Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient tomb in the Macedonian region of Greece, and found two sphinxes dating back to around 300 BC. It is thought they once guarded the tomb’s entrance.
The site, which is around 100 kilometres north-east of Thessaloniki, now appears to be the largest ancient tomb to have been discovered in Greece.
This is a major discovery from the early Hellenistic era, and the site has been visited by officials from the Greek Culture Ministry as well as by the Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, who said: “It is certain that we are standing in front of an especially significant finding. The land of Macedonia continues to surprise us, revealing its unique treasures that weave together the unique mosaic of Greek history.”
Archaeologists, who began excavating the site in 2012, have entered the tomb, and are working on identifying who was buried there.
Meanwhile, scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Geophysics Institute will soon begin exploring the foundations of the Kukulcan Temple in the Mayan site of Chichen Itza in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.
They will be looking for tunnels, tombs, and hidden chambers using electrical resistivity tomography.
Rene Chavez, a geomagnetism specialist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Geophysics Institute, said that the project was in its early stages: “The first step is to demonstrate whether any structure exists beneath the pyramid or not. If it does, this would be an important discovery for Mexican archeology.”
The new technology they are using involves placing electrodes around the structure and passing an electrical current through the ground.
Juan Esteban Hernandez, a fellow geomagnetism specialist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Geophysics Institute, added: “What if, instead of studying the foundations of the pyramid we raise our sensors? And what if, instead of investigating the subsoil, we look at the pyramid? This would be a very important step.”
The technique involves looking for areas which block or impede electrical currents emitted by the electrodes.
The geophysical survey method has already helped scientists locate ancient colonial tunnels in Morelia.
Mesoamerican pyramids were constructed at different stages, smaller ones were covered by larger ones which used the original construction as a foundation for the second one.
Mayan civilisation reached its peak between AD 250 and 900, when it ruled over large swathes of what is now southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.