Amphipolis Tomb Excavation Ends, Labs to Determine Skeleton’s Identity



tafos-amfipoli
Greece ‘s General Secretary of Culture Lina Mendoni on November 14, said that excavation works at the Amphipolis tomb came to an end and the skeleton of the buried has been transferred to a laboratory in order to determine his or her identity.

Speaking to Mega TV, Mendoni said, “Excavations in the monument area have come to an end since they have reached the natural ground.” However, she said, there may be other points of interest on Kasta hill.

From now on, she said, “the genetic material will give some answers but not all the answers.” She also added that there haven’t been any findings other than the ones officially presented by the ministry.

Speaking about the identity of the buried, the general secretary said that in a monument of such importance, it is wiser to wait for the scientists to give the answers based on actual evidence. She also confirmed that the bones of the dead were not burned.

“I don’t exclude anything,” Mendoni said. “Everyone has the right to make scientific assumptions… but I would prefer to stick to what we have at hand.”

The scientist who discovered the face of Myrtis through DNA talks about the identification procedure

MyrtisProfessor of Orthodontics Manolis Papagrigorakis said that the DNA of the skeleton in the Amphipolis grave most likely will be found by analyzing the pulp of the tooth, according to TheTOC.gr.

Papagrigorakis was the scientist in charge of the team that recreated the face of Myrtis, by analyzing ancient DNA from her teeth. Myrtis was the name given to the skeleton of an ancient Athenian 11-year-old girl who was found in a mass grave near Acropolis in 1994-1995.

“In the case of Myrtis, we followed the method of two doctors-professors at the University of Marseille. We took DNA sample from the pulp of teeth,” Papagrigorakis said to TheTOC.gr.

He said that through this method, scientists will learn the sex, age, hair and eye color, and cause of death. The tests can also show if the skeleton belongs to a man injured at battle or suffered from some disease. He added that it takes about three months to come up with results.


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