History

Greek Tomb's Female Sculptures Fully Revealed

The 7.45-foot-tall statues stand on a marble pedestal, wearing high-soled red-and-yellow shoes.

The two female statues guarding the massive burial complex in Amphipolis, in Greece's northeastern Macedonia region, can now be seen in all their glory from head to toe.

Pictures released by Greece's Culture Ministry on Sunday show the 7.45-foot-tall statues standing on a marble pedestal with high-soled red and yellow shoes.

"Their toes have been sculpted in great detail," the Greek ministry of culture said.

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Carved in high relief of Thassos marble, the imposing twin statues, known as Caryatids, stand between two marble pillars supporting a beam. They were "buried" in the ground, sandwiched between two walls, one sealing the statues off and the other closing another chamber.

Wearing a long chiton -- a sleeveless garment from the Archaic period -- and earrings, the statues feature long, thick hair covering their shoulders. While the face of one Caryatid survives almost intact, the other is missing, but archaeologists have found some fragments of the face, as well as some pieces of their missing hands.

The sculptures appear to slightly lift their chitons with the corresponding hand. As for the figures's alternated raised arms, the archaeologists have interpreted them as a sign to symbolically prevent anyone attempting to enter the grave.

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The distance between the two pedestals on which the Caryatids stand is 5.5ft, which is the same as the door opening at the tomb's entrance. This is guarded by two headless, wingless sphinxes.

The excavation has so far uncovered three chambers in the tomb. Earlier today, the secretary of the Ministry of Culture Lina Mendoni said there might be a fourth chamber in the mysterious burial.

The two Caryatids are fully revealed.

The two Caryatids are fully revealed.

The statues wear high-soled red-and-yellow shoes.

Their toes are finely carved, as the rest of their bodies.

This drawing shows the tomb reconstruction according to the ongoing excavation.

Two finely carved female figures called Caryatids have been unearthed inside the mysterious tomb-in Amphipolis, which dates from the time of Alexander the Great.

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Wearing a sleeved tunic and earrings, the Caryatids feature long, thick hair covering their shoulders.

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While the face of one sculpture survives nearly intact, the other is missing.

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The right arm of one Caryatid and the left arm of the other are both outstretched, as if to symbolically prevent anyone from attempting to enter the grave.

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A perfectly preserved rectangular marble block, measuring 14 feet long and 3 feet wide, was unearthed at the bottom of the barrel vault.

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On the underside of the large marble block are traces of blue, red and yellow, representing panels with rosettes in the center. Other rosettes were previously found embossed on a marble beam.

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