Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Alexander the Great update This item got sent around the EEF lists and also appeared in my Inbox: The Sword In The Stone Yields New Evidence In The Quest for the Tomb of Alexander the Great
In 2004 Andrew Chugg published the hypothesis that the corpse identified as St Mark the Evangelist, which was shipped to Venice from Alexandria in the early ninth century, might actually be the remains of Alexander the Great. At that time this suggestion rested mainly on circumstantial evidence, but now a large block of sculpture found embedded in the foundations of St Mark's Basilica in Venice just a few metres from the Saint's tomb has been independently identified as a funerary relief from a high status Macedonian tomb of the 3rd century BC. Stone tests have revealed a fossil mix which seemed at first to suggest a Roman quarry near Trieste, but it has recently transpired that the stone used for the core blocks of the pyramid of Cheop's son at Abu Roash in Egypt is also remarkably similar. This pyramid began to be quarried for sculptural stone by Alexander's successors in Egypt, probably in order to embellish their monuments in Alexandria, including Alexander's tomb. Alexandria lies just 100 miles down the Nile from this mostly destroyed pyramid, which would have been the most convenient source of good quality stone for the city at the time.

Eh. Kind of a stretch. He's saying that "similar" stone occurs in both Italy and Egypt. Okay, fine. But you can find similar stone with similar fossils in Texas. That's not a dismissal, but you really need to go deeper than that (which the book may do for all I know).