-->

Αναζήτηση αυτού του ιστολογίου

28/11/14

ON THE “HFAISTION AT KASTA HILL” HYPOTHESIS:... ΕΝΑΣ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΑΝΟΣ... «ΕΛΛΗΝΑΣ» ΑΝΑΦΕΡΕΙ


ΜΙΑ ΕΚΠΛΗΚΤΙΚΗ ΠΡΑΓΜΑΤΕΙΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΜΦΙΠΟΛΗ


ΥΠΑΡΧΟΥΝ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΥΔΡΟΓΕΙΟ ,ΜΕ ΜΟΡΦΩΣΗ, ΜΕ ΙΔΑΝΙΚΑ , ΔΥΤΙΚΟ ΠΑΓΚΟΣΜΙΟ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΜΟ, ΔΗΛΑΔΗ ΜΕ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΜΟ -ΔΙΑΒΑΣΤΕ ΣΤΑ ΑΓΓΛΙΚΑ ΤΗΝ ΕΚΠΛΗΚΤΙΚΗ ΑΝΑΛΥΣΗ -ΠΡΑΓΜΑΤΕΙΑ ,ΕΝΟΣ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΑΝΟΥ ΦΙΛΟΥ ..ΟΧΙ ΜΟΝΟ ΤΩΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΩΝ ΑΛΛΑ ΤΗΣ ΓΝΩΣΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΗΣ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑΣ ,ΤΗΣ ΣΚΕΨΗΣ ΤΟΥ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥ ΣΗΜΕΡΑ ... ΤΟΥ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥ ΤΟΥ 21 ΑΙΩΝΑ ... ΕΙΝΑΙ ΠΡΑΓΜΑΤΙΚΑ ΣΥΓΚΙΝΗΤΙΚΟ ΕΝΑΣ «ΔΙΚΟΣ »ΜΑΣ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΣ ΧΙΛΙΑΔΕΣ ΧΙΛΙΟΜΕΤΡΑ ΜΑΚΡΙΑ ΝΑ ΔΗΜΙΟΥΡΓΕΙ ΜΙΑ ΕΚΠΛΗΚΤΙΚΗ ΑΝΑΛΥΣΗ ΤΩΝ ΣΥΜΒΑΝΤΩΝ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΜΦΙΠΟΛΗ ΔΕΝ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΦΙΛΟΣ ΜΟΝΟ ΤΟΥ ΑΡΧΑΙΟΓΝΩΜΩΝΑ ,ΕΙΝΑΙ ΕΝΑΣ ΦΙΛΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΜΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΤΩΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΩΝ.....ΕΝΑΣ ΠΡΑΓΜΑΤΙΚΟΣ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΣ ...!!! ΔΗΜΙΟΥΡΓΗΣΕ 50 ΣΕΛΙΔΕΣ ΣΚΕΨΗΣ ...!!! ΤΟ ΒΑΣΙΚΟΤΕΡΟ ΟΛΩΝ ....                                                                    


ON THE “HFAISTION AT KASTA HILL” HYPOTHESIS:The Three Phases of a 7-year Saga regardingan ambitious “System of Monuments” at Amphipolis, Followed by a personal account and commentary on certain associated issues.
11/20/2014 
10:47 PM

By George Watkins 
(aka J. Peters, both literary pseudonyms)

Abstract

The tomb at Kasta Hill is an extraordinary Tomb-Monument, a marvel of architectonic creation. To fully understand it, one needs to transcend analysis of typical Macedonian tombs. A number of experts, archeologists and historians, have come forward trying to describe and explain this tomb, and its occupant, by resorting to references as to what Macedonian tombs are and contain. Such analysis
simply is grossly insufficient.This is a unique tomb built for a Macedonian of partial Athenian descent –
HFAISTION - who conquered Asia and Northern Africa, thus someone who died

more than just having experienced Macedonian life; one must expect then that his burial conformed to Macedonian customs up to a point. This isn’t a tomb built by a run-of-the-mill Macedonian provincial architect, or
by someone who just designed and built his own Macedonian tomb for him and his family, similar to the hundreds of such tombs found in Macedonia and Thraki. It was built by a distinguished (over the ages) Architect, for a person in the top hierarchy of the ancient World’s greatest Empire. To understand this tomb-monument one needs a totally different perspective. This angle I will try to provide with this Note.

Introduction.

This is a Note regarding a theoretical perspective on the intriguing archeological findings at Kasta Hill. It's composed in accordance with what I have seen, read and heard as of November 12, 2014. Many individuals' commentaries from various websites have contributed, in formulating the ideas presented here. I note especially the EMBEDOTIMOS' blog "ORFIKH KAI PLATONIKH THEOLOGIA" and its participants, "ARXAIOGNOMON", "XRONOMETRO" and "AMFIPOLHb.c.” at “amphipoli-news.com". Other sources include Amphipolis’ excavation related videos available from the site "ZOUGLA.gr".Sspecial reference is made to the video of Professor Mavrojannis lecture at the University of Cyprus of September 11, 2014 on the subject”

http://www.zougla.gr/greece/article/oli-i-parousiasi-gia-ton-tafo-tis-amfipolis-sto-panepistimio-tis- kiprou

These videosat Zougla.gr include presentations by many experts as well as non-experts on the subject. Formal references are not provided in this Note, as this is not intended at this stage as a formal scientific publication, but rather as a depository of some thoughts towards solving the puzzle at Amphipolis and Kasta Hill.

Let me make it clear at the outset, that this Note is not to answer the question “who’s buried in Kasta Hill”? It’s rather about describing the conditions surrounding the life span of this tomb, given that the person buried there is HFAISTION.It’s about explaining how, all things uncovered during the excavation there came to be. Nonetheless, after the announcement by the archeological team of November 12,2014, an additional piece of evidence was found inside the vault with the complete (unburned – an issue that will be addressed later) skeleton, whichin my view further strengthens the HFAISTION hypothesis, an assumption otherwise for this Note. 

This additional link to HFAISTIONhas to do with signs on the ivory ornaments unearthed and attributed to either the original sarcophagus (which in my view was looted and no longer in the tomb) or the wooden coffin used (according to the archeological team) to place
inside HFAISTION’s skeletal remains. These ivory decorations, found next to the skeletal bones, together with frieze patterns on the columns the two sphinxes rest on at the entrance and similar patterns also found on some EPISTYLIA in chamber #1 (the Karyatides – or Kores or Klodones or Mainadeschamber) of the tomb are all identical with decorative patterns found on the so-called “Alexander Sarcophagus” (a sarcophagus which does NOT belong to ALEXANDROS, and sometimes is been referred to as the “Laomedon sarcophagus”). Here I wish to emphasize that this sarcophagus is linked to HFAISTION, not only because he (HFAISTION) is depicted in two of the friezes there (together with ALEXANDROS), but also (and mainly) because it was HFAISTION (upon ALEXANDROS’ request as his deputy, and since he – ALEXANDROS - didn’t have time to devote to the search for a ruler of Sidon himself) who picked Abdalonymos as ruler of Sidon (the place the sarcophagus was uncovered in 1887) and for whom the sarcophagus was actually made. See:




It may be a pure coincidence of symbolic representation, but in my view a highly unlikely “simple coincidence”. However, this in and by itself doesn’t constitute proof that the tomb at Kasta Hill belongs to HFAISTION (or to ALEXANDROS for that matter), it’s just an additional indication.This sarcophagus has also a very strong Deinokratis (directly through him or his artists-associates at Kasta Hill) presence on it,a link which should be further explored. Its sizes (length, to width and to height ratios, its artwork and itsornamentation, its pediment and acrotiria) all suggest that either Deinokratis or a close artist associate (who accompanied Deinokratis at Kasta Hill) worked on that sarcophagus. Overall however, icons and symbols and their artwork and symbolism are not an area this Note will dwell much on, but some necessary comments on symbols will be made as needed. They certainly deserve many Masters Theses and Ph.D. Dissertations.

In exploring what it was uncovered and how these various elements comprising the tomb at Kasta Hill came about requires one to derive a narrative capable of replicating the broader historical and social conditions which led to this tomb’s specifications and configuration, its rise and its fall, its construction and demise in being buried for 23 centuries into oblivion. In setting up the stage to present the plot surrounding the dynamics of the various elements of this tomb, one can set various parameters and decide the extent to which the analyst will dip into the broader forces at work, forces which shaped Kasta Hill’s monument and its life span. This effort takes up Chapter I of this Note.

There are indeed a number of angles to this story, that go beyond explaining the specifics of the monument – specifics like for example “why is there a representation of Persephone’s abduction by Pluto in the mosaic found at the floor of this tomb’s chamber #2?” Broader issues, such as the prevailing demographics for instance at the time of ALEXANDROS’ death in 323 BC, have also a direct bearing on the life of this tomb and they are discussed in Chapter II. Some, like the impact of key personalitiesfound in this plot, including ALEXANDROS, HFAISTION and KASSANDROS, may fall well withinthe Kasta Hill scenario-specific narrative, being in effect central to the main plot. Kasta Hill demands that we revisit their life story and especially their legacy, as we focus on that critical 4th quarter of the 4th century BC. Theyare briefly discussed at the end under Chapter II as well. In that Chapter, a brief reference to some abstract theoretical-methodological issues when dealing with archeological and historical records is supplied too.

In a few words, this exploration can serve as a confirmation of the moral“whatever/whoever rises fast, dies fast as well”. Mere reflection on the mysteries at and magnificence of Kasta Hill and its sudden fading from collective memory fully confirms this moral, and the drama hidden in it. Evidently, it started as a formidably ambitious extraordinary undertaking; but in quick order it unceremoniouslyended up marred into oblivion. Astonishingly, granted its magnificence, no historical references to this unique monument are found over more than 23 centuries that have elapsed since its construction. This mere fact strongly hints that here we are dealing with a huge and bright “flash in the pan” of historic proportions, a celestial shooting star of some magnitude. This Note provides an explanation as to why such an impressive monument-tomb does not muster even a single citation in Pausanias (a historian who extensively reported on monuments and tombs throughout ancient Greece), in whose ATTIKA one simply comes across two references on Amphipolis none about Kasta Hill.

Many lessons might be learned by studying and analyzing Kasta Hill, besides the acquisition of knowledge about and understanding of this superb monument’s short life story.Let’s hope that the variety of messages emanating from Kasta Hill will resonate with all parties directly affected, no matter the specific geographical context. The messages coming to us from ALEXANDROS’ World might still be of import, at present. His everlasting legacy is still as strong as it was 23 centuries ago. ALEXANDROS, in conquering the then known Eastern World, had to face the same problems that any Empire had and has to face: ruling effectively over a very diverse set of peoples. The problems he had to confront in such an undertaking will be briefly addressed here, for the simple reason that their effects are not only directly but more importantly indirectly reflected on the monument at Amphipolis itself, my main focal point of analysis. As ALEXANDROS’ Empire rose and fell fast, immediately after his death, so apparently did HFAISTION and the monument at Kasta tumulus: all three traced parallel trails in both ascend and descend.


Some necessary foundational remarks.

1. In formulating the story, I tried to employ parsimony: the least possible number of strong hypotheses; I also use the least number of weak hypotheses, although some of these “weak” hypotheses are so weak that they could be considered as simply “common sense” self-evident type statements. I use the terms “strong” as an indication of “necessary” and “weak” as that of “sufficient” conditions for my suggested scenario. I drew to the maximum extent from crossed referenced historical sources. I attempted to explain the empirical findings from the archeological excavation to the extent I'm able to identify them from official photos made public and public announcements. Thus, I tried to
put persons and chronology to findings, and present a scenario which would replicate all that material to the utmost extent.

2. Being a firm believer in Occam’s razor Principle, I opted for the simplest possible explanation, trying to stay away from complicated reasoning, of course rejecting any "conspiracy" type theories.

3. I tried to look at the "Kasta Hill" subject from a comprehensive point of view, as a system, by considering not only that specific mound at that point in time, but rather its broader spatial and temporal context.

4. In this Note, I acceptedas two “primitives” (in the sense this term is used in the field of symbolic logic), the two "Peristeri hypotheses" that (a) this is a tomb/monument built in the period 325 - 300 BC; and (b) it was designed and built (at least initially) by Deinokratis. I narrow down the time frame from 324 to 316 BC of the first Peristeri (chronological) hypothesis; and I provide some reasoning to
strengthen the second Peristeri (Deinokratis) hypothesis. I dwell on a likely personality and role manifested by the initial Architect of the Kasta Hill monument, pointing to Deinokratis as being the architect of record indeed.In case however that either of these two “Peristeri hypotheses” prove erroneous, all bets are off. It should be noted also that my belief in those two hypotheses has been shaken a bit since late October 2014. At the very start of this excavation, around August 15th, 2014, these two assumptions sounded solid. Some statements however, made by the archeological team, unrelated to these two assumptions, during the course of the excavation, have brought these
two (seemingly unassailable) working hypotheses somewhat into question. The credibility of the archeological team in effect is now at stake in my view, especially following the release of the videos and related material by the ministry of culture. However, I still cling onto these two propositions as of today. But one can’t avoid noticing there have been contradictory and often inconsistent statements (not to mention failures by omission) by members of the Greek ministry of culture and the various members of the archeological team. These weaknesses became apparent especially when the videotaped evidence they presented conflicts with some visual (photo) evidence they published. Some of these selected photos for public release could be photo-shopped. As a result, I will consider but not take under full account the "where" the "how" and the "when" specific objects and other findings were pronounced as being “just” uncovered. Moreover, and unfortunately, there are many political aspects to this excavation, on which I won't elaborate here.




5. As the cornerstone of my narrative, and as my third “primitive”, I accept the Prof. Mavrojannis hypothesis that this is a tomb/monument intended for HFAISTION. Some archeologists and non- archeologists have at times since August 10th 2014 proposed HFAISTION as the likely resident of this tomb. I also have suggested a point (mentioned earlier) linking HFAISTION to this tumulus. But it must be noted in no uncertain terms that Professor Mavrojannis fully deserves the characterization of the proposition “the Mavrojannis HFAISTION hypothesis” because he was the firsthistorian Worldwide who provided historically documented evidence to back up his hypothesis with his September 11, 2014 lecture. For this reason, I will be referring in this Note to the “Mavrojannis HFAISTION hypothesis” from now on.Prof. Mavrojannis contends that there's historical evidence which clearly indicates that ALEXANDROS, following HFAISTION's death (in November 324 BC) ordered a tomb for HFAISTION in Macedonia. Moreover, he also contends, ALEXANDROS sent a significant sum of money for that purpose. Further, Prof. Mavrojannis suggests that this place couldn't have been at Aiyes, Pella or any place else in Macedonia, and it must have been at Amphipolis.However, here there’s a problem. On November 12, 2014 the archeological excavation revealed the existence ofmore or less scattered but unburned bones inside a gravebeneath the floor of chamber #3. As of this writing the identity of these bones, comprising apparently the complete skeleton of a single person, hasn’t been announced. However, if these bones are associated with either a woman or a single male aged older than his early
30s (HFAISTION’s age), or a non-Caucasian, or a person of a different time frame (with a burial other than the 325 - 320 BC window) obviously this hypothesis also loses strength. Why is there a problem though? Because historical evidence (Diodoros from Sicily) contends that HFAISTION was burned in Babylon according to Macedonian custom.

Mavrojannis in more recent subsequent presentations following the 11th September 2014 lecture contends that this report by Diodoros might not be as definite or clear as first thought. Till proof to the contrary, I will assume from now on that these are HFAISTION’s skeletal bones as Prof. Mavrojannis has suggested, and I will add that this lack of cremation may show that HFAISTION was buried as a Macedonian, but with customs up to a point Macedonian, since himself was not 100% Macedonian; in addition, he participated in the Asian and African conquests – thus great part of his life was spent outside Macedonia thus justifying to an extent why Macedonian custom may not have been followed 100% during his burial. This is my own explanation as to why HFAISTION was not cremated.No matter whose bones they turn out to be, some historical records will have to be purged or modified. This tomb is about to rewrite history books no matter its occupant.

Given all of the above, the three primitives, which constitute the backbone of my theoretical propositions, what follows is a possible narrative linking what we have seen so far from the excavation, to specific places, dates and persons.

 It's a scenario possibly tying up all these elements of the "Kasta Hill System". It constitutes a revision of my announcement published in ARXAIOGNOMON's Ellinondiktyo.blogspot.com on October 23, 2014 titled "The raided tomb of Hfaistion" by George Watkins (translated into Greek by the creator of the blog ARXAIOGNOMON). In concluding these introductory notes, it must be noted that, as all theoretical hypotheses go, this too has weak points ; by all means, I don’t claim infallibility.

A brief summary of theproposed “scenario of turbulence” at Kasta Hill.

Three distinct albeit brief phases (A, B, and C) are suggested in the turbulent life cycle of this fateful tomb. If I could accommodate the archeological findings and the associated scenario in only two Phases, I would.
 In effect, that was my intent in my October 23, 2014 Note in ARXAIOGNOMON’s blog. However, given the recent findings and their state as found by November 12, 2014 I think this isn’t possible.

In the narrative that follows I designate as sH a strong hypothesis on my part, and as wH a weak one. There are three weak hypotheses, and seven strong hypotheses with corresponding explanatory narrative. Both types contain historically documented facts. They can be broken down further into specific sub- hypotheses, something I plan to do, in a more systematic way at some future time when and if more evidence through excavation and further analysis confirms my three primitives.

For sure many theoretical propositions will emerge as many will try to understand and explain the multifaceted in space and time aspects of Kasta Hill. It's not very likely that one will dominate and push away all others. I suggest mine knowing fully well that, as in a “Quantum Superposition”, a number of plausible (and even impossible) explanations will coexist over some time to come. For Archeology (as does History) is a prime area, I submit, where some abstract notions of Quantum Mechanics can offer valuable theoretical insights. A little more on this angle of the story will be given at the very end of this Note in Chapter II.


The “Big Tease” announcement and its aftermath.

Since the tomb first came to light and attracted the World’s attention, early August 2014, many
‘guesses’ have been offered as to the actual occupant(s) of the Kasta Mound. To just guess the name(s) correctly isn’t the final or only question though. The quest is to get a handle of the unknown monument facing us, as uncovered by the recent excavation, and devise a valid explanatory story and a sequence of events that might replicate to the maximum extent the life cycle of this structure and its components in and around it. And that’s what I’m after with my story here: a persuasive tale with an accompanying moral.

It should be noted that what drew worldwide attention, interest and ensuing betting on the occupant(s) of this tomb was the “Big Tease” announcement by Peristeri made on August 10th, 2014about the discovery of a “huge in size and magnificent monument-tomb of the era immediately following the death of Alexander the Great, which obviously must be associated with a great General.” Although she qualified the statement by adding that“it was too early to associate any names to the tomb”, the impact of the statement was immediate, profound and unavoidable. That announcement caused a stir in the archeological world, and invited a torrent of interest by millions of people the World over. Scientists, historians, and experts from almost all scientific fields as well as ordinary people begun following developments of this excavation on a daily basis – an unprecedented event in the history of archeology.

I do not know the real intent by Peristeri in making thatinitial announcement, which explicitly contained in it the name of ALEXANDROS O MEGAS; but all of us know the end result of that statement, and it would be safe to say that Peristeri herself must had known the likely effect that statement would have had Worldwide as well. Only a naïve person would had underestimated the impact of that statement. As it may turn out, she was right, a great General’s tomb was located at Kasta Hill, and HFAISTION is a great Macedonian General of that era.However, apparently Peristeri knew about this monument-tomb since 2011; since then, she had three years in her disposal to come up with a more measured statement that would not contain the words “Megas Alexandros” in it. Maybe she has had second thoughts about it herself. I’m sure as of now that she will regret that statement sometime in her life.

That a “great General must be in that tomb” was an opinion Peristeri still espoused and repeated on November 12, 2014. Granted, she didn’t say “STRATHLATHS” in August 10th 2014 (and certainly not in November 2014), that would have directly implied ALEXANDROS. But I’m sure, it was not HFAISTION (or any other of the great Generals and Admirals ALEXANDROS had) in Peristeri’s mind, when she made that initial “Big Tease” statement back in August 2014. As a result of the “Big Tease”, many fell for the likelihood that this was the Holy Grail of Archeology – HIS tomb.

Overnight it gave rise to a cottage industry of scenarios about the nature proper of the Kasta Mound and its contents. From formal investigations to conspiracy theories, from archeologists to common folk, from forensic specialists to dentists, from geologists to chemical engineers, from linguists to photographers, from painters to coin experts, from stock brokers to city planners, you name it, a guessing game was ignited,the likes of which the World had never experienced before: “who might be the occupant(s) of that tomb-monument”?Some of these “experts” and “non-experts” paraded in front of Greek TV cameras and got their Andy Warhol 15-minute fame.

 Everyone feltas being a part to this extraordinary event, a participant to this discovery. This must have been one of the positives of the “Big Tease” announcement – as so many people from all walks of life the World over made a contribution to solving this riddle. And this Note is just an example of the frantic activity that followed the “Big Tease” Peristeri announcement of August 10th, 2014. ALEXANDROS, even 23 centuries later, still fascinates this World. As of November 12. 2014 Peristeri still hasn’t opened her cards, as to who exactly this “great General” might be. I will, however, as I feel even more certain after this critical announcement of November 12, 2014 that HFAISTION was in fact buried there; and I have a story that tells how and when and why he ended up in the depths of Kasta tumulus.




CHAPTER I. The monument of Kasta Hill as a part of a Monuments System at the Amphipolis Region.

Phase A. Deinokratis under Antipatros: November 324 - 319 BC. November 324 BC – July 323 BC: The “God HFASTION” period of the Monument.

The facts and a question. First, what we know as basic facts from the historical record: upon HFAISTION's death (November 324 BC), ALEXANDROS summons Deinokratis to Babylon to build there a magnificent monument for HFAISTION's cremation according to Macedonian custom. In view of the November 12, 2014 announcement by the archeological team that unburned bones were found in the tomb at Kasta tumulus, one must immediatelyquestion the historical record that HFAISTION was “cremated at Babylon according to Macedonian custom”. Diodoros from Sicily has reported on this issue. It seems that the cremation process and huge building associated with it, as suggested by Diodoros, isn’t likely an event that actually took place in Babylon (something that Prof. Mavrojannis also now suggests). This critical inaccuracy, if indeed proves to be so, brings into question the reliability of “historical records”,and this general issue will be analyzed more extensively later in this Note, under chapter II.

wH.1: There and then, ALEXANDROS gives Deinokratis the order and the commission for an Amphipolis monument/tomb for HFAISTION. Deinokratis becomes in effect The GOD-KING's Architect. His prestige and authority obviously reach their peak then. Vitruvius tells us that Deinokratis sported an impressive and dominating presence with a rhetoric and delivery to match it. His grandiose schemes of architectonic creations would go comfortably with both his appearance and talk. Indeed, he was a person people carefully and at awewould listen to, even ALEXANDROS. His wild imaginative design creations only a GOD-KING the magnitude of an AMUN-RA could tame. And that grandiosity manifested itself at Amphipolis.

wH.2: One of the following four possibilities exist for the money and HFAISTION's body to be hauled to Amphipolis: Krateros, Perdikas, Deinokratis or Aristonous. Who actually did bring back to Amphipolis HFAISTION's body isn't that important for the story, although the timing of its arrival at Amphipolis is somewhat critical. Since HFAISTION’s unburned bones were found in the Kasta Hill tomb, most likely Deinokratis was the carrier of HFAISTION’s body back to Amphipolis, possibly accompanied there by Aristonous, carrier of ALEXANDROS’s money to pay for the monument-tomb. A further note here is in order about the Diodoros reference of a magnificent monument to house HFAISTION’s cremation in Babylon that apparently never saw the light of day.

Maybe either ALEXANDROS himself or some powerful General in his staff (could be Perdikas) must have found it unrealistically extravagant and killed it, or kept delaying its construction. This failure to complete that structure must have registered as a possible warning for Deinokratis, but not as an impediment for what he had in mind for HFAISTION in Macedonia, at Amphipolis, away from all this militaristic bureaucracy of Babylon. Maybe, he told them ib (in) Babylon what he wanted to do at Amphipolis, and then they decided to stop the Babylon monument since the Amphipolis (and anyway final) monument was to be constructed. No matter who’s the actual occupant at Kasta Hill, the historical record will be amended.




sH.1: Amphipolis, the huge construction site.
Winter of 323 BC. Deinokratis assembles his staff. The best from all over the Empire converge to Amphipolis: engineers, architects, masons, artists of all types, surveyors, managers, as well as labor - free men and slaves from Asia and Africa. Deinokratis the GOD- KING's Architect and City Planner, Alexandria's SXEDIASTHS (331 BC), draws both his Architectural Master Plan for the tomb, and a Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the whole area. Management schedules and detail designs and drawings for this project are drawn by his assistant architects under his strict directions. Meantime, he sets up his construction site at the northern suburbs of Amphipolis and at his marble quarry (or quarries, as they probably were more than one location there marble was extracted from) on the island of Thassos, both sites certainly supervised by assistant managers.

His immediate staff must number at least two dozen, and the total labor at his disposal for this project may be in the hundreds if not thousands. As the Architect of the Empire, he has been commissioned to undertake the most grandiose Plan in the history of Macedonia, for the person who's the closest to ALEXANDROS, his XILIARXOS and ETAIROS, the second most important person in the Empire, the person ALEXANDROS wanted elevated to deity next to himself the GOD-KING. One needs to appreciate the grand scale of this undertaking at that time, its grand frame of reference, in order to understand Amphipolis and Kasta Hill during Winter 323 BC.

Money is now no obstacle, simply put it's not an issue and Deinokratis’ imagination and creativity run rampant. ALEXANDROS had the riches of the East at his disposal, and Deinokratis was given in effect a free hand and a blank check. ALEXANDROS was at the zenith of his power, Deinokratis at his prime of creativity. But Deinokratis needs in situ political support, ALEXANDROS is in Babylon, and in Macedonia Antipatros is in charge.

There's some historical evidence that ALEXANDROS' bodyguard Aristonous (a Perdikas and Olympias ally) by 322/1 BC appears as the City Manager of record at Amphipolis. It's possible that he was sent there by ALEXANDROS before July 323 BC.
Although he is formally under Antipatros (the strong man of Macedonia at the time) Aristonous' real boss in Macedonia is Olympias. His role, although secondary, might be of some interest in what follows July 323 BC.

We have through him a possible custodian of both HFAISTION's body and the money given by ALEXANDROS for HFAISTION's tomb. He is now the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of this operation at Amphipolis. Under his full political and economic support, Deinokratis is in an extreme almost frantic pace, in a race against time to complete this elaborate project.
 He draws his plans and assembles all his staff so that by beginning of Spring 323 BC he has everything in place, all his ducks in a row, for actual construction to commence. Meantime, an urban explosion is under way.
The population of Amphipolis has ballooned, the city is now experiencing an unprecedentedin-migration flow. The place takes the look of a huge workstation. In and around Amphipolis slum areas spawn as a result of this construction activity, and temporary shelters house slaves and low echelon workers at the site. Housing within the city of Amphipolis proper and its immediate suburbs becomes scarce, its labor force explodes as upper echelon managerial workers in Deinocratis’ army of labor seek dwelling accommodations and associated services. Parenthetically, this graphic narrative is also in response to some analysts who contend that this is a tomb built in secrecy, its construction going unnoticed - a virtual impossibility.
A huge boost to the local economy, this new and large scale construction activity inflates the local housing market, and the price of housing (and other commodities) shoots through the roof. Land is purchased at the Northern area of Amphipolis for the monuments to be constructed, and of course the price of land explodes. A multiplier effect sets in, affecting all services and industry in the major Metropolitan now Amphipolis region.

We are witnessing, in the first half of 323 BC unprecedented urban growth there, the likes of which Macedonia has never witnessed before. Meantime, in the island of Thassos, the quarries’ land owners see the price of their product, marble, shooting through the roof as well, let alone land prices there. Amphipolis becomes a paradise for speculators, something equivalent to the 1849 gold- rush in California.

sH.2: Why is the tomb at Kasta Hill? I will not address the question as to why Amphipolis was chosen as the place to construct the tomb; it's something that both Prof. Mavrojannis and the archeological team have already adequately addressed, and I accept their reasons without having much to add except by pointing out certain Urban Planning and Transportation related corroborative issues and narrative. No doubt, the existence of the corridor Amphipolis-Filippoi played a major role in this decision, as this corridor was becoming a second growth pole (along religious, cultural, social, and economic dimensions) attracting growth away  from Pella.

The expansion of Macedonia into the broader Thraki region was an integral part of such spatial development at that time, the second half of the 4th century BC, the Golden Age of Macedonia under FILIPPOS II and ALEXANDROS III. Amphipolis’ proximity to Strymonas, the Aegean Sea, and a number of resources (Pangaion, in both metals and timber)obviously played a major role in this decision to pick Amphipolis for this project. Being the major Mint for the Helladic monetary sphere at that time, was also a key reason why Amphipolis was chosen.
 But here I shall address the "Why at Kasta Hill?" question. In so doing, I'll take first a comprehensive view of the locale, and also take a cut at a possible Deinokratis' grand INTENT and vision to highlight this particular area, so that a broader perspective can be obtained. It will one to the unavoidable conclusion that indeed we are dealing with Deinokratis as the Architect and City Planner of record.



(a) Deinokratis' Comprehensive Land Use Plan: the ALAXANDROS-HFAISTION Monuments Complex of a Major GOD-KING and a Minor God, his XILIARXOS.

(a.1) Looking at the map, both current and of that era, one clearly sees that Kasta Hill is at the closest proximity to the navigable river Strymonas. Due to the ground's morphology and the resulting Strymonas meandering, Kasta Hill comes closer to it (about 1.5 kilometers) than any other physical
mound (except Hill 133, which I'll address momentarily). There's no evidence that the flow of Strymonas close to Kasta Hill has considerably changed over the 23 centuries that have elapsed since then. The geomorphology of the area hasn't radically altered this proximity, except possibly at the margins. The flow of Strymonas has changed South of Kasta Hill since then, running East of Amphipolis:
http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/83/0a/d1ba1742571da0c04b11d93ad561.jpg
It’s found in:  http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/image/L0031928.html




If anything, as the above map from Thucydides shows, it’s likely that this physical proximity was higher back then, than now. Thus Kasta Hill enjoyed locational advantages for the transport by boat of all marble slabs from Thassos. Marble, along with limestone, was the primary natural resource used for the tomb's construction. With limestone quarries nearby, Kasta Hill thus represents the minimum transport cost site regarding the input factors in the production process in the whole vicinity of the then Amphipolis Metropolitan Area.

(a.2) Amphipolis was by no means (as already mentioned) an insignificant town then. Its Akropolis enjoyed a view encompassing the cross roads of the Royal Road linking FILIPPOI with Pella,
the intersection of the Ennea Odoi, the bridge over Strymonas (mentioned by Thoukydidis, its Eastern remnants with a gate discovered by Lazaridis in 1977), the busy Port from which the Campaign to Asia was launched and the Macedonian fleet set sail, and of course the Pangaion Mountain Range. It sported a view second to none in magnificence, beauty and history. Deinokratis was fully aware (as a City Planner) of these locational advantages Amphipolis enjoyed. What he had to do is to pull them together and formulate his Comprehensive Land Use plan to take full advantage of them all. And he did, in a way that only a Deinokratis would. Along the road from the minimum transport cost point at the river’ s edge of Strymonas to Kasta Hill, along the way to the City of Amphipolis, he drew an uphill rolling access road to a Junction point, from where one could stroll both around Kasta Hill and also Mound 133. I'll come back to this junction point, as I now present the “Monuments System” Deinokratis intended to build.

(a.3) Mound 133: Here is a more fundamental reason, in my hypothesis, as to why Kasta Hill was picked by Deinokratis for HFAISTION's tomb. At the same time, this is the key reason as to why I think Deinokratis is behind Kasta Hill’s monument-tomb. A simple check with Google Earth shows due west of Kasta Hill and in just a short distance from it rises an un-naturalin shape Mound, Hill 133.

Back in the 1960s even Lazaridis pointed out that this likely is a man-shaped structure. Kasta Hill is very close to Mound 133. Kasta Hill is a round shaped, largely artificial mound; Hill 133 looks likea truncated pyramid, a most likely artificially shaped structure as well, even today what has remained of it. Deinokratis intent (I suggest) was to EVENTUALLY make that pyramid structure ALEXANDROS monument and tomb, the Monument to the GOD-KING.

Moreover, there’s some historical evidence to suggest that ALAXANDROS (when giving the order to Deinokratis to build a tomb for HFAISTION in Macedonia), also confided to him that he wanted to be buried close to HFAISTION upon his death. Now the relative magnitude of these two sites becomes apparent. To Deinokratis, Kasta Hill was big enough for HFAISTION, the Minor God and XILIARXOS (Chief of Alexander’s Army) but too little for the EMPEROR the MAJOR-GOD ALEXANDROS.

 On the other hand, Mound 133 (with a square base of about 660 meters on each side) was big enough to accommodate his client, the richest and most powerful leader-GOD the Western World had known, far more powerful than any Egyptian Pharaoh was. ALEXANDROS’ monument for DEINOKRATIS had to exceed in size, grandeur and splendor that of ANY Pharaoh . Mound 133 would fit the bill, it would make the big pyramid of Giza look small by comparison. Moreover, this duo of monuments would be next to the River of the Empire - Macedonia's Nile River, Strymonas.

And that would dwarf the Giza Plateau in splendor. For among all these advantages Amphipolis enjoyed relative to the Giza Plateau, in addition there was a mountain in its skyline - Pangaion. That was Deinokratis vision for Amphipolis, the new Sacred City of the Empire, the New Thebes and Luxor at a bigger scale and more glamorous than any place in Egypt or anywhere in the Empire, at the OMFALO of the Empire - Macedonia, the birthplace of the Major GOD-KING.

Although apparently some work was done on Mound 133, at the end of Deinokratis’ tenure at Amphipolis the grand scheme didn't go very far. But in my view, these two mounds constitute the basic components of the “System of Monuments” Deinokratis designed and started to build there.Deinokrtis was a pioneer Architect back then – he conceived the notion of working with a landscape, shaping the natural geological formations to anthropomorphic configurations.

Historical records indicate (Vitruvius) that he proposed one such scheme to ALEXANDROS. Here, we have morphological evidence to suggest he was planning something similar – to shape the natural landscape at a grand scale.



This is why, in the grandeur of Hill 133, I see Deinokratis as being the architect of record. But there’s more to this Monuments System. Within this context, a brief look into the two diagonals of the square base of the truncated pyramid is worth taking; the one which currently has a SW to NE orientation seems quite parallel to the SW to NE orientation of the radius at the point of entrance of the Kasta Hill mound. Given that the position of the North has changed since then, it’s quite safe to presume that both of these axes were pointing very close to north back 23 centuries ago.




It would be worthwhile to test this hypothesis. If this is the case, then here we have another confirmation of Moud 133 being a part to the Deinokratis Grand Plan for the system of Monuments there, north of Amphipolis. It is reminded that all three pyramids at the Giza Plateau have parallel axes of their square bases. A final point regarding the orientation of the SE – NW (the alleged east – west) axis of the truncated pyramid’s square basis: its extension cuts almost in half the circular base of Kasta Hill, going through its center.



(b) Deinokratis' HFAISTION's tomb/monument Master Plan for Kasta Hill, and Deinokratis’ Module.

wH.3: The Grand Entrance that was never built. In my view, the two components that hold the key tounderstanding the Kasta Hill monument'sfortunes and course over time are primarily its entrance, and secondarily its marble double-leaf door.
I’ll take these two elements under scrutiny as the scenario unfolds. By looking at the monument excavated so far at Kasta Hill, one immediately asks: why is the entrance at this specific point of the perimeter? Why place the whole monument at an angle to the radius at that point? Why so long (about 25 meters)? Why so wide (about 4.5 meters)? And finally, why so high? Inside the tomb, the "current" height is about 6.5 meters on the average from its floor to the top of the arched ceiling, and about 8.50 meters from the bottom of the vault to the ceiling of the crimson chamber (chamber #3, the last chamber of the tomb).
I emphasize "current" because I contend that Deinokratis may have had a different ceiling in mind when he designed it. Some answers to these architecture drawn questions I may have later, when I address the modular structure of the tomb. I also contend that Deinokratis didn't end up finishing the construction of this monument, another architect did, and certainly Deinokratis didn’t intend what we now see as an “entrance” to be the actual entrance into this monument - more on these points later. In answering though the logical queries I just posted, one can safely make the following assumptions:

(b.1) Deinokratis and the surveyors determined the exact and optimum location, given the size of the monument/tomb he wanted to build; it was the result of the imposed constraints and challenges upon them from the geology, landscape as well as the history of the natural tumulus, given the multiple objectives Deinokratis had for the tomb. Let's look at these objectives first;
Outside the tomb/monument, the aim was to transform a natural mound into a man-shaped tumulus with an imposing but yet gentle curve, which would distinguish it from as far as the City of Amphipolis' Akropolis to the South, the Pangaion Mountain Range to the East, and as far as West and North the eye could see. Deinocratis in all likelihood had estimated the volume of the spherical dome this tumulus would have and I expect that studies will be undertaken on this as well as other measurements of interest associated with this tumulus. Inside that Mound,
Deinokratis decided to put the tomb with thepreviously listed approximate sizes, and orient it as close as possible to the then North. We do not exactly know these dimensions yet, as we don’t know the exact location of the entrance as found (they haven’t been provided).

The archeological team hasn't made them public, as only approximate sizes and orientations have been offered; thus it would be risky for anyone to make suggestions now as to their implied exact relationships. For sure, they were not random. Specifically, length, area, and volume measures are evidently linked to the modular basis of the tomb. More on this later. By inserting such a tomb into the natural Mound, he wanted to minimize work effort in carving the natural rock structure and minimize the amount of soil needed to shape the final skyline of the Hill.

But Deinokratis was also aware of the history of this Mound as a place where burials of old times were to be found. In fact Lazaridis in the 1960s did come across archaic era tombs there. The location of HFAISTION's burial site shouldn't interfere with these ancient Macedonian ancestral tombs. Thus, in consultation with his geologists, Deinokratis probably used a natural schism in that Hill, where we now find the entrance, to accommodate the tomb.
The access to the tomb road level was probably a bit higher than the intended floor of the tomb, and a ramp was probably put there to allow workers' conduit for the needed excavation and shaping of the tomb inside the Mound.




(b.2) The Amphipolis Lion. The archeological team has suggested that on top of Kasta Hill Deinokratis intended to put the "Amphipolis Lion". A drawing by the team's architect, Lefanzis, has been offered to the public along these lines. Further, and in support of the proposition that Deinokratis is the architect of record for the Kasta Hill tomb, it has been suggested by Peristeri and Lefanzis that there are some measures associating this lion statue to the tumulus and then to a "Deinokratis number” or “ratios" including the Hill’s perimeter of about 497/8 meters. I do not espouse these contentions.

A lion was indeed to be made and was crafted to mark the site. Although never assembled in antiquity, it was made piece by piece to be assembled sometime in the future when the “System of Monuments” at Amphipolis would be completed. But it was not to be put on top of the Kasta tumulus. It simply is too big, disproportionally high and too "heavy" for this gentle Hill. In my view, the "Amphipolis Lion" was to be installed at the "Junction Point" I referred to earlier, marking the joint where the visitor would veer on one side, East, towards HFAISTION's tomb, and West towards ALEXANDROS's intended monument (Mound 133).

A victim to the historical events following its carving from Thassos marble, the confluence of events conspired so that the monument was never finished, assembled, and installed at its planned location. The whole site was never developed as Deinokratis intended. A glaring witness to the whole System of Monument's fortunes is the condition and location of the statue's pieces as they have been found along the riverside of Strymonas.

It should be mentioned, that in this imagery by Deinokratis of an area-wide monuments complex reminding one of Egypt's Giza plateau (and intended to surpass it) there's a stand-alone Nile-gazing Sphinx equivalent here: the stand-alone Strymonas-gazing Amphipolis Lion. This Junction point, punctuated by the Lion was to be the place for Worship of both ALEXANDROS and HFAISTION. In my view, it is in this context that the Lion’s presence there must be approached and appreciated.

(c) The tomb's perimeter. A marble-covered, 497/8-meter long, about 3-meter high perimeter wall was designed to both define the perfect circle of the tumulus and at the same time protect the artificial part of the mound to slide down and erode in time. The evidence we have is that this perimeter was in fact shaped at its intended exact location, but its cover with marble slabs was never completed.

The archeological team suggested that some of its slabs were taken from the monument by the Romans to be used for a local dam. I do not espouse this hypothesis. Instead I contend that the marble pieces used for the dam were just taken from the riverside where many were left unused although intended for the monument.

The condition we found the monument in August 2014 was the condition that the monument was left unfinished, abandoned and sealed in Strymonas' soil in 316 BC. A reasonable question is whether Deinokratis planned only to put a monument-tomb just 25 meters in length into a tumulus with a 497/8-meter perimeter. We will probably never know for sure what exactly Deinokratis intended for the whole mound. But he must have planned more than just this tomb for it. However, by
321 BC Deinokratis may have had the space, but he had run out of time as we shall see to complete
whatever else he planned not only for Kasta Hill but for the whole monuments system at the area North of Amphipolis.

A comment must also be made about the source and amount of limestone used in Kasta Hill, since much has been said about the huge quantity of marble (and its source) Deinokratis used for HFAISTION’s tomb. Well, it’s obvious that a much higher quantity of limestone was employed and the source of this limestone hasn’t been made clear or elaborated much by the archeological team,
although it should. Kasta Hill must have presented locational advantages as to that limestone quarry or quarries as well.




(d) The points made in this section refer to the tomb-monuments architecture, and are independent of the person it was intended for or ended up housing. Deinokratis designed a specific size tomb, and found the optimum point of entrance and the optimum angle to a radius (arch) to place that tomb ,
and as pointed out earlier the radius at that point 23 centuries ago could have a South-North orientation (it doen’t seem to me that the orientation of the tomb itself had the South to North orientation) given that (I) he wanted the closest possible North-South axis for the entrance facing the Akropolis of Amphipolis; (ii) Deinokratis wanted the closest possible East-West axis for his chamber of the mosaic i.e., the movement of the chariot to be from East towards the West, from Filippoi to Pella, from this World to the Underworld, as Pluto was abducting Persephone rolling on a chariot taking her from Kasta Hill towards Mound 133 under Hermes’ watchful eyes; this beautiful mosaic was the imaginary link of the two tombs, Kasta Hill and Mound 133, the link between HFAISTION and ALEXANDROS; the mosaic was indeed the highlight of the tomb’s imagery and symbolism, its climatic apotheosis; (iii) he determined the width (about 4.5 meters) of the whole tomb's corridor simply by the length size of the mosaic (and not the other way around); although the ministry of culture and the archeological team didn’t talk much about the maiandric marvel of this mosaic (for apparently some ridiculous political reasons) the strength of the mosaic, again in my view, lies on its fantastic triple maiandric frame structure – simply manifested by the mere area it takes as a frame to the area of the mosaic’s main icon and the advanced geometry and algebra involved in its design and pattern of motion along all four of its sides; it can’t be under-emphasized how sophisticated the math of this monument is – and I expect Ph.D. dissertations to emerge out of simply this element of Kasta tumulus’ monument.



(iv) Deinokratis built the tomb from the bottom up in plain daylight, and from the inside out, starting the architectural finishing (marble cover and floor finish) with the mosaic floor containing chamber; chamber #2 was the first one to have its floor done and its walls covered by marble; (v) he wanted to place the final chamber (the crimson chamber) inside the rock, making it inaccessible to possible tomb raiders from all sides except the double-leaf marble door of the mosaic chamber;chamber #3 was to be completed last and then the roof was to be added; (vi) the dimensions and pattern of the marble slabs inside the monument (ORTHOMARMAROSH) defined their size outside, and thus the total perimeter (497/8 meters) of the artificial-natural mound; (vii) the double-leaf marble door is the biggest in size and most heavy of all doors found thus far in any Macedonian tomb, befitting the biggest in size Macedonian tomb ever constructed.

Each leaf weighs approximately one and one half to two tons. Both leaves were lowered inside on the rails from above. The archeological team found fragments of this door - it was obviously rammed and shattered; the exact location, shape, sizes, fractures and texture of its sides would tell a lot about the history of this tomb and its past possible raids, looting, and vandalism it may have suffered.




What was offered to the public by the team of excavators is unfortunately very inadequate to answer in full these questions - but hints can be obtained as to its tortured and turbulent past. The archeological team has suggested that the door’s fracture was due to “natural causes” (earthquakes) or even outdoor bombings. I do not accept either of these two proposals, since I find next to impossible for the door to be fractured the way it did by either of these two causes, while being fully submerged into compacted sandy soil. Simple structural mechanics do not support such an interpretation of nature caused or man-made events.
 Instead, I contend, this door together with the tomb's entrance offer the keys to decoding this monument’sdeep mystery and the violent part in its life cycle. Its broken parts reveal to a large extent the existence of three distinct Phases to this monument as presented here.

Its construction is associated with Phase I, its installment and closure (sealing) marks Phase II, and its wrecking cups Phase III as we shall see in more detail later. (viii) To repeat, all possible sizes inside the tomb, including the marble door’s components, have measures that are definitely not random, as one would expect from an Architect the stature of Deinokratis, although it's very difficult to exactly identify these measures now with the data/photos available to us so far; I’m sure they will be the subject of extensive future study.

These measures, including the sizes of the double-leaf marble door are linked to the building’s module. (ix) Obviously, every single figure and representation and symbol inside that tomb has a meaning and a purpose, but I don't wish to elaborate on symbolism, since decoding symbols is quite subjective and not particularly central to the main issues covered here. But I don't wish on the other hand to underestimate their import either. (x) Finally, it's my view that Deinokratis INTENDED to have this monument accessible to people (I wouldn’t go as far as saying “accessible to the public”, but certainly to a few persons in high privilege, certainly persons belonging to the various Macedonian religious elites), up till the marble door, because he considered Kasta Hill to be a "Monument-Temple" for a God (HFAISTION) and not just a "tomb".

And indeed up till that point inside the monument, the building does have the design, allure, and look of a Temple, befitting a place of worship, the inner sanctum of esoteric religious mysticism. So much so that many analysts (see for example Yiorgos Lekakis) have suggested the monument was used just as a Temple, and others have looked at it as a Treasury Department (justifiably so, as many Banks and Treasury Departments do try to acquire the look of Temples!).

However, these interpretations lasted up till the Macedonian double-leaf marble door was uncovered, and that didn’t leave any doubt that this was indeed a Macedonian tomb. (xi) Since no architect would leave its entrance unprotected from the elements (rain and snow), as well as potential looters, Deinokratis must have had in mind a magnificent and imposing grand entrance, to match the rest of this tomb. (xii) Deinokratis never intended to seal the tomb and the mound. If he wanted to seal the tomb, an architect of his caliber would have found better ways to do it - to rival the way the architects of the Giza Pyramids had it done: he had millennia of architectural experience he could build on.

 He knew Egypt rather well, he taught the World back then how to build cities and walls and monuments. He definitely could have done a more decent job, than the agent who sealed the monument the humble way we found it sealed today.(xiii) The largest (orthogonal) rectangle’s horizontal base of the marble coverage (ORTHOMARMAROSH) at the base of the two Karyatides in chamber #1 show the module(in terms of length) on the basis of which the total length (width, and Deinokratis’ intended tomb’ height) inside and outside of the tomb were determined.





 The length to height ratio seems close to the golden rule. Thus, the length of the rectangle at the Karyatides’ base contains the modular measure used by Deinocratis to derive his building’s dimensions. It is shown to the visitor right there as the basis where his two Karyatides stand. I’ll call this length the “unit length of the module”, A very accurate measure of that length (and thus height – both constituting the so- calledsurface grid or KANNABOS in architecture) will allow someone to determine as multiples possibly all linear measures in this magnificent tomb.

Since detail views of the tomb’s floor plan as well total views of all its walls have not been supplied, it is not possible to make definitive statements about the two-dimensional size(s) of this grid pattern. I’ll expect this grid to not only be the surface pattern used to derive the inside thetomb’s surfaces but also it is manifested in the rectangles of its perimeter marble covered wall, as well as the envisioned height of the man-made tumulus.

The exquisite work done by Deinokratis at the Kasta Mound, in my view,deserves granting this genius the title of “A Great Architect-City Planner”. In combination with his other accomplishments throughout his life, he deserves to be considered as the greatest architect of the 4th century BC. Vitruvius, while writing about Deinokratis, was not aware of this magnificent monument (let alone Deinokratis’ total Plan for the Monuments System at Amphipolis he had conceived). I have little doubt that, had Vitruvius known about this Project, we would be willing to award such a recognition to his fellow distinguished Architect.

sH.3: Deinokratis’ unfinished job: Fall 323 – 321 BC. “HFAISTION the Hero” but no longer the God now.The huge earthquake. It was July 323 BC, work at Amphipolis' Kasta Mound was feverish, when the jolt that shook the known World, the unthinkable, did happen. ALEXANDROS unexpectedly dies.

An earthquake of the greatest magnitude shakes the Empire, from East to West. The most wide and deepest power vacuum in the history of the World hits the Empire. Political fortunes are made and lost at a blink of the eye, and so are economic, social, religious and cultural fortunes.

The Dark (literally and figuratively) Age of ALEXANDROS' succession begins. Turmoil, social and political instability are evident now. A 7-year turbulent period of murder, mayhem and fratricidal infighting sets in. The ensuing conflicts have horrendous long-run implications, ripple effects raging and ranging over centuries to come.

They weaken the Empire, rendering Macedonia and most of ALEXANDROS’ Empire unable little more than a century later to withstand the Roman advance. At the very epicenter of that horrendous shock is now Pella (where septuagenarian Antipatros is in the midst of an open power struggle with
 Olympias), and Babylon of course, where allmilitary leaders and possible presumptive successors of ALEXANDROS are found except Krateros.




He with Polyperchon are on their way to Macedonia bringing back some 11,000 veterans together with a lot of money. The earthquake that shook the empire shook also the tomb at Amphipolis. Overnight, HFAISTION's legacy and fortunes start to evaporate, as his mentor and ONLY backer is now dead. HFAISTION's successor Perdikas is appointed Regent of the Empire and guardian of Philip III and Alexandros IV under the 323 BC Babylon agreement among ALEXANDROS' Generals. But this agreement wasn't to last long. In fact that very Empire ALEXANDROS built in just eleven years (crossing Hellespont in 334 BC) was beginning to unravel.

How could the monument Deinokratis envisioned go unscathed from such a cataclysmic event? A brief note here regarding the time lapse or delays in communications during the second half of the 4th century BC seems in order. How fast did news travel back then? Although not much is known about the mail routes of that era, it must have been quick and efficient; safe supply lines are a sine qua non for a successful expansion and support being part of the necessary infrastructure of an Empire.

It must be assumed that the minimum transport time(and safest) pathway from Babylon to travel or send/receive messages to/from Macedonia was the following: the overland trip from Babylon to the port of Sidon (or Tyre), then by boat to Pydna’s port and then by land to Pella. An alternative route would be of course from Sidon (or Tyre) to the port of Amphipolis and then inland using the Royal Road to Pella. Such a trip by land and sea, depending on the time of year and weather conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, covering approximately a distance of over 2,000 kilometers would take (at a possible 200 to 300 kilometers a day) about a week to ten days at most, thus making any timetables mentioned here feasible. The study of ALEXANDROS’ Empire infrastructure, in supplies and communications, would make a good Thesis for a student of History. Within this context, the port city of Sidon (and thus of its ruler Abdalonymos) as a central node in the communications network of the Empire attains some promiance.


(b) The slowdown. Actually immediately after the death of ALEXANDROS the prospects for the Monuments System Deinokratis put in place at Amphipolis looked paradoxically brighter now. Deinokratis may have thought that now he had ALEXANDROS’ body coming to Amphipolis to be placed inside Hill 133 as he had planned possibly with Olympias agreement and encouragement. But this expectations were short lived, as the course of events soon would dictate a drastic change in these plans.
The earthquake of ALEXANDROS' death brings about a drastic change to the building under
construction at Amphipolis, as Deinokratis' sponsor is no longer alive and he has to rely on someone else for continuing funding and political support. The power base of the Empire's Architect is to an extent still there but eroding. Aristonous is still the City Manager, but Antipatros is the strong man of Pella.
 Things aren't quite the same, human relationships aren't the way they used to be before the earthquake of ALEXANDROS’s death. Obviously, the pace of construction must have been affected. But let's take a look at the monument excavated at Kasta Hill, to see whether we could exactly pinpoint some of thesedrastic and not so drastic changes from the evidence uncovered thus far.

(c) The change in quality within and outside the monument, and the unfinished business. What do we now know about the two sites at Northern Amphipolis, on and inside Kasta Hill and on Mound 133? Let's focus on the monument intended for HFAISTION first, where we can witness from the uncovered elements of the tomb so far a noticeable change in quality.
We clearly see that the ceiling, the staircase leading down into the monument, the crimson chamber (both in its walls and floor), the two limestone diaphragmatic walls, and finally the sealing of the monument with sandy soil from Strymonas are obviously far inferior in quality, luxury and artwork than the rest of it.

The Sphinxes, the floor of chamber #1, the Karyatides, the mosaic floor of chamber #2, the marble coverage of the interior walls in chambers #1 and #2, the marble double-leaf door, and the marble ceiling slab with the RODAKAS under it in chamber #1 are well above in workmanship and art levels than the rest of the monument. The limestone used isn't well worked out, and the use of marble in the construction process at some point abruptly ends altogether.

(d) We have no concrete evidence that the lion was ever assembled and placed where ever it was intended to be installed. It lay down, in all likelihood, where ever it was first uncovered in the 1910s.

(e) We have no concrete evidence, as already mentioned, that the perimeter was ever finished being covered by marble slabs as intended; only parts of it are. Which parts are finished we don’t know, as the archeological teams hasn’t made that information public.

(f) We of course have no evidence that an entrance to the monument to protect and show it off was ever constructed. The current "entrance" with the two sphinxes and a staircase leading down into the monument isn't really an entrance. Notice that the first thing the archeological team did as they came across this "entrance" was to cover it and protect it from the elements and unwelcome visitors.
They also carried out extensive work to prevent runoff water from entering the monument. If the entrance as we see it today was the actual entrance and was left unprotected either now or back then, it would turn the monument at least into an outdoors swimming pool in case of a flash flood.
 No architect worth his reputation would create an entrance the way we found it in August 2014. Hints as to the marvel of the real entrance Deinokratis intended for Kast Hill may be found in the form of the abandoned head the archeological team came across when digging into the crimson chamber. More on this later.




(g) Now let's take a brief look at Mound 133: it looks like the perfect square was carved at the base; two of the four sloping sides of the frustum were straightened out; its top was leveled off and flattened -all that we can easily see even today with a Google Earth search. But that was about it. The Northernside of the truncated pyramid was never filled.

Probably, that's all Deinokratis could get his labor force to do, in the short time period he was in charge. I don't expect anything inside to have been crafted to hold ALEXANDROS body as a tomb. Others now were custodians of ALEXANDROS body (Ptolemaios o Sotir in Egypt).

I will accept the overwhelming historical record which clearly indicates that Alexandros is buried someplace in Alexandria. Till archeological or convincinghistorical evidence proves this, almost universally accepted view, wrong. So at the end of Deinokraris’ tenure, time and money simply had run out for this project. Deinokratis is informed that ALEXANDROS’ body isn’t coming to Macedonia, instead it’s redirected by Ptolemaios to Egypt.

Besides, a couple of years down the road no one was any longer interested in HFAISTION not only being a God but possibly not even a Hero, and Kasta Hill was his main commission. Mound 133 never really took off ground, in spite of potentially strong support from Olympias, and it gradually turned into an example of a “pie-in-the-sky” type adventure.

sH.5:When is this sudden transition occurring in both the Kasta Hill tomb and Mound 133?
I contend that Antipatros after July 323 BC, told Deinokratis to slow down, maybe not immediately, but soon thereafter. He didn't right away and in categorical terms kill the projects, but he decelerated their progress considerably. Antipatros in all likelihood told Deinokratis that HFAISTION was not a God for Macedonians in Macedonia, but maybe just a Hero of the Asian campaign.

 Besides, the priorities of the Empire and demand for and supply of its resource base had all drastically changed after ALEXANDROS’ death. It was time to "downsize", and the first downsizing was the demotion to just a Hero for HFAISTION from God status. On the macro-economic front, possible inflation was now hitting the Empire and its member "States" as well. As Macedonia expanded, the "nouveaux riches" class of Macedonia appeared as trade very likely increased dramatically with the Empire’s new territories in Asiaand Africa.

The ranks of its middle class comprising mainly of soldiers and veterans returning from Asia swell, as did their income. Such economic structural change must have brought about a restructuring in the traditionally agricultural bucolic Macedonian economy. An unprecedented urbanization process must have been triggered. A new middle class must have emerged, along with new social, religious, cultural and economic realities.

Most likely this urbanization process and the rise of the middle class in such short time frame (less than a generation) resulted in shocks to both labor supply and inflation levels. It would be of interest to do an economic analysis, a "before and after" ALEXANDROS' death, but this isn't the place to do so. As is of interest to undertake a thorough examination of the social and cultural as well as religious impacts the return of so many thousands of veterans from the East, having been exposed to the culture of lands many Macedonians had never known, has had on Macedonian society.

 But all this is left to the interested reader. For the immediate subject at hand, let's focus on the area in question. Whereas construction at Mound 133 came to a complete stop, work on Kasta tumulus did go on, albeit dramatically decreasing in intensity and quality over the next couple of years, 323 - 321 BC. Whereas Amphipolis was prior to July 323 BC a town bursting in activity, the death of the GOD-KING saw its economy gradually being deflated, and its business activity slowly fizzle.

Undoubtedly, the housing bubble had burst, as probably did the price of marble. Not completely dead yet, but definitely nowhere near its previous peak of economic prosperity, with its brisk and fast pace of growth experienced through Spring 323 BC.; Amphipolis is now slowlyexperiencing a sudden phase of decline. Deinokratis is still the Architect of the Empire and still in charge of HFAISTION's tomb, but all now know he's a lame duck, as is City Manager Aristonous. A new star is rising in the political horizon of Macedonia, and his name is Kassandros.

The ailing but still strongman of Macedonia Antipatros continues to call the shots, but his son Kassandros is anxiously awaiting in the wings, eager to assume power. At Triparadeisos (321 BC) Antipatros solidifies his power, but his life is swiftly coming to an end, and so is the fate of all things connected to ALEXANDROS and especially to HFAISTION. In so far as the Kasta tumulus monument goes, its crest of splendor was behind it; its trough in infamy still lay ahead.

I could quite easily end here my narrative. Most likely it would find many readers agreeing to it, and few expressing strong disagreements with any parts and their nuances. In any case, these thoughts stand as my main theoretical propositions. But I won’t play safe; I will show that from these major suggestions, a few more in the form of minor propositions emerge. The story to me cries out loud for more discussion. Thus, I go ahead and present my minor suggestions, because I strongly believe in them as of now; I’m fully aware of the risk involved, as some readers may decide to throw away the baby with the bathwater. Anyway, here they are.




Phase B: The architect "B" phase: 321 BC - 316 BC. HFAISTION in transition from a Hero to commoner
sH.6: Deinokratis sooner or later reads the writing on the wall, his vision of the future contains many dark clouds. He recognizes that his desires of this place probably won't ever be realized. He now knows for sure that ALEXANDROS’ body isn’t coming back to Macedonia.
He witnessed the demotion of his client’s XILIARXOS from God to Hero and the prospects for further downsizing in HFAISTION’s status quite vivid on the horizon. He may have come to recognize that his effort (and by extension ALEXANDROS' expressed desire) to influence traditional Macedonian lifestyle with Egyptian and Asian customs was failing.
 Elevation to Deity status (for both ALEXANDROS and HFAISTION) wasn’t selling well in Macedonia any longer. His cosmopolitanism was probably meeting with some resistance as well. Reflecting broader social mood swings, possible unrest within his own staff, coupled with probable desertion by some of his workers puts him in a conundrum.
He understands that most likely he will never finish the monument the way he envisioned, and even more fundamentally that the ALEXANDROS effort to even marginally "Easternize" or "modernize" Macedonia was not going well. At first, his interest in the Projects at Amphipolis declines; at the end, in disgust or disappointment he quits the project, or is fired by Antipatros in 321 BC immediately following the Triparadeisos Agreement.

Whatever was decided there and then was not apparently to his liking. Although there isn't historical record about the decisions reached during the 321 BC meeting at Triparadeisos, except who got what of the Empire’s pieces and ALEXANDROS’ Empire ceased to exist as one single united entity, one thing is quite clear from the historical record: in Macedonia - Antipatros (representing the "traditional Macedonian values" - the septuagenarian stalwart of Macedonian's cultural traits) has emerged now with more power in his hands than before. Whatever role or influence Olympias had up till now, is gradually coming to an end. Aristonous is a City Manager only in title.

A glaring example of this loss of interest by Deinokratis is the construction of the crimson chamber. That chamber is not at par in quality and artistry to the two chambers preceding it. The first two chambers of the tomb were made for a God HFAISTION, the third chamber was made for just a Hero HFAISTION. It was left for last to be completed after HFAISTION's body, sarcophagus and valuables were to be put there. But cosmopolitan Deinokratis is now out, having fallen out of favor for his grandiose expensive and ambitious plans and designs, shun by the Macedonian elite headed and dominated by provincial Antipatros.

We do not have any historical evidence that Deinokratis is the architect of record for any building commissioned by any member of the Macedonian elite, in Macedonia,following 321 BC. Of course, being the former Architect of ALEXANDROS, enjoying an international reputation, and from Rhodes, allowed Deinokratis to obtain commissions by others at different places (as for example a later commission by Ptolemaios from Egypt and in Delos.) But as far as Macedonia is concerned, he is forever gone from its limelight. His star there has definitely faded. His three year stint as the Architect of the System of Monuments at Amphipolis was over. There was no need to set up the Lion, no need to worship any of the two new Gods there anymore. The purpose of his continuing presence there had lost its meaning.




sH.7: Architect "B" is appointed by either Antipatros or Aristonous (and certainly both concurring, no matter whose choice that architect B was). Very likely, one of Deinokratis' assistant architects, possibly his deputy, is now in control of the monument. His exact identity is of no particular import here as his role proved to be very limited. Most likely, he could be a Macedonian architect familiar with Macedonian royal tombs. His instructions are now to wind down operations, finish the tomb/monument at the earliest possible date, and at the minimum possible cost. At the beginning, around 321 BC, architect B in effect supervises the KATABASIS of HFAISTION, his fall from God to just a Hero, a fast decline in status.

By the end of his tenure at Kasta Hill architect B saw the further decline in status for HFAISTION from a Hero to just a commoner. Here the question whether HFAISTION's body had reached Amphipolis by 321 BC becomes of essence.
One can easily presume that immediately following HFAISTION’s death in November 324 BC and while waiting in Babylon for the cremation according to Macedonian custom and for the PYRA to be built (which was never built) obviously HFAISTION’s body should have been preserved somehow. The historical record is silent on this issue.
At some time (unmentioned by the historical record) the body must have been transported to Macedonia, and I suggested it was either Deinokratis or Aristonous most likely, but it could be any other (Perdikas or Krateros) who brought the body to Macedonia.

 If it had done so by 323 BC (which is the most likely scenario, especially in combination with the November 12, 2014 announcements from the archeological team) then HFAISTION's unburned but preserved body and sarcophagus was already in place together with all other valuables by the time architect B commences work at the tomb.
The fact that HFAISTION was not cremated indicates that his burial followed Macedonian customs up to a point. It is recalled that HFAISTION’s father Amyntor was Athenian. It is possible that Antipatros decided not to cremate HFAISTION and instead bury him as an Athenian.

Whether the crimson chamber was already finished and the marble doors sealed as the last work done under Deinokratis (knowing fully well that he’s on his way out), or as the first job done by architect B, is not clear, but rather not materially important to this narrative.
My guess is that most likely it was done under architect B, and the decision taken not to cremate the body close to the time that HFAISTION was no longer considered a hero as quite likely the formal process of “APOHROPOIHSH” never took place.
The interment of HFAISTION occurred close to the end point of architect B’s tenure at Kasta Hill, when HFAISTION’s status had deteriorated to just being considered a “commoner” by then. Definitely, the quality of the workmanship at Kasta Hill deteriorates significantly during this 321 – 316 BC period. But the arrival of HFAISTION’s body at the tomb is very critical.

This marks the time that the tomb is no longer INTENDED for HFAISTION, it becomes his tomb. A chain of critical events follow. Work on the crimson chamber ceases, following architect B’s decision to bury HFAISTION’s unburned body inside a vault dug out from the floor of the crimson funerary chamber. All valuables are placed at the funerary chamber, and the body is placed in a beautiful and richly decorated sarcophagus inserted inside a humble vault and the whole floor is covered by limestone slabstheir safe statics derived length determining the width of the tomb’s vault.

The tomb funerary chamber’s marble door is sealed. No more marble is installed on the monument of course as already said, and the quarries at the island of Thassos haveceased operations some time ago. No marble slabs are hauled up to the tumulus any more to cover the perimeter wall following Deinokratis’ departure. Many slabs of marble are abandoned at Strymonas' riverside, along with unfinished parts of Amphipolis' Lion.

Work now simply utilizes limestone, marble's poor cousin in monuments' construction. Whatever plans Deinokratis had for a grand entrance to the tomb are now
abandoned. Marble prices may have declined precipitously, but prices of limestone must have collapsed.
The archeological team hasn’t reveal the source of this limestone, but sources from this area know about an ancient limestone quarry located close to a present day town called “Mesolakkia” (Kasta Hill is close to “Nea Mesolakkia”). At an airline (straight line) distance of about 6 kilometers from the tomb. This location would be quite close as a source for limestone, if it turns out that this was the original source for limestone used in Kasta Hill’s tomb.

(a) With Hero but no longer God now HFAISTION inside the crimson chamber, as pointed out, the marble door leading to the funerary chamber is closed and sealed. There isn’t a rotating mechanism for the door’s leaves indicated to the public by the archeological team, only the rails on which the leaves rolled have been shown. Thus only guesses can be made as to the nature of this rotating mechanism. It can be safely assumed that these leaves didn’t have a knob of course, and it also will be assumed that the door didn’t open and close many times, and possibly only once. The crypt-vault or floor opening of approximate dimensions 4x2=8 sq. meters could never be what ALEXANDROS wanted and Deinokratis planned for HFAISTION.The original grid pattern Deinokratis set is abandoned and its modular form not used any longer inside the tomb. This vault must have been what architect B designed for him.
What a sharp contrast between chambers #1 and #2 on the one hand (the God phase of HFAISTION) and chamber #3 plus the floor vault on the other (his Hero phase). Quite indicative of the difference between Deinokratis and architect B – between the conditions for about half a year following HFAISTION’s death, and the period following ALEXANDROS’ death for the Empire.




(b) The photo of the “entrance” to the tomb as given to the public by the archeological team of August 14th, 2014 shows exactly what architect B did to the tomb. He raised a wall from limestone in front of the sphinxes to protect the tomb from outside easy access. To reach the area inside the monument now from the inside, the poor quality staircase we see today is constructed from limestone too. Most likely, architect B had some temporary cover installed, similar to what the archeological team devised to protect from weather conditions the entrance to the tomb.

(c) Architect B installs the arched roof at the tomb we see today also from limestone. He doesn't complete the horizontal marble ceiling in chamber #1 (the Karyatides, or Kores, or Klodones or Mainades chamber). Thus we only see the single horizontal slab that was made under Deinokratis (with the huge beautiful RODAKA), but not the other two the archeological team was expecting to find there.
A brief side note here about the 8-leaf "RODAKA" one comes across inside this tomb at Kasta Hill, and in many Macedonian buildings and especially Macedonian Royal tombs. This type RODAKAS is also found in the oldest writing on Crete, the FAISTOS disk. Recent efforts by Gareth Owens indicates that this symbol represents a specific monosyllabic word and a sound on that disk. The disk is very likely an ode to a mother-queen-goddess (according to Owens), and it has been partially decoded and its sound articulated. Thus, this symbol might actually be "writing" inside the tombs, referring to a primordial goddess.



(d) During construction of the ceiling, under architect B's auspices and as a result of poor workmanship and low morale the two Karyatides' hands break and the Eastern Karyatida's face is damaged.

(e) Architect B realizes that the arched ceiling couldn't accommodate the two sphinxes at the current entrance with their heads and wings on them. Deinokratis very likely had plans for a glorious entrance, where these two sphinxes heads' KAPELO would impressively fit and carry the bottom marble covered epistylio which in turn would hold an exquisite and impressive fully marble-covered entrance ceiling, a ceiling holding an entrance he never got to start building, let alone finish.



Architect B orders both wings and heads of the sphinxes cut off. What we see today in terms of damages to these magnificent artifacts most likely occur under architect B's watch and instructions. His work is to be charged for these losses, either by intended or unintended negligence. Were they part of a professional jealousy towards Deinokratis' work and glitter on the part of architect B? Possibly. For sure, they were not the result of Galatians, Romans, Christians, Muslims or any other horde of people vandalizing the tomb in later years, as some have suggested. Vandalism is awaiting the monument, but has not happened yet. It wouldn’t be caused by any of these groups, as the monument would lay in oblivion long before these groups arrived at Amphipolis.

The archeological team announced that a head found during the excavation inside the crimson chamber (chamber #3) belongs to the Eastern sphinx of the tomb, and they claim that its own neck cut and the sphinx's shoulder cut "perfectly" match. In further support for this claim, the architect of the team Lefanzis supplied a drawing to demonstrate the truth of the matter. However, by just looking at this drawing, many have expressed serious doubts regarding this “match”.




The size of the head found, the Kapelo it wears, and the space allowed under the arched roof, simply can't accommodate such a claim. Further, and most importantly, the marble type and cut the two (head and body) are made out of and the artwork on them obviously don't match. Moreover, the marble kapelo's top incline and the limestone's arch at that point not only present a "joining" of two different materials problem, but their mismatch further augments the counter claim that the two don't fit. Insistence on this "they perfectly fit" claim by the team brings the most serious of doubts one can express about the credibility of the archeological team carrying out this excavation.




To many, it's abundantly clear that the head found in chamber #3 belongs to another statue, quite possibly made by the same sculptor who did the two Karyatides, a different artist than the one who made the two sphinxes. I contend that this head may belong to a statue intended for the real grand entrance Deinokratis planned and was never built. As for the two heads of the sphinxes, most likely they are lost to looters, as was the body of the Karyatida whose head was found in chamber #3.

(f) These building "improvements" (if someone could call them such) were being done at a very slow, snail like pace mostly due to lack of labor. Weather and minor possible looting during this phase of the tomb's construction produces some wear and tear in all aspects of the tomb. We can see some of this deterioration still today, preserved well by the sealing by soil of the monument, especially in so far as some sections of the interior orthomarmarosi goes.

(g) In around 320 BC Antipatros fell ill, and in 319 BC he died. Before his death, his son Kassandros apparently too eager in his quest to succeed his father showed himself to be a bit bolder than Antipatros could take. In retaliation, and apparently to the surprise of the Macedonian elites, he appoints Polyperchon as his successor.

(h) Under Polyperchon (319 - 316 BC) Aristonous is no longer the City Manager, the historical record is silent as to who succeeded him, if anyone. Architect B was probably still in charge of the tomb, although the work was about to come to a complete stop. Even though architect B was still the tomb's custodian, his interest in this thankless task must have waned and the coursed of events must have had him disappointed as well. But Polyperchon is still a loyal ALEXANDROS soldier, and determined to keep ALEXANDROS wishes about HFAISTION alive.

However, what is left inside the tomb as Polyperchon fights for his own political survival, facing constant assaults by Kassandros, is unknown. Obviously no matter what the intentions Polyperchon might have entertained in his three year rein in regards to the Kasta Tumulus, for sure his own survival must have ranked first. HIFAISTION is now considered by Macedonians as just a commoner.
How much looting took place, even under architect B's careful watch, can't be accurately ascertained. However, the marble door was kept sealed, as in all likelihood no one would mount such a concerted and serious assault on the tomb to either ram the door or unseal it,while architect B guarded the tomb. For sure, any movable objects inside the tomb's chambers #1 and #2 must have been removed by the end of Polyperchon's rule.

People around Amphipolis must have known by then that not much was left for easy picking at that huge from the outside, yet small on the inside monument, with the unfinished perimeter wall and entrance. They probably knew that nothing valuable was left in there, except whatever was put in chamber #3 floor vault together with HFAISTION's body and belongings. My guess is that the marble leaf door remained un-assailed. Till Kassandros comes to power in 316 BC.

(i) The exact plans by architect B regarding the tomb we’ll never know, and do not really matter. What we do know is what architect B did during the period he supervised work there, as we uncovered in August 2014. He must have abandoned the project, by the time Kassandros is the new strong man of Macedonia. His part-time tenure at Kasta Hill lasted for about four years, during a time period which probably witnessed the further eroding of HFAISTION’s status, from a Hero to a commoner, to a distinguished commoner but commoner nonetheless. By the end of his tenure, architect B must have felt that this tomb was too big and too much for HFAISTION. And he acted on it accordingly.
His anonymous and colorless work is a glaring testimonial to a dark period descending upon Macedonia. The Empire is no more by 319 BC, as it had already broken down into pieces, under an incessant internal conflict among all possible successors of the great STRATHLATH, the GOD-KING who was no longer God. But the worst was still ahead for HFAISTION’s tomb, and for HFAISTION’ legacy as more violence and turbulence were about to set in upon the land of ALEXANDROS and Kasta Hill, the tumulus awaiting for the fatal blow

Phase C. Kassandros 316 BC: the Engineer' turn and the final episode of the monument’s sag a;  its overnight disappearance from living memory.




HFAISTION, the pariah and his tomb.
The monument's life cycle is now gradually coming to a close. HFAISTION's glitter glory and glamor had faded away. His God status had already passed, his Hero status had come to a close as well; now by the end of 317 BC he’s viewed as a commoner. And by the time Kassandros comes to power, HFAISTION is just a pariah. The monument's concomitant splendor had long dissipated. Whatever little stayed in the collective memory regarding this tomb was almost gone by now.

Within the broader context of things Macedonian, this monument is of very little importance. To many it could be an example of extravagance beyond the austere means of traditional Macedonian existence, lifestyle and custom. To some the very presence of this tumulus was an eyesore, besides standing out as a boondoggle of wasted public expenditures, conjuring memories of a painful recent past – as painful as having all these battle fatigue carrying, injured veterans coming back home trying to integrate back into Macedonian society and lifestyle, still reminiscent of children they left behind with Eastern lovers and illicit wives. It could also represent memories of a past not befitting the still prevailing religious and social moral values.

To many Macedonians, this monument could stand for undue, exaggerated arrogance. In the minds of Amphipolis' residents and of Macedonians in general this part of the nation's history could be something to suppress rather than elevate to prominence and promote. "Reactionary forces" by "conservatives" clinging to "traditional values", a detesting of "progress" and of "social change", to use but a few of the “popular” (but inaccurate) liberal terms in today's nomenclature, could also be present and been flying around back then in shaping the social dynamics and morae of Macedonian society as the 4th century BC was coming to a close. Ultimately, it could simply be an unpopular project to the upcoming new Macedonian ruling elite, represented by Kassandros.

I offer this remark as just a reminder that what we may today look at with awe, back thenmay have produced quite different feelings. To many it could be quite painful to look at, let alone ponder, a monument tied up to painful memories, experiences obtained under different circumstances than those of today. Just like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, in Washington DC, today.

So, in comes Kassandros. He grabs this opportunity to deal once and for all with any remnants of ALEXANDROS' legacy in Macedonia. Olympias had become a big thorn to his eye and too sharp of a noise to his ear a stick on his way for political and social dominance and control, an obstacle to his rule. He orders the death of Olympias by stoning. Next, sets his eyes to Kasta Hill, her' son's legacy, the person who wanted to change strict Macedonian customs, to make his ETAIROS a god.

To the extent that we know from historical records, no reference to any monuments/tombs made in Macedonia are found to honor or commemorate anyone or anything from the long and, for many, protracted Asian campaign. If we are correct in accepting the Mavrojannis hypothesis about HFAISTION, Kasta Hill is the only monument related to this campaign or to personalities (large and small) associated with the Asian conquest.

This by and on itself is possibly indicative of the negative popular feelings regarding such monuments back then. Historical record also indicates, ALEXANDROS discouraged the building of any monuments memorializing and commemorating his victories at any phase of the Asian campaign. Such possible public discontent could be channeled especially towards someone no longer held in high political esteem in Macedonia (HFAISTION) after ALEXANDROS' death. Such a sentiment could be coupled with the obvious unwillingness by Macedonians to honor him (HFAISTION) as god. So in his efforts to consolidate power, Kassandros grabs onto this political photo-op and orders the raid of the monument at Kasta Hill, and its sealing into collective social oblivion.

 Besides, the eyes of Kassandros were not on Amphipolis; his interest is now towards the construction of a new city and a new future, Thessaloniki, to him possibly a new Alexandria. Amphipolis becomes a place to exile ALEXANDROS’s wife Roxane, and his son Alexandros IV. Amphipolis just isn’t Kassandros’ cup of tea.

How can we be so sure of a violent end to this otherwise magnificent monument at Kasta Hill? Our certainty can be drawn primarily by examining the marble door's fragments and possibly the associated circular damage to the mosaic. No one knows for sure the social composition of the raiding team acting on Kassandros orders. No one can fully replicate the exact movements and motives of each member of a raiding horde of people and its mass psychology.

Thus, no one can precisely reproduce, explain and account for the exact condition of the objects found and the location they were found in the tomb. But as one can roughly reproduce the outcome of a soccer game by its main highlights (and not by a 90-minute complete replication of the ball's movement and the players' exact motion throughout the game), so can one discern in a rough outline what has most likely occurred during the raid. One can assume that the usual guard stationed there to protect the monument from looters or vandals in the Antipatros and Polyperchon years of the tomb was now withdrawn. Any movable objects in chambers #1 and #2 were by now totally removed.

The only chamber left not pillaged was the funerary chamber #3, behind the double-leaf marble door. The door is still sealed and closed, secure by its formidable weight and the seal which architect B applied. Its huge leaves, each about 3.50 meters high, 90 centimeters wide and 15 centimeters thick and weighing close to two tons, had to be rammed and violently brought down.

Fragments recovered strongly suggest that the Western leaf took the brunt of the ramming and shattered into many pieces, while the Eastern leaf went rather unscathed, breaking into just two large pieces. A ramming mechanism was brought inside the monument, and its use not only fractured the door, but also damaged the floor of chamber #2 the mosaic's chamber. The mosaic already affected by the humidity inside the tomb from the exposure to the elements for about 7 years, suffered a loss of pebbles (tesserae) in a circular fashion slightly to the West off center, just facing the Western leaf of the marble door as it was being attacked and pounded. We can presume all this, from the available evidence we now have, as uncovered by the ongoing excavation so far.

Any valuables found inside the crimson chamber were looted by the mob raiding the tomb. Looters also dug onto the floor to seek more treasures and to unearth the interred body of HFAISTION and its sarcophagus. Ironically, that is exactly what the archeological team also did 23 centuries later, but with obviously different intent.




The limestone of the room's floor was violently removed, and left as we found it today. The fact that a dead person’s tomb and sarcophagus was assaulted, directly implies that the raiding team wasn’t only seeking gold and silver but also had overt religious overtones in its raid. HFAISTION was no more the god, as ALEXANDROS wanted him to be adorned. 


All valuables (except some minor decorations of minor value to these raiders) inside the vault are taken, the sarcophagus is taken, and HFAISTION’s bones placed or thrown inside a wooden coffin hastily assembled to accommodate his skeletal remains – possibly too small to fully contain all of them, so that a few of his bones spill out of the wooden casket, his skeletal bones having been stripped from any valuable belongings and decorations.

On their way out, the raiding team throws into the crimson chamber all fragments of whatever time and previous looters had left. One of these abandoned fragments is the head of a statue long gone from the tomb staring with ironyand melancholy at the unwelcome visitors. The heads of the two sphinxes were long gone as well, and their shattered wings are thrown into the room to fill it with debris; so cynical of a reason, so that the sealing of the monument won't have to bring into this last room more than the minimum amount of sandy soil necessary to cover it up.

The order to seal the monument is now being carried out in earnest. Kassandros orders are very specific: make sure that the tomb never gives in, to reveal its existence or what was done to it. Secure the structural stability of the monument, so that it won't ever cave in. What was done to it must remain a fact perennially hidden and totally forgotten as was the occupant of this tomb, HFAISTION. That was Kassandros' malevolent intent in sealing the monument. The skeleton in his closet.

The engineer in charge, summoned to do this thankless and largely macabre job, decides to build the two diaphragmatic walls, where we currently found them: one in front of the sphinxes, the other in front of the Karyatides. He builds them from limestone, at a thickness just good enough to provide
structural support for the tomb's walls and thus the roof. This was by far the main reason to build them, as protection from future intruders was primarily left to the sandy soil the tomb was about to be filled with.

They also have a secondary structural purpose, at the same time these two walls do not allow the soil about to be poured into the three chambers to move around in time, even by strong
earthquakes, threatening thus the monument's structural stability. The archeological team has proposed that sandy soil from the river Strymonas was used to seal the tomb. I suggest that first, soil used to shape Hill 133 was used to seal the monument at Kasta Hill, and then river soil.

Anyway soil is brought up and poured into the crimson chamber first (where most of the debris had been placed), then into the mosaic chamber, followed by the filling of the Karyatides chamber. In so doing, some of that soil is mingled with fragments of the Karyatides long ago broken arms (under architect B’s tenure, as the reader will recall) as well as construction nails from the wooden support structure used to build the ceiling and the tomb’s roof.

Such nails and marble fragments were reported by the archeological team as found at some level above the chamber’s floor, and here’s an explanation as to how they were found there. Finally the space of the "entrance" with the sphinxes is filled up to the top of the staircase. Now, the covering of the whole mound is left, to hide the marble perimeter wall - the final play of a drama that lasted for seven years is rapidly coming to an end.

The final curtain falls when the whole perimeter marble covered circular wall is no longer visible, buried for good in Strymonas’ sandy soil.Some contend that the building of the two limestone diaphragmatic walls and the filling up of the tomb with soil may have taken place at two different time periods. This of course isn’t possible under the story presented here; what is possible though is that the filling with soil of chambers #3 and #2 was followed by the building of the limestone wall in front of the Karyatides, which was followed then by the filling with soil of chamber #1 and then its filling with soil, followed up with the construction of the limestone in front of the sphinxes and then the fill up of the space with sandy soil. In effect, the filling up of the tomb and the construction of the two diaphragmatic walls followed in reverse what the archeological team did exactly in uncovering the tomb.How much did the sealing of the tomb and that of the whole mound last? One can’t be sure of course, but the haste it was done, the damage it produced on the monument and the desecration of HFAISTION’s body appalling sight hint that it didn’t last long.




A question that many ask is this: Why would Kassandros opt to seal the tomb rather than just demolish it? 

Those who ask this question assume that it would cost less to totally destroy than efficiently seal into oblivion the tomb at Kasta tumulus. Of course this is an obvious and simple question, and as all obvious and simple questions go it has a complicated answer.
 Because to answer it one must estimate the then perceived by Kassandros expected composite benefits and costs of these two courses of action. Economics was not the only or even major factor in this calculus, and dealing with a dead person’s tomb goes beyond economics and enters the domain of religion and sociology. In considering all these composite benefits and costs it is my evaluation that the net benefits (i.e., benefits minus costs) of sealing were indeed far in excess of the net benefits of totally destroying the tomb, as all benefits and costs were perceived by Kassandros back then. This calculus is quite involved, and it would need a separate Note to address.

Later day tomb robbers (starting their raids centuries later, since up till then the collective memory would inform them that there wasn’t anything left in there to loot) over the two millennia that followed would attempt to dig into the mound, seeking treasure only to hit the two sealing diaphragmatic limestone walls.

The first wave would probably stop before the sphinxes; later day waves (those persistent ones) would possiblyreach the second diaphragmatic wall (that before the Karyatides), and possibly open up further the holes we see on the separating walls at the arched ceiling level(some of which could have been originally made by the engineer’s workers while filling up the chambers with soil).

The sandy but well packed soil of the tomb's sealing sand would finally make them abandon the effort. One can’t preclude additional soil to have drained inside the monument from natural erosion at the Hill. The fact that the various stratigraphic levels of soil the tomb is filled with are of the same type can be attributed to the simple fact that the top of the Hill was also covered under architect B with the same sandy soil from Strymonas.

That engineer who did the sealing may not have been an engineering or architectural genius, but (just like architect B) he must not have been a run-of-the-mill type engineer either. He did a good job in erasing this tomb from living memory, following the instructions he had received. Earthquakes followed, apparently some having registered quite high on the Richter scale. As a result, at places the ground cave in and erosion ensued. Some of those effects we have detected inside the crimson chamber. Wars were fought on the surface of that land over the millennia that passed; even bombs were thrown onto the mound which received quite a bit of shelling during last century’s warfare in that region of Macedonia.

All this violent activity resulted in further stirring up the fallen debris inside thatin haste built chamber #3; in a soup made with the sandy soil used for sealing(the chamber and the tomb overall) the violen mix up of items found inside the third chamber have stimulated many theories about the monument- tomb and whether this mix was the product of looting or ritualistic in essence. To me, this is a nonissue, since the tomb has been raided beyond the shroud of a doubt.

But what this mix, inside the crimson chamber, of all these diverse items reveals is remarkable. What all that geological and man-made commotion didn'tmanage to accomplish is definitely more noticeable than the damage these intrusions produced. Twenty three centuries of stirring didn’t end up revealing what was hidden in there. And this is definitely, albeit ironically, to the engineer's credit.

The narrative I suggested as possible scenario outlining the lifecycle of the Kasta tumulus and its tomb presents the underlying historical, social, cultural, economic etc. reasons as to why the monument’s lifespan was so short, its effective life cut short by events much larger than itself. But there’s a final testimony that needs to be added as to why the life cycle of the tomb is so short, and it has to do with the overall physical condition we found the monument buried in sandy soil in August 2014.

The almost perfect condition of the marble coverage, both inside and outside the monument, at so many areas of its walls demonstrates that the marble was well protected, almost immediately after being put in place. If marble (and limestone) are left unprotected from the weather in a wet and humid environment (as is the case in Amphipolis with its formidable winters), for longer than a few decades then the mold would penetrate so deeply in it would be extremely difficult (if at all possible) to clear it up.

This final argument is humbly submitted to all those who still espouse the view that the monument was left unprotected for a prolonged time period, up to half a millennium according to some, and subjected throughout that period to multiple raids, vandalism and destruction by various hordes; and then it was sealed. These scenarios are simply not possible.

We all need to get rid of our glasses, and move around our viewing positions as much as possible when we try to understand and explain historical events. Granted, our biases are inevitable, we are humans after all and we all carry a perspective at all times. But we need to be willing to take off our glasses from time to time – it helps us all see better.





Epilogue.

The meteoric rise of this tomb-monument was followed by an equally sharp fall into oblivion in what amounted to History's blink of an eye – seven tortured years. The monument’s life cycle had to be short and its end almost repugnant, for it not to register in History’s collective cumulative memory. Its construction and demise both had to be brief.The glory of its rise had to be countered by the ignominy of its fall.

This very short7-year time period is the key factor why no historic reference is made to this monument at all. The other being that all knew back then that nothing is left inside, except some bones of someone no one cared much to remember. But this in-stages decline of the monument’s fortunes were tied up with the sharp rise and then the precipitous decline in HFAISTION’s status: from God, to Hero, to commoner to a pariah.

In history, the built capital stock's longevity depends basically on two forces: local geological and social dynamics. The former define the nature's forces at work. The latter identify the acceptance or rejection of the built structure by social groups surrounding it over time.

Within the domain of the latter type forces, economic dynamics (in the form of depreciation, maintenance, upkeep and/or improvement of the structure), along with social, political, religious etc., factors define the willingness or unwillingness of those social groups to either continue its use, modify, abandon, or demolish it; these factors in effect determine the structure's longevity. In the case of Kasta Hill, the latter forces (social dynamics) far outdid the impact of the former (geodynamics).

It started as a dream by the legendary Architect and City Planner of the Empire, to transform Kasta Hill along with Mound 133 to a "New Egypt" for the "New Ammon-Ra" of Macedonia's Empire and his ETAIROS. Deinokratis envisioned the North Amphipolis Monumental complex as the resting places of a Deities, a Major GOD (ALEXANDROS) and a Minor God (HFAISTION).

It unceremoniously ended, buried into permanent oblivion. Having been stripped of almost all its contents, actual and abstract, it lay in ground barren, all his intended magnificence stamped on the eyes of its diverse personalities-figures that no one would ever look at. The majestic gently shaped Kasta Tumulus almost overnight was transformed into an almost unnoticeable mound; its hastily covered surface was blending rather well into an amorphous landscape now, littered with abandoned slabs of marble along the river's edge.


Mingled with fragments of a once fearsome lion's face and body laid a story unwanted by the living then, but pleading to be told by later generations far into the future. To those living at their vicinity, these ruins would remind them of an era gone by, an arrogance which met its judgment. As the visitor to the site post 316 BC wouldn't find anything anymore to write home about, so would the historian of the future.

Once one gets there, simply there isn't anything there. All is gone, nothing worthy to record. Deinokratis' dream proved to be just a dream, probably too ambitious to have ever had any chance of becoming lasting reality. The "New Egypt" wasn't meant to be, solid proof that "imitating" is always ephemeral. Deinokratis’ architectonic genius met swiftly the reality of its punished arrogance.
Cosmopolitanism died inside Kasta Hill. As did ALEXANDROS’ Empire in Asia and Africa: BIOI PARALLHLOIof sorts.


We need to look thus into more deeply than just scratching the surface of Kasta Tumulus to understand it and appreciate its significance. Especially its cosmopolitanism, its ecumenical messages. ALEXANDROS, the greatest STRATHLATHS this Earth has ever known, went down History not because of what he did as an Easterner, but what he accomplished as a Macedonian HELLHN. He never lost his Hellenic authenticity, except when he tried to partly mesh it with Asiatic lore. History has and will still pronounce varying judgments upon his deeds, as we’ll see later.But it’s worth noting that HFAISTION - the Eastern side of ALEXANDROS, was gone forever - courtesy of Kassandros. Alexandrons on the other hand never made it back to Macedonia, thanks to Ptolemaios.

The complete book on this story wasn’t meant to be finished, until we uncovered the ending chapter of this drama, written and hidden well in the ground of Kasta Hill, in August 2014. Whether this discovery proves to be a present (or curse) from ALEXANDROS
to us, or a curse (or present, depending on one’s point of view) from Kassandros, remains to be seen. It certainly can be used as a lesson on many burning issues of today. And this everlasting message could be the real legacy of ALEXANDROS, the eternal HELLHN from Macedonia who wanted to and did conquer the World, but never made it back home.





CHAPTER II. A few general observations regarding the scenario’s foundations.


Post Script 1. Archeology, Statistics and Quantum Theory: a brief note on abstract method.

Quantum Mechanics and Archeology or History. I have offered the above viewpoint about Kasta Hill’s monument, which started as a monument but ended as a humble tomb, as one possible explanation of how it was built and buried; how all objects found there came about to be where they were found, both their initial and final condition. I analyzed how HFAISTIONS’ bones were found inside the vault, their condition and why.

This is just one, among the many theories that currently have been suggested of course. Obviously all these theories do not have the same probability of being accurate, and at present none exists which is universally accepted as either being the most accurate or by far the most probable. I’m aware that the possibility exists that the real “truth” of the matter – if such truth exists at all – will never present itself, and even if it does it might not become universally accepted. In fact, a cloud of uncertainty and a plethora of alternative theories might co-exist in the future (as they do at present) about Kasta Hill’s history, occupant and contents. Some of these theories even might seem highly unlikely if not totally improbable. As I have suggested in the past, a Quantum Superposition of theoretical hypotheses might occur. We may be dealing with a case of “Schrodinger’s cat” here.

Thiscomment quite clearly suggests that certain abstract theoretical notions from Quantum Mechanics (QM) might be appropriate for approaching subjects of archeological interest. In the past, it has been suggested that QM in abstract (like for example, the Heisenberg “Uncertainty principle”) could be fruitful in describing (and possibly explaining) subjects seemingly far removed from Physics, as for example specific topics in the Social Sciences having to do with population counts and dynamics. Social systems naturally belong to the world described by classical mechanics and Newtonian Physics – common sense implies. I contend that this is a rather narrow view of social systems and Archeology.

 A quantum cloud might be a very productive way to approach social systems’ behavior as well as analysis of social observers’ interactions and perceptions of them.Especially so, in regards to Archeology proper and History as well. One can only imagine the magnitude and dynamics inside that quantum cloud, if the bones found in the vault of the crimson chamber’s floor can’t be identified for sure.

Statistical validity in Archeology and History. Another point worth mentioning here is the reliability of historical sources, especially those not independently verified (single sources, or those historical references repeatedly copied from a single source).I won’t address the various biases one finds in all historic accounts, ancient or modern, whichit’s a much bigger issue. I’ll address only specific analytical errors possible to find in historical accounts.

The chances for accepting the statistical validity of such references are obviously very limited. This caveat must be kept in mind, when reviewing the fuzzy and thus largely unverifiable as to theirexact recording of past events, let alone the multiple interpretations of the historical record of such events. We all know about biases and inaccuracies in various events reporting (or lack thereof) by today’s media – not to mention the heavily painted by ideology history texts. We can’t expect things to have been different back then.

This condition is more pervasive, the more one looks back in time. Speculative statements (i.e., statements reported by historians the accuracy of which the historians themselves were unable to verify at a level of 100%, or that we can’t verify at the same certainty level), always appear in the historical record and they should be expected. It’s impossible to have a historical report totally free from speculative statements made by the historian in question. The very nature of social events and their reporting necessitate this condition. But this shortcoming of the historical record should confuse strict and “as objective as possible” historical reporting, from a record where inaccuracies and falsehoods abound. There are obviously first rate historians (like Thucydides or Herodotus) and then second rate ones like Josephus.

Two examples of direct interest here: first, the historical record (coming to us from Greek historian Diodoros of Sicily) that HFAISTION’s body was cremated in Babylon; if the later Mavrojannis hypothesis that this may be not accurate (and borne out by scientific identification of HFAISTION’s bones) then obviously this was a false historical record. Statistically speaking, to assume that ALL events reported by any historian are 100% accurate is simply not very likely and indeed next to impossible. Especially those which are not double (or multiple) referenced (as is the case with HFAISTION’s alleged cremation). This report by Diodoros on HFAISTION’s cremation may just be a case in point.When the identity of the bones is revealed then the historical record of the time will have to be either purged to an extent, added on to, or modified. It could be the case where the archeological record corrects the historical record.
Case number two: take Arrianos’ Alexander’s “Anabasis” – a record which survived in full and composed from up to five original sources. An entertaining version of this speech is given here:

http://ellinondiktyo.blogspot.com/2014/10/blog-post_63.html

Arrianos supplies one of the most complete references to the totality of ALEXANDROS’ campaigns. It was written in the middle part of the 2ndcentury AD, and records a speech delivered by ALEXANDROS four centuries earlier. Notwithstanding the multiple sourcing of this work, one safely may assume that the chances this particular work contains, at a level of 100% certainty, an accurate account of ALEXANDROS’ complete speech to his soldiers following the campaign to India, is close to zero.

This note must be kept in mind when later I’ll refer to this speech in discussing the role ALEXANDROS played in marginally Easternizing Macedonia, while Hellenizing the East to a much larger extent. It seems to me this angle to the speech needs much further analysis, especially in reference to the topic at hand now. However, one must be extremely careful in purging parts of the historical record (especially from antiquity).
 I feel uncomfortable finding myself in the position to question and purge the record of HFAISTION’s cremation in Babylon, in 324 BC, thus partly contradicting a point Diodoros reported. Especially when this point is counter to a Macedonian custom. I consider this issue one of the weakest points of my theoretical scenario.


Post Script 2. Kasta Hill: the Main Characters and a H ol l y wood  scenari o  of  a  “l ov e  story”.

In what follows is an effort to approach the main characters of this Kasta Hill related drama with a strong dose of hindsight. Such approach will necessarily escape the strict confines of the Kasta Hill archeological findings and associated narrative. It will venture into some broad statements in History, Economics, Sociology and Demography.

At issue will be the focus on specific individuals and micro- psychology. But the analysis will also sail into some Macro-historical aspects of the macro-social systems these’ persons historic paths are traced, and ponder their implications. It is a part of the narrative which contains the contrasts found in any human story, love and hate, genius and imbecility, good and evil, foresight and myopia, determinism and chance. At the end, over different time horizons these opposites become blurry, as we shall see. Almost a perfect story for a Hollywood production, and as controversial may be.




HFAISTION and ALEXANDROS: refuting some myths.

This monument at Kasta Hill, and the alleged here Master Plan by Deinocratis for a “System of Monuments” at Amphipolis, including Mound 133, may also be looked at as a testimonial to love and hate. Many readers will immediately assume the connotation I make refers to a personal intimate relationship between ALEXANDROS and HFAISTION.
Centuries of historians, Roman down to present, have used the Greek notion of ETAIROS for their own self-serving sexual preferences and interpretations, in justifying their own proclivities and sexual preferences, a narrow and strict interpretation which I reject. ALEXANDROS needed close, capable and trustworthy friends and confidents to accomplish what he did.

He didn’t need male lovers and the time energy and intrigue such activity would entail. He simply had no time to waste, and no evidence exists he harbored any vices. Ruling an army of the caliber he had under his command, administering and managing an Empire the size of the Macedonian Empire of 323 BC he created, conducting continuously victorious campaigns the number and size and distance from his ancestral lands he did, he could afford no idle time. 

Above all, he needed trusted and extraordinarily capable multi-talented subordinates. He needed outstanding personalities and gifted persons to successfully delegate authority and conduct affairs of State. HFAISTION was one of them, his real DEPUTY and XILIARXOS, but there were plenty of others. Homosexuality had nothing to do with that closeness; need for effective management did. To the much discussed and well known equivalence between Achilles and Patroklos on the one hand and ALEXANDROS and HFAISTION on the other, I will add nothing to what has already been said and written.

More than fifty of these lieutenants sporting in ALAXANDROS Hellenic Army and his immediate and trusted entourage were capable of conducting on their own campaigns the envy of any General since then. A dozen of them could rule large States on their own. And a few could have been worthy successors of ALEXANDROS himself. Here’s a few: KLEITOS, PARMENION, FILOTAS, KTATEROS, PTOLEMAIOS, PERDIKAS, SELEYKOS, HFAISTION, NEARXOS, etc.Parenthetically, no Army Commander over the course of recorded history (from Julius Caesar up to and including modern History’s Napoleon and Eisenhower, all commending far greater size armies) had assembled such an extensive group of extremely capable associates and assistants in carrying out any comparable campaign as ALEXANDROS did. To argue that all of these ETAIROI were ALEXANDROS’s male lovers is not only absurd but ludicrous; nonetheless, this claim has been engrained in some people’s thought in reference to HFAISTION and ALEXANDROS’s alleged homosexuality. It will continue to persist in certain circles of analysts, simply because there’s demand for such an interpretation no matter its inaccuracy.

One must also remind oneself that ALEXANDROS wasn’t a perfect human being, no matter his grandeur and unique for History personality and accomplishments. He had weaknesses, as all human beings do. But arrogance wasn’t one of them. Heavy drinking might have been one that clouded his judgment at times and with tragic consequences, as is the case when he killed PARMENION. He had failed to set up a proper institutionally viable evaluation and promotion scheme (as any organization must have in its personnel department, military or civilian to be viable and successful) in place where his successor was to be found following his death. In this regard, he failed, and the consequences were tragic for the

Empire and Macedonia. There were possibly other shortcomings ALEXANDROS had, but this isn’t the place to fully address them. But was ALEXANDROS’ decision to elevate himself “GOD” an example of such human shortcomings? He realized (as a good student of History) that this was the only effective means to govern a huge and diverse Empire. It did not elevate himself to divinity status, because he was stupid, vain or an imbecile. Stupid may have been some minor Roman Emperors who did so; vain he wasn’t as proven by him rejecting his own Architect’s suggestion to carve his body as a city at where current Agion Oros is 60 kilometers South from Amphipolis.

The most distinguished student of Aristotle (along with KASANDROS and HFAISTION) couldn’t be an imbecile, nor could an imbecile or fool do what ALEXANDROS did. Prosecuting the type of innovative and ingenious military campaigns he did, and the manner he administered the vast expanse of an Empire totally unfamiliar and unknown to him and his army in both land and peoples, were deeds no imbecile can accomplish. His creative genius is just an element of his extremely high intelligence.

His manifest ability to grant justice and demonstrate fairness, coupled with his mastery of macroeconomic forces at work then, as well as an obvious effectiveness and efficiency in his administration and management of that vast Empire constitute impeccable, impossible to purge witnesses to his insurmountable intelligence, ability and skill. He was both a visionary and a pragmatist, both countering each other in a perfect balance; an astute student of History he recognized that only the prestige and faith in a GOD can unite his diverse peoples he was now ruling. He saw that only the prestige of a GOD can commend the obedience and respect that societies of back then could render them governable and could grant one the power to rule.

He was a deeply religious person, so this elevation to a Devine Figure would possibly make him somewhat uncomfortable. His Homeric idol, AXILLEAS, never did or even thought of it, and ALEXANDROS must have known that to elevate oneself to God status wasn’t in the Hellenic traditions he espoused; Olympias’ claim that he was the son of DIAS must have been discounted by a fellow firmly grounded in reality.

 Deity of rulers was a foreign custom, not entirely suited for a Hellenic King; and this must have brought some discomfort in him. We can’t of course be sure, since it’s impossible to enter one’s mind in toto, especially when this person we try to psychoanalyze is someone unique in the history of humanity, none of us will ever be, and lived 23 centuries ago under conditions  no one of us will or can exactly replicate in thought.

Numerous sources refer to ALEXANDROS as an individual whose actions were ruled by oracles, prophesies and words of soothsayers, a person plunged into superstition and premonitions. Like all humans, ALEXANDROS sought some of that, since the desire to predict the future is inherent in human behavior. All humans place bets, speculate and try to predict future events somehow – some more rationally than others – to carry out actions.

 However, no one can conquer the known World on the basis of actions drawn from card readers or animal sacrifices. It’s simply laughable to claim that ALEXANDROS acted on the basis of such feeble reasoning. Did he occasionally perform such rituals? Undoubtedly yes. Why? To offer the equivalent of modern day photo ops, to satisfy the premonitions of his subjects and his army’s soldiers, I suggest, if and when he recognized that such rituals would boost morale.

ALEXANDROS never let the irrational take over the rational part of his mind. Especially in affairs of State.Of course, the logical foundations of rational behavior maybe different now than then, but not that different; there are some elementary rules of logic that obey long term time scales, that is they
exist rules of logic which remain constant over long time periods transcending specific social environments and historical circumstances. Evidence suggests, and some will counter, that
ALEXANDROS’ visit(in 331 BC) atthe Temple of the Oracle of Amon-Ra in the Oasis of Siwa, demonstrates his irrational side; but the aims of this trip from the historical record are not entirely clear. I submit, it was not to obtain guidance on his road to conquest, but rather to familiarize himself with Egypt’s divinity system, testing the divinity waters. It was for him a learning experience and a performance for his soldiers and also a demonstration of dominance to his currentnew subjects in North Africa. It was a rational well calculated action.




This note leads me to another topic popular with historians and people (from antiquity to the present) comprising arguments based on a logic marred bya tendency to see “conspiracies” and the like: conditions surrounding ALEXANDROS’ death. It has been suggested that he fell victim of poisoning, through a conspiracy involving Antipatros, Kassandros, Iollas and even Aristotle. Again, such “theories” have persisted and will persist simply because there’s a demand for them, by all of those who seek easy explanations of complicated events, or unnecessarily convoluted explanations to otherwise easily understood events. No matter how void of evidence and logic some of these “theories” might be, they will always provide (tasteless or tasty, depending on one’s perspective) food for hungry pallets that crave for such ventures into the occult, the strange and the weird.

But I shall touch here on the alleged (and baseless) role that KASSANDROS played in ALEXANDROS death, as a springboard to what we presently call “acculturation” and “multiculturalism”. The motive attributed to KASSANDROS in allegedly poisoning ALEXANDROS, beyond boyhood jealousy, is that he was appalled by the Eastern customs ALEXANDROS exhibited while visiting him during the summer of 323 BC in Babylon. And this (possible) dislike brings us to a major role ALEXANDROS played in his conquest of the East.

There is more than just a grain of truth to this dislike indeed. ALEXANDROS did attempt to primarily influence East and Central Asia, and Eastern North Africa by expanding the ideals, ideas, customs, art and architecture of HELLAS. But in so doing, he recognized that he had to adopt to a limited and largely inconsequential extent Eastern customs as well. To give, you must also take; to offer, you must also accept – a deep Eastern trait of human interaction. He applied that principle, because he found it useful and effective in managing that vast Empire. To succeed, he had to compromise, not be rigidly stuck into Macedonian ritual.

And he did just that. He offered to the Eastern provinces of his Empire Hellenic cities and buildings and ideas and art. In return, he received and tried to implant into his army a taste of new Eastern foods and new dress codes, and pleasantries and pleasures that may have bothered KASSANDROS. A quite fair trade I would say, but not necessarily so to everyone, especially to those in his Macedonian army who detested horse-trading and all things Eastern. His allure to the East, and his explicit attempt to marginally alter the Macedonian society’s transition we find recorded in Arrianos’ “ALEXANDROU ANABASIS”, in a successful by all accounts call to and for a change in his soldiers’ thinking mode.  He told them about his father taking them out of their fields, poor uneducated dressed in animal leather Macedonian peasants and transformed them into respectable persons.

 And then he goes on telling them how he (ALEXANDROS) elevated them to masters of a new world who HE granted them for their on benefits and riches, transforming them to persons with a cosmopolitan outlook. We can read today this speech and we may see in it a few things the way we like to see them, and interpret them in ways we wish to interpret them today. I contend that for sure that’s not exactly what ALEXANDROS said, and what he implied and exactly meant by what he said then. It’s likely, Arrianos did the same thing too; he not only quite likely put some words in ALEXANDROS’ mouth, but also he emphasized things he (Arrianos, for whatever reasons) wanted seen emphasized. But I will stick to my interpretation of the “multiculturalist” elements in that speech. One can read that speech and conclude that he (ALEXANDROS) may have recognized the different type of intelligence Easterners espoused; to an extent he may even have liked it. I suggest, he had envisioned fertilizing Classical Greek thought and behavior, with Eastern Pleasure. His actions towards that end speak loud and clear. After all, he married the beautiful Baktrian (now Afghani) Princess Roxane, and had with her the heir to the Empire’s (not simply Macedonian) throne, Alexandros IV.

One could picture the IV-th not only as an able successor to the III-rd, but even surpassing him in glory as an Emperor of both East and West. The odds now, (for reasons shown later) seem to have not favored the IV-th growing up to be a Word Inter-Continental Leader. Moreover, ALEXANDROS envisioned conquering the rest of Europe and was planning to attempt a Western European campaign after his eventual return to Pella. In hindsight we know the odds were overwhelmingly negative on this front too. The odds back then? Not so favorable either, I would guess.

But we would never know, because KASSANDROS interfered with the course of History by killing ALEXANDROS’ son, and ALEXANDROS died before his planned return to Pella. For certain, the World would have been different, if ALEXANDROS III were to reach his 70s, instead of Antipatros who did. It’s one of those dictums emanating from the nonlinear dynamics of Chaos Theory, the butterfly effect: when some slight disturbance of an individual’s dynamic path in phase space, produces a drastically different final end state for the system at large.It goes also as “extreme sensitivity to initial conditions”. July 323 BC may have resulted in such a butterfly effect for the World at a whole.



KASSANDROS: historical justification and possible rehabilitation of his reputation.

So, the “love story” I alluded to earlier, was definitely not that between ALEXANDROS and HFAISTION, definitely not between ALEXANDROS and Roxane. It was that between KASSANDROS and Thessaloniki,ALEXANDROS’ half-sister. Somehow I feel that KASSANDROS needs and deserves a closer look. He for sure had a bad press over the centuries.

But what he did could not have been done without some political support, he could not have acted in a political vacuum. Even under rudimentary form, there was a Legislative and a Judiciary branch of government in Macedonia back then notwithstanding its authoritative political governance structure. We know from historical records about the existence of EKKLHSIA an institution of advisors to the KING, and we know that trials were taking place. Thus, an elementary system of State bureaucracy existed to offer political backing to KASSANDROS, no matter how limited this institutional framework was. Thus, KASSANDROS was not alone in his decision making process, others must have supported his decisions, possibly many others within both the ruling class as well the emerging Macedonian middle class and the peasantry. KASSANDROS had shortcomings, and plenty of them; but he had some strengths as well. He will remain a controversial figure in the pages of History. But he definitely deserves a second look.

KASSANDROS did end up ordering the murder (some would rephrase this as “he went along with having her stoned to death and left unburied, following her conviction after a trial” in a more “politically correct” expression) of Olympias (a lady from Hepeiros) in 316 BC; he also had Roxane (a lady from Baktriani), and Alexander IV (the son of a Macedonian and an Asian) murdered as well in 310 BC. Roxane was according to the historical record a beautiful lady who enjoyed widespread appeal among ALEXANDROS’ army. She must have had white complexion (whether she was a Caucasian or not we don’t know). What is rather certain is that she wasn’t born into a Greek Deities religious system and we don’t know whether she “converted” into it after marrying ALEXANDROS – the historical record doesn’t talk about the customs followed at their wedding ceremony.Moreover, we don’t know her proficiency in speaking Greek either, whether she learned Greek after her marriage to ALEXANDROS, and how well she spoke Greek by 310 BC, or her “accent” in speaking Greek while in Macedonia.

Regardless of her actual personal religious beliefs or her proficiency in Greek, or her skin complexion, very likely while in Macedonia she would be considered by many locals as a “foreigner” especially among the Macedonian elites. In any case, ALEXANDROS immediate family memberswere all gone by the sixth year into KASSANDROS’ reign. Without doubt, these acts alone made him the villain of History in the Era of ALEXANDROS.

KASSANDROS’ rule marks the beginning of the end of the Golden Age of Macedonia, as Macedonia becomes introverted. Wars outside the Hellenic tip of the Balkan Peninsula come to a close. Macedonians seem to have been tired of conflicts overseas.  KASSANDROS recognizes this new sentiment, and decides to focus on solidifying the Hellenic-European part of the Empire, letting other successors fight their worries out on lands outside Macedonia and Greece proper. He focuses on erasing the ALEXANDROS legacy, and in lower his constituency’s expectations about a future that was becoming increasingly uncertain. The psychology, economics and social behavior of social groups is very different when a State grows into an Empire, than when it declines, contracts and shrinks and splits up into smaller entities.
 It may be so that the difficulties managing decline far outweigh those managing growth. ALEXANDROS may have been the best on the way up, but KASSANDROS may have been the best on the way down. In the field of Finance, mergers and acquisitions may be easier than divestitures, and certainly need different talents, personalities and skills by their managers.

As suggested in Chapter I, KASSANDROS decides to bury this remnant of ALEXANDROS’s memory, the Kasta Hill monument to the ground. But he doesn’t stop with negative actions; he proceeds with positive deeds as well. In 315 BC he rebuilds Thebes, a city ALEXANDROS had leveled in 335 BC.  And during the same year, he establishes his new city as a center for Macedonian rule, Thessaloniki. He gave the city the name of his wife, a person who didn’t love exactly (love back then among the Macedonian elites was scarce) but decided to honor.

That honorary gift from the City’s founder to his wife survives to this day, as possibly the most important port city of all Balkan Peninsula, for the use of which many wars have been fought over the two millennia. There’s no historical record regarding the makeup of the new city’s population.

Quite likely, the city accommodated the thousands of new migrants into Macedonia to build the monuments and temples Alexandros wanted, as well as to work as slaves in the Macedonian fields and homes, to support the new emerging middle class of Macedonia, the direct result of the Empire’s riches being brought back from the East (Asia) and South (Africa). We can safely assume that it wasn’t internally determined demographics that forced the establishment of Thessaloniki, as we have no evidence that the Eastern Asia campaign was the trigger of any significant population growth rate within Macedonia (or Greece at large) by Macedonians (or Greeks).

However, the biggest question haunting KASSANDROS, and in effect all of ALEXANDROS’s unsuccessful or successful successors to the various fragmented entities of the Empire is this: was KASSANDROS, along with all others, correct in ceasing its expansion to the West, let alone contributing by breaking the Empire up into its constituent parts?
The voice to maintain the Empire as one unit was weak, the strongest and prevailing one in both the Babylon succession agreement (323 BC) and at Triparadeisos (321 BC) was to partition it. The economies of scale that seem to be apparent and possible to attain under ALEXANDROS, were not that apparent or feasible under his successors.
Thus, any thought for a movement to the West, ALEXANDROS’s vision, wasnot only sidelined, but totally abandoned. In any case, as KASSANDROS is concerned, he never showed any desire or ability he could handle such ambitious, mercurial,monumental task. We do not know if he actively discouraged it, if it was even suggested by any of the successors, but we do not have any indication he encouraged it either. I do not expect him to have proposed it though, because I’m sure he (as probably all others) could see that the chances of a Westward expanse were doomed.




All must have known that this campaign into Western and Northern Europe was in ALEXANDROS’ long term agenda. Was Triparadeisos, where KASSANDROS’ father Antipatros participated and emerged as the Strong Man of “Europe” (at the time confined as the Macedonia-Epirus-Thrace-rest of Greece Region) the place and time where this vision was abandoned? Possibly, although we know next to nothing from historical sources; no Minutes of that Meeting, where major Agreements were struck, were ever made public.

We can briefly ponder the Macro-dynamics, Macro-Economics, Demographics, and in general the Macro-effects if such campaign were to be entertained and carried out then. History has witnessed the ferocious, bloody, fratricidal conflicts that ensued ALEXANDROS’ death for both survival and dominance in that era. An excessively aggressive competitionMacedonia and the Empire did experienceback then, excessive by any historical standard. Such destructive competition doomed the prospects of proceeding with a Western European expansion.

 Macedonia was weakened so gravely by all these bloody conflicts, that a mere century later was unable to withstand the invasion of another rising neighbor to the West, the Romans. Far beyond the waning of enthusiasm for such a new campaign, the vitality characterizing the Macedonian society of the 350s BC was long gone by now, its energy depleted by incessant conflict and mostly channeled into the Asian campaign. This reality, I contend, was known to and felt by many, including KASSANDROS.

Again, also, larger scale demographics come into play. Macedonia conquered the East (till India) but didn’t populate it. Sensing the need to populate these newly acquired regions of Asia, ALEXANDROS encourage his soldiers to mate and have off-springs with local women in Asia and Africa, not by raping them, but by marrying them.

Of course he married Roxane to give the prime example. It flooded the East with ideas, diffused Hellenic Ideas, but not with Greeks. The demographics were simply not there. One needs to keep in mind always, the aim of ALEXANDROS was not to either populate, or pillage, kill and rape, but to civilize. Yes, there was revenge – and Persepolis paid for all horrors Persians over the century had inflicted on Greece. But revenge was not ALEXANDROS’ main objective. Securing his back, by fertilizing it with Hellenic culture was his objective.

Thus, we can safely argue that ALEXANDROS run an experiment on “multiculturalism”. It was certainly a case where the invader had superior culture to offer to the invaded, at the same time allowing some of the invaded group’s culture to penetrate the donor. Maybe, ALEXANDROS had understood by the time of his death that this experiment had failed. We can detect this sense of failure by the tone of his speech as reported by Arrianos in ALEXANDROU ANABASIS. Maybe he had by then changed his mind also about a Western campaign. Of course we can never know.

But we can ponder if KASSANDROS knew, because we know that he never attempted any cross-fertilization of cultures, he didn’t encourage it. All indications show that he strongly discouraged it. Dumping dirt to cover HFAISTION’s tomb and monument to the Macedonian who turned Eastern God by ALEXANDROS’ wishes, was just an example of defiance towards this “multiculturalism” he may have thought. Disfiguring the “ecumenical” monument that cosmopolitan Deinokratis intended for the new Amon-Ra ALEXANDROS’ ETAIROS God- designate HFAISTION was another act of defiance to the Eastern-ization and African-ization of Macedonia.

It is rather safe to conclude that the ALEXANDROS era of Macedonia triggered a significant Asian and African in-migration flow to the Greek Peninsula. There must have been some out-flow of skilled Greek labor to these Regions as well, but the main population flow must have been definitely from East and South to West and North. KASSANDROS may have attempted to ease that movement and its effects on Macedonia, and Thessaloniki may have been an effort towards this direction.
He established a place to house and absorb all that influx of migrants. At the same time, he proved to be the tombstone to any thought for a Western campaign. Was he wrong? In view of these developments and conditions facing the Macedonian Empire in the aftermath of ALEXANDROS’ death, would anyone have any illusions that a Western campaign would have succeeded? Assume away for a moment the presence of the Roman threat, and let’s hypothesis “what if” Alexander or any of his successors would had undertaken this expansion course. Would they have succeeded where (up to a point) Rome had failed?




Yes, Rome in effect employed a borrowed (Greek) culture in its conquest, whereas ALEXANDROS would have used the original; that was his main weapon in his Eastern campaign. That original culture was the one which many centuries later produced the Renaissance, thus conquering the West with Ideas.

Was this culture related factor good enough to guarantee success of a possible Northern/Western European Macedonian/Hellenistic campaign? Would Alexandros (or KASSANDROS) and his army do any better than the Romans did? The answer is clear, in my view. When demographics fail, no matter the superiority of a culture and its technology the invading group is bound to fail. Lessons on this dictum can be offered by the telling dynamics of mathematical ecology. At the end, population size dynamics matter the most.

 Maybe KASSANDROS knew that, either by instinct or acute foresight. I’ll grant him that. He saved Macedonia from another adventure equally futile, although in doing so he had to break some eggs to enjoy Macedonia’s omelet, an omelet that ALEXANDROS never got to enjoy and for which his immediate family actually paid quite dearly.

Macedonia under ALEXANDROS had a net outflow of ideas into the vastness of the Empire’s margins (the Hellenistic legacy), but a net inflow of peoples into the core’s realm. At the end, one ought toconsider the very long term effects of this eastern and northern Africa migration into Macedonia and Greece from the times of Alexander the Great, as further enhanced by the population movements during the Byzantine Empire era. In so doing, one might be able to trace and explain the strong anti- Hellenic sentiment among some residents of current day Greece.

That strong “anthelliniko” sentiment expressed in the current political environment of Greece, may trace its DNA to those eastern roots of the Macedonian and Byzantine Empires. Impacts of demography-drawn self-destructive seeds pinpoint the negatives (along with the positives) one encounters in Empire building, no matter the spatial or temporal context in focus. Similar anti-nationalist sentiments are found in all contemporary Nations, large and small.




 Case in point, the strong anti-American sentiment within the US at present, manifested by the strong hate some leftists in the US exhibit towards the Tea Party. Similar probably would have been the case in the past in other Empires (say, the Roman or the British Empire). Implosion may simply be the sine qua non within a national population structure, the level of ethnic diversity in which may
have exceeded the variouscarrying capacities of Nations to beneficially absorb it, as it has reached levels at which its destructive, corrosive, dilapidating effects start to show and take over the smooth functioning of a prior homogeneous society in which the immigrants showed an unwillingness or
inability to integrate and be gradually absorbed.

Reconfirming this realization, and by inescapably revisiting both ALEXANDROS and KASSANDROS in their respective roles as they shaped the life cycle of HFAISTION’s tomb at Amphipolis, might be the lasting legacy of Kasta Tumulus, so vividly shown to us after dusting off all that dirt that covered it for 23 centuries.

                                                                                                                                                                         END


The persons of the drama at Kasta Hill mentioned in this Note.


1.    Major characters:

Megas Alexandros, Hfaistion, Kassandros, Deinokratis, Antipatros, Olympias, Roxane, Alexandros IV, Polyperchon, Aristonous, architect B, the engineer,



2.    Minor characters:

Perdikas, Krateros, Ptolemaios o Sotir, Kleitos, Parmenion, Philotas, Seleukos, Nearxos, Iollas, Aristotle


3.    Other individuals mentioned in the narrative:

Achilles, Patroklos, Homer, Laomedon, Abdalonymos, Thucydides, Philippos II, Vitruvius, Amyntor, Herodotus, Arrianos, Pausanias, Persephone, Pluto, Zeus, Hermes, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Peristeri, Lazaridis, Mavrojannis, Lekakis, Lefanzis.


By George Watkins (aka J. Peters), both literary pseudonyms

11:40AM EST-US, November 20, 2014 (Last revision). Copyright by “george”


This Note presents the latest of an ongoing research effort by the author. Citing parts of this study is allowed, as long as proper reference to the work-Note’s author is given.

Acknowledgements. Comments by Professor Mavrojannis of the University of Cyprus are greatly acknowledged. Further, comments from ARXAIOGNOMON, Embedotimos, Effie Tsilibari, Virginia Kavraki, Apostolos Gouzis, Konstantinos Kairis, Erasitexnis (Viky Papadopoulou),Dimitris Tsimperis, Ioannis Tzanakakis, and Theodoros Spanelis, Editor of XRONOMETROare also greatly appreciated. Assistance by Panayiotis Petropoulos in converting this manuscript into successive PDF files is also appreciated. The author is solely responsible for any errors in fact or judgments and views expressed.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
> Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...