be the responsible for the Ancient History. I am still happy to offer my help
and contribute to their work. My work was totally independent from the archaeological evidence
drawn by the monument itself, since it is based on circumstantial evidence. I had leads, some clues,
some evidence, but not yet proofs. It is for me now evident that the excavators had suspicions, but
at the same time I carried on my shoulders for an entire year the burden of the 'objectivity':
Hephaestions's tomb, and not simply an heroon for him, being an Ancient Historian who is also a
Classical Archaeologist. Since I am not such an ambitious scholar within the star system of
Classical Archaeology, I did not want deprive the excavators of their magnificent archaeological
discovery. Excavating 13 meter in depth in a circumference of 497 m is a genious idea. Discovering
readings on the blocks who nobody had recognized is a very difficult task. Reconstructing the Lion
at the top is the result of hard working. But, to give the overview and the reasons of the choise of
Amphipolis for the tomb of Hephaestion is the task and the due of an Ancient Historian who might
have a strong backgroung of classical scholarship. Therefore, I preferred to avoid to be further in
the limelight. I attach for you my text in English to be published in next February (Festschrift for
Prof. Filippo Coarelli), for it reflects the former stage of intelligible proofing on the issue, thus
without that certainty of 99 per cent given now by the inscriptions presented by Peristeri
Lefantzis. Please let me say, that though these voices constitute un unfair against me, I will ignore
them, because the honour of Greece is more important than any individual success.
Theo Mavrojannis
B.A., MPhil Perugia
Dr. Freiburg im Breisgau
Associate Professor of Ancient History
University of Cyprus
Coordinator of Post-Graduate Studies in Ancient History (Greek and Roman East)
University of Cyprus
Appendix C. Specimens, labels, Statistics and Archeology.
In the paper’s main Sections, and specifically while discussing Kasta’s marble clad and the head
of a Sphinx found inside the funerary Chamber, issues were brought up in need of more
extensive coverage. In the case of the marble clad, we encountered claims that it “resembled”
(it was “identical” according to Prof. Mavrojannis) to that of the IERON of Samothrace (based
on its reconstruction by Lehmann). In the case of the Sphinx’ head the claim was presented that
it “looks like” the work by Scopas, (a suggestion made by Antonio Corso in the site:
Invariably AT has maintained that the “belongs” to the Eastern Sphinx at the Entrance of the
Kasta tomb.
Regardless of the merits or demerits of these suggestions (both subjects have already been
addressed on their substance already), the issue of “resemblance” in Archeology is much
broader and needs some discussion. “Resemblance” has been used in a vast array of topics in
Archeology to document a host of propositions. The matter transcends space (Kasta in this
case) or time periods (the 4th Century BC here).
Whether assertions are made in Archeology like: a statue ‘belongs to this “school” of sculpture’;
that ‘it holds “similarities” to these specific statues’; whether ‘Kasta’s tomb, is a “Macedonian”
or a “Roman” monument’; one wonders, is there something to be said at the outset about
these assertions? In fact as we shall see here now, there is. And what these a priori rules of
engagement when such claims are made entail, cross over all specifics. They offer in effect a set
of “general” and “primordial” statements.
Archeology isn’t in fact to be singled out on this count. History too, a kindred Field of human
inquiry can be subjected to similar “general” rules and statements. For example, in a Historical
context, the issue has been raised whether Diodorus’ account of Hephaestion’s pyre in Babylon
at the end of 324 BC is “accurate”; see Mavrojannis [6] Section 3, regarding the “deification of
This potpourri of disparate questions in History and Archeology alike does have some unifying
threads in it. We shall not attempt to answer these specific questions here. But what will
attempt to briefly do is to tackle the much broader issue, i.e., whether these questions can be
really answered, and with what degree of certainty. In analyzing this theoretical, more or less,
topic some general rules seem to apply (as already stated) that de facto limit the validity of the
answer, no matter what the answer might be, or the actual “truth” for that matter if such
“truth” does ever exist in the fields of Archeology or History.
In so doing, we also present the possibility that these sort of (more or less unanswerable)
questions might be less of importance than some other types of questions pertaining to an
artifact or to an historical event. The discussion in effect seems to apply to all archeological
objects, and the objects of historical reference. So this Appendix deals with pure theory. If the
reader is not interested in this subject, (s)he may skip it.
Let’s make clear that our potential inability to ascertain with any degree of confidence a genre
of questions which deal with “characterizations” of artifacts, or historical events, due to their
inability to be subjected to some rigorous hypothesis testing, does not imply that there are no
aspects in Archeology and History which can be subjected to rigorous testing. We shall address
this “double persona” of both History and Archeology next, with the emphasis being mostly on
The reader may have noticed that usually formal “scholarly” publications carry a heavy load of
references and footnotes (which themselves in turn cite many references.) In fact the ratio of
references to pages in a paper is a good indication of how “well documented” a paper is. The
greater the ratio, usually the better documented the paper is considered to be. And the better
documented a paper is, apparently, the closer to the truth of the matter it is thought to be.
Whether this criterion is a good index of validity of an Archeological proposition again is not the
issue here.
What is the issue, is this: since analysis (of the mathematical type) doesn’t usually avail itself in
Archeology (and History) to serve as “proof of validity regarding a proposition”, documentation
in the form of “referencing” is used as a substitute for “proof”. Thus, any archeological subject
can contain a very large number of references, and each reference can commend a very large
number of sub-referencing. This multi-layered referencing almost exclusively forms the
“documentation” part of the (Archeological or Historical) proposition.
Obviously, the issue here is that “referencing” presents the following problems: there is a very
large number of “references” one can amass on any given subject, and this accumulation has no
stopping rule. In effect, it suffers, necessarily so, by: referencing of referencing (something
referred to in the Epistemology of Science as “an infinite regression”); this in turn results in an
impossibility to derive closure”; which in these fields of human endeavor are characterized by
a lack of a “stopping rule”, if we assume that no exogenously imposed (dictatorial) stopping
rule may apply. To put it bluntly, this referencing ad infinitum can render any artifact into a
toaster, and vice versa.
However, in spite of these limitations, archeological and historical arguments are made, books
are written, and the fields do advance, however imperfectly so. How this (more or less
astonishing) accomplishment manifests itself is not of interest here. It has to do with specific
questions, time periods, places, people, etc., that is with the overall milieu under which the
subject matter is approached and presented. It has to do more specifically on how creative
individuals are, how they improvise and sub-optimize, in getting around these three sets of
difficulties presented above.
Obviously, in view of these obstacles and impediments one doesn’t close shop and leaves for
home. To the contrary, one attempts to deal with these hurdles and overcome them, to the
extent possible. But in doing so, certain limitations are encountered, and these limitations we
will analyze next, in understanding why in an a priori way, we can see the stark shortcomings of
certain Archeological and Historical questions and propositions (as those we posed at the very
beginning of this Appendix). So, let’s get a bit more specific.
When an archeologist makes a claim identifying an artifact as “belonging” to a particular
“school”, artist, or time period (archeological time period or actual calendar time period), the
archeologist is simply and obviously “expressing an opinion”. The person doing so might be
possible to partially document that opinion by referencing, but in no way by excluding all other
possible answers. To put it more rigorously, the principle of “competitive exclusion” rarely
applies to Archeology. The likelihood of that opinion (or viewpoint) can’t be axiomatically and
systematically ascertained, a priori, no matter what the opinion is.
There are some simple reasons why this is so. First, likelihood is determined in science by
rigorous statistical methods. Such methods require experiments, in this case many specimens
out of which a rigorous sampling technique is employed to run specific statistical tests of
significance. These tests require the ability to reject the null hypothesis of any proposition,
within well specified confidence intervals. In other words, the validity of a proposition can only
be indirectly ascertained, by rejecting the alternative hypothesis that the proposition doesn’t
None of these conditions apply to Archeology, in most cases – and certainly in the cases under
discussion here. There might be in certain instances, some limited agreement among
archeologists on certain propositions (viewpoints); there even might be that some opinions are
beyond “reasonable doubt” (however that term is defined, whomever defines it, or however it
is applied). This is the closest one comes to a stopping rule as presented earlier.
But at the final analysis these “propositions” or “conclusions” can only be limited. For one, a
new piece of evidence might emerge to overthrow or at least challenge their “accepted”
validity. This is primarily due to the fact that these propositions are very sensitive, and thus
vulnerable, to the “limited evidence” they are based. These shifts might be so frequent, that do
not rise to a level of a “paradigm shift” in the sense this principle applies to Science.
A second reason is that a specimen, “school” or archeological period” can’t be “identified” or
“defined” in a total and complete manner. Again, this is the problem of “infinite regression”
mentioned earlier, encountered always in the process of referencing. In effect, objects of
archeology can only be defined in a “fuzzy” manner, a manner implying that an item can’t be
considered only a part of a single set, but it is simultaneously a member of multiple sets. A
stopping rule (any stopping rule) only limits this degree of fuzziness.
If we attach a name (or label) to each of these sets, it means that an element may contain many
labels, as it could simultaneously belong to different sets. If a second level of sets exists, and
then a next and so on, where now each one of these lower level sets could belong to one or
more upper level sets, then the complexity of labeling becomes too much to handle in a hurry.
This is the constituent element of “fuzziness in labeling”. This condition implies that the greater
the fuzziness involved, the stronger (and more dictatorial) the stopping rule must be.
Take for example the case of a particular item, in a contemporary context to make the point
clear. A car which can be described by a label, say, a 2015 “Toyota Corolla-S” car (first level
labeling) one might think it’s a Japanese car (a second level labeling). However, this is obviously
false, and simply just a highly inaccurate “label”. The reason is quite clear. A car consists of
many components (parts) not all of them “made in Japan” or assembled in Japan, or produced
by Japanese, or managed by Japanese in their production process. Moreover, the shares of
Toyota are sold in many international stock exchanges, thus the real “owners” of these
products are certainly not all Japanese. Also not to escape our attention is the fact that usually
such “definitions” and “labeling” contain in them political and ideological factors, that is they
are often used to express deep seated political and ideological views.
Granted, the example of a Toyota vehicle is an example of a “mass produced” item. Whereas
our archeological objects of analysis are not “mass produced”. There’s only one Parthenon, one
Alexander III, one Eastern Sphinx at Kasta. There are many Temples that might “look like” the
Parthenon, but they are not the Parthenon; there was Hephaestion, who might be close to
Alexander even look like him to an extent, but he was not Alexander; there is a Western Sphinx
at Kasta, but it isn’t like the Eastern Sphinx exactly. Archeology and History deal with unique
objects and events, which are not possible to replicate, we can’t reproduce them running the
clock over and over. They in effect can’t be subjected to what is available to Science, that is,
experiments – under controlled and identical conditions for all outcomes to be evaluated on
the basis of some probability rule. Thus, we can’t run tests on hypotheses about the Parthenon,
as we can for, say, the emission standards of a BMW X-6M.
Immediately, one might comment that in fact there are cases in Archeology where multiple
specimens of artifacts do exist, like for example coins, pottery, mosaic floors, or the home of
the common folk back then. They even may be enough tumuli, or palaces to allow for some
statistical tests. Here’s the difficulty though. Even in this case, where apparently many copies of
an item are available, say the coins of Philip II from the mint in Pella, each coin is still unique.
There are no two exactly the same or identical specimens. They may share commonalities in a
larger context, but when looked at closely enough they are found to have differences (usage,
exact sizes, year of mint, etc.)
In effect, we may simply be unable to run statistical tests on significance of rejecting or
accepting a proposition on archeological artifacts or historical events. On the other hand, we
can run such tests with contemporary items of mass production. This difference doesn’t
necessarily mean that those two different objects of analysis don’t share some common
features. In fact we do find them sharing certain significant qualitative attributes.
Artifacts of antiquity, no matter the specific place or time period or artifact or building involved
share an “inherent fuzziness” in their “definition” as did the Toyota car we presented above.
Any archeological specimen (including any statue, as for instance the head of the maiden found
in Chamber #3 at Kasta) suffers from the same fuzziness disease. Moreover, the labeling of any
artifact contains within it inevitably a political and ideological perspective, in a similar manner
as we found when we characterize the 2015 Toyota Corolla-S as a Japanese car. More on this
count in a bit.
As Toyotas and the Parthenon share in some qualitative features (fuzziness in definition) they of
course differ in many regards. We can employ a great deal of rigorous statistical testing in
products coming out of mass production processes. But we are limited in our ability to do so in
the case of individually assembled or uniquely produced (and not replicated) artifacts. Yet, we
are not prevented altogether from doing so, as to some extent even these unique items can be
subjected to statistical analysis, under a set of strong and limiting hypotheses. One might wish
to employ statistical analysis on say, the ratio of the average frontal length of the stylobate
encountered on all Temples of Classical Greece, over the height of their columns. From the pool
(the universe) of all such (heterogeneous and all different) Temples, we can random sample
them, and obtain a measure of that ratio on which one can run some statistical tests and
correlations. However, the assumptions imposed to allow such statistical tests may be so strong
that they may weaken enough the validity of the results, potentially rendering them worthless.
Now let’s turn out attention to “classifications” and take a more detailed look at labeling
Schools of Art, Eras or time periods. Before we do so however, it must be noted that similar
problems exist in other fields of scientific endeavor. These difficulties are not unique to
Archeology and History. For instance in the fields of biology there are difficulties involved with
taxonomy; these difficulties extent to all ranges of classification, from “species” and “genus” to
“kingdom” and “domain”. In anthropology, human evolution is also using classifications: homo
erectus, homo habilis, homo sapiens, and “anatomically modern humans” are just a few of
these “labels’. In the field of Astronomy, the classification of planets, stars, galaxies, clusters
and super clusters of galaxies encounter similar difficulties, although the plethora of stars and
galaxies (but not planets or super clusters of galaxies) make life a bit easier. Similar problems in
classification are encountered in geology as well; for instance, in the case of the spectacular and
equally peculiar 100 million years old Richat structure in Mauritania the disagreement as to the
nature of the geology in and around it, as well as the causes of its formation are as
contradictory as they can get. Some argue for an asteroid impact, others argue that it
represents natural erosion processes. See:
Thus, in all these cases, we encounter similar problems, as we are dealing with different
specimens or unique conditions. No two skeletons of homo habilis are identical in their form,
they only share some “common features” (so determined by someone). So is the case with
galaxies, no two spiral galaxies are identical, they do “look alike”. Moreover, what in fact makes
them look alike to us, may be less important than some other feature in which they differ more
within that group than they differ from another group. For example, they may share with a
different type of galaxy, say a Seyfert type galaxy, in the magnitude of a supermassive Black
Hole in them or the portion of young star forming regions. Intra-group variance along some
variable may be larger than inter-group variance in the same or another set of variable. This is
the factor which weakens any classification scheme, creating at times insurmountable
difficulties in any attempt to “classify things into groups”.
Difficulties or not however, and no matter how imperfect, classifications have been argued as
being necessary for science, so that it can be codified and progress. On the other hand,
necessity is not a blindfold, instrument for hiding or distorting substance. Granted, these labels
hide in them deep seated ideological and political positions, positions which provide a
perspective about and emanate from our humanity and incompleteness, and our very nature
and limitations in knowledge and understanding. But since this issue of labeling runs so deep in
Archeology, we also will run a bit deep to bring home the point.
Again, a special example will be used which is directly pertinent here, the term “Roman”. Often
times we use the term “Roman” to characterize an Era, an artifact or a person. However, given
the two difficulties presented earlier (limited evidence, and inherent fuzziness) we can
understand why these are simply grossly inaccurate labels. For example, let’s look at the
admittedly stunning mosaics of Zeugma, and especially one of them, Figure C. The mosaic’s
central iconography depicts Europa being abducted by Zeus in the form of a conniving Bull.
The mosaic was located in a “Roman villa” of the “first century AD” in the “Anatolian” City of
Zeugma. The history of Zeugma () is quite messy. Located in the Fertile Crescent, its
history goes far back – way into the early Neolithic. In its population stock it includes decedents
of Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Armenians, Persians, Jews, Syrians, Greeks, and Romans to
only cover a few and only the period till the date of the mosaic. This isn’t the proper forum to
discuss the Geography, Demographics, History, and Sociology of the place. It suffices to say, it is
very complex.
But in that complexity, we see only Greek words in the mosaics, and only scenes taken out of
Greek mythology. Although the art of the mosaic is classified as “Hellenistic” (since it falls after
323 BC, the death of Alexander III), it leaves very little doubt that a Greek speaking, Greek art
school educated mosaic artist designed it; but the tesserae used (from lime stone and marble)
had to be produced, and were probably cut by slaves, and there is not much in the historical
record to identify the slaves’ place of origin.
The raw material was certainly not from Greece but from a local quarry. The assistant who set
the base for the mosaic most likely was not a Greek. The Roman family, member of the local
elite, incurred the wages. Thus it was produced, this and all other stunning mosaics that were
found in that same villa before it got flooded, and were excavated and taken care of by Kurds
that live now in that region of Asia Minor, and Turks. One rightfully might ask: is it really a
“Roman” mosaic? Or, is it a “Greek” mosaic? And by extension, is this really a “Roman” Villa?
What does the term “Hellenistic” Art (in style and context) indeed mean in reference to this
particular mosaic? It will elucidate few to describe this exquisite mosaic using any of these
One may extract potentially more information about this mosaic, by asking a statistics based
question. Like for example, in a pool of mosaics, covering an extended enough time, and in a
random sample of them, what’s the frequency of finding a bull in their central iconography?
And how is that frequency changing over time? It may turn out that this is a question that
constitutes a fruitful and researchable topic. And that answers to this productive question
might be far more informative and elucidating than classifying this as a “roman mosaic” of the
“Hellenistic period”.
Much more will be gained by characterizing it as demonstrating its adherence to a Bull Cult,
than attaching to it any ethnicity-based or strict time period also ethnicity based labels. That is
in effect its main message. Naturally this “bull cult” characterization is another “label” but a
label which crosses over and covers a longer time period, encompasses more regions, it
includes more people than just a specific ethnic group. And this may be a way out of “labeling”
artifacts, buildings, eras, or people in strict but obsolete terms.
Figure C. Zeugma, Roman Villa mosaic: the abduction of Europa by Zeus, in the form of a playful
Numerous individuals need be mentioned here. Foremost among them are the many ladies and
gentlemen I interact on a daily basis through my FB page. All (about 100) FB friends I have, and
the almost two dozen among them I communicate almost daily I owe a great deal of gratitude.
They have inspired, educated, encouraged, and showed me their friendship in many ways.
No longer active in the academic world, I have discovered a new world, a World far bigger and
challenging than the strict confines of a discipline-defined, often stifling, rarely conducive to
creative thinking academic world with its own gods to worship and establishment to serve. This
new world has offered me the possibility at the age of 70, to significantly broaden my
intellectual horizons, meet a vast variety of new very intelligent souls and minds different than
those I encountered in academia, from all over this World. It has led me into avenues of
thought I was never allowed to venture in as an academic.
With the advent of the various computer technologies during the last decade or so, Archeology
and History are two fields that opened up to the World, and left the strict confines of their
disciplines. New insights from everyone interested in those subjects are really pouring in – at
times to the chagrin of their Establishments. A new species of “flat computer screen
archeologist” and an “http:/historian” has already emerged. These Establishments must accept
the new realities, and they will.
One of these windows to the fascinating New World of History and Archeology is the
neighborhood of “Kasta” and the OMADA (Team) that I belong, found here:
To all these friends, all of them in fact I have never actually personally met, I owe a deep sense
of gratitude. They proved to me that a far greater and more important world exists out there,
and although academia has an important role to play in it, it certainly isn’t the most important
when subjects of Archeology and History are concerned.
Before I acknowledge specific individuals I ought to note that the coins used in this paper of the
Macedonian Kings were posted by Vagelis Vagianos and Peter Josephides in:
The coins about Artemis Tavropolos were posted by Pepi Serapheimidou. The suggestion that
Scopas worked on Kasta (and the Maidens as well as the Sphinxes, including the head of a
Sphinx found in the funerary Chamber) was made by Antonio Corso, a member of this Group
So, to (in alphabetical order and especially my co-workers at various times over the past year)
Vilma Evaggelia Alexandri, ARXAIOGNOMON, Joe Allan Boyer, Kathie Klug Carocci, Nancy
Cowens, Antonio Corso, Lucy Joulfayan-Yeghyayan-Dif, Athanasios Fourlis, Apostolos Gouzis,
Liza Hume, Alex Joe James, Petros Josephides, Katerina Kaltsou, Thomas Karidas, Liana
Kastrinaki, Virginia Kavraki, Niki Koini, Michaelis Lefantzis, Jody Hey Lindsey, Panagiotis
Petropoulos, Timos Ploumis, Dimitris Savvidis, Pepi Serapheimidou, Theodoros Spanelis, Effie
Tsilibary, Ioanna Tzavela, Vagelis Vagianos, Elena Vardakosta, I wish to extend my sincerest
Although it has been a long time since I participated in the Empedotimos group, I’m still wishing
to acknowledge their contribution to my ideas. Many in that group have contributed also to the
forming of my initial ideas back in the September to November 2014 period.
With regret, I also wish to note that as of October 29th 2015 my relationship with the group
   ” has been altered.
[1] The presentation was made at the University of Thessaloniki. A complete copy of the video
presentation has not been made available as of the completion of this paper’s writing, although
sections of it recorded by various entities present at the meeting have been made available. A
complete audio of this presentation is available, by Empedotimos, at:
[2] Dimitrios S. Dendrinos,
[3] Dimitrios S. Dendrinos,
[4] Dimitrios S. Dendrinos,
[5] Dimitrios S. Dendrinos,
[6] Theodoros Mavrojannis, file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/Mavrojannis%20F.pdf
(I’m indebted to Professor Mavrojannis for making his paper available to me. In
[7] Stella and Steve Miller, 1972, “The architectural blocks of the Strymon”, ARXAIOLOGIKON
DELTION, Volume 27, Part A, pp: 140-169.
[8] Michalis Lefantzis radio-interview of October 10th, 2015:
[9] James Ferguson, 1862 The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: Restored in Conformity with the
Recently Discovered Remains, London, Printed by William Lowes and Sons.
[10] Donalrd Engels, 1985, “The Length of Eratosthenes Stade” American Journal of Philosophy,
Vol 106, No. 3, pp: 298-311.
[11] William Watkiss Lloyd,,_William_Watkis
[12] J. J. Stevenson, 1909 A Restoration of the Mausoleum in Halicarnassus, London: B. T.
[13] John S. Kieffer, “Callippus” in “Dictionary of scientific bibliography”.
[14] Branilde Sismondo Ridgway, 1971, ‘Book review of Phyllis Williams Lehmann’s
Samothrace 3: the IERON”’, American Journal of Archeology, Vol. 75, No. 1 pp: 100-102.
[15] Emory University website on “Samothrace”:
[16] Ariadni Papafotiou: The Lefantzis presentation 9/30/2015:
[17] Francois de Galatay, 2012, “Control Marks on Hellenistic Royal Coinage: use and evolution
towards simplification?” Revue Belgue de Numismatique”, Volume 158, pp: 39 – 62. The paper
is also available in :
The author retains all legal rights to this work. No part of this narrative can be
reproduced without the written consent of the author Dimitrios S. Dendrinos
... However, it is not a matter to be extensively addressed here, as it is tangentially of relevance. The author has discussed it more extensively in his early paper [9]. ...
Full-text available
This is review of the 1941 classical book by Oscar Broneer about the Amphipolis Lion. It critically appraises the contribution made by the author of the book in recording the thought processes involved in both the Lion's reconstruction, as well as the efforts towards producing a proposed conjectured restoration. In evaluating the book, the author documents three propositions: the monument was not assembled in antiquity; the monument could not stand as conjectured; and that this is the reason why it was abandoned. The reviewer documents also that the Lion was reconstructed in situ, where it was intended to be raised by its original makers at the closing decades of the 4th Century BC. Further, the reviewer revises some of his prior suggestions about the intended location of the monument.
... Having said that, the reader must be warned that this author, since his 1991 paper [20], is a firm believer in that a "Schrodinger cat" type thought experiment aptly defines anyone's approach to subjects of Social Science, and that includes subjects in History and Archeology. This is an issue which this author has expanded on a number of occasions, including his papers with an archeological focus over the past two years, see for instance [21] and [22]. Thus, it must be acknowledged that a certain degree of imprecision is and will most likely always be present in reference to the monument at Le Menec, its measurements and of course the intended Mathematics, Computing and Astronomy (let alone Culture) embedded in it by its many builders over the time length of its varied construction and multiplicity of uses. ...
Full-text available
The paper analyzes the monument of Le Menec at Carnac, in Brittany, France. It advances a number of propositions, key among them being that the strings of stones at Le Menec are not linear parallel alignments but converging arcs. These stones and strings performed a variety of cultural functions. Arcs acted as a Theme Park for celestial objects and their orbits. It is suggested that Le Grand Menec, Kermario, Kerlescan, and Le Petit Menec represented the four seasons. The paper also suggests that the stones' shadows were used as part of sundials. Each stone was used as a computing device, and collectively they constituted a proto Neolithic supercomputer.
Full-text available
This is an update of the paper under the same title by the author. It contains editorial corrections and the formal permission by the University of Cincinnati Dept. of Classics to use the image of the ring.
Full-text available
The paper is an updated version of the December 2, 2017 paper under an identical title by this author. It incorporates in it exact measurements of the ring (received by the author on December 3, 2017). The paper strengthens and expands on the findings of the previous paper, as well as it amends and extends the prior analysis. Editorial corrections are also carried out.
Full-text available
The Mathematics and embedded Astronomy are explored of the almost elliptical in shape Minoan 5-priestess gold signet ring of the c 1450 BC Mycenaean “Griffin Warrior” tomb at Pylos found during the 2015 archeological excavation there. It is documented that the shape of the ring is extremely close, albeit not exactly identical, to the true ellipse of an identical major and minor axes. The likely knowledge of ellipses possessed by the ring’s maker is identified. In the paper, a detailed description of the ring’s iconography is also offered, which to an extent differs from the current archeologists’ based description. The iconography’s Astronomy, is found to be associated with a ceremony dedicated to the fertility of Mother Earth, that quite likely was taking place around the Winter Solstice. An estimate of the ceremony’s duration, eighteen days, is also obtained, as having been engraved onto the ring’s iconography.
to (in alphabetical order and especially my co-workers at various times over the past year)
  • So
So, to (in alphabetical order and especially my co-workers at various times over the past year)
Users/Owner/Downloads/Mavrojannis%20F.pdf (I'm indebted to Professor Mavrojannis for making his paper available to me
  • Theodoros Mavrojannis
Theodoros Mavrojannis, file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/Mavrojannis%20F.pdf (I'm indebted to Professor Mavrojannis for making his paper available to me. In acknoweledgments)
The architectural blocks of the Strymon
  • Steve Stella
  • Miller
Stella and Steve Miller, 1972, "The architectural blocks of the Strymon", ARXAIOLOGIKON DELTION, Volume 27, Part A, pp: 140-169.
1862 The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: Restored in Conformity with the Recently Discovered Remains
  • James Ferguson
James Ferguson, 1862 The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: Restored in Conformity with the Recently Discovered Remains, London, Printed by William Lowes and Sons.
The Length of Eratosthenes Stade
Donalrd Engels, 1985, "The Length of Eratosthenes Stade" American Journal of Philosophy, Vol 106, No. 3, pp: 298-311.
A Restoration of the Mausoleum in Halicarnassus
  • J J Stevenson
J. J. Stevenson, 1909 A Restoration of the Mausoleum in Halicarnassus, London: B. T. Batsford.
Callippus" in "Dictionary of scientific bibliography
  • John S Kieffer
John S. Kieffer, "Callippus" in "Dictionary of scientific bibliography".
The Lefantzis presentation 9
  • Ariadni Papafotiou
Ariadni Papafotiou: The Lefantzis presentation 9/30/2015:
Control Marks on Hellenistic Royal Coinage: use and evolution towards simplification?
  • Galatay Francois De
Francois de Galatay, 2012, "Control Marks on Hellenistic Royal Coinage: use and evolution towards simplification?" Revue Belgue de Numismatique", Volume 158, pp: 39 -62. The paper is also available in :