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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the digging-up-the-past dept.
schwit1 writes Archaeologists have uncovered the largest tomb ever discovered in Greece and think it is linked to the reign of Alexander the Great. "The tomb, dating to around 300 BC, may have held the body of one of Alexander's generals or a member of his family. It was found beneath a huge burial mound near the ancient site of Amphipolis in northern Greece. Antonis Samaras, Greece's prime minister, visited the dig on Tuesday and described the discovery as 'clearly extremely significant'. A broad, five-yard wide road led up to the tomb, the entrance of which was flanked by two carved sphinxes. It was encircled by a 500 yard long marble outer wall. Experts believe a 16ft tall lion sculpture previously discovered nearby once stood on top of the tomb."
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

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  • Or Enceladus perhaps?
    • by nava68 (2356090) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @06:51AM (#47669427)
      Since Roxana (Alexanders wife) and his son Alexander IV were killed in Amphipolis by one of the Diadochen it could be either one of them or the Diadochen (Cassandos) who was buried in that tomb. Btw the excavation is running now for more than one year - hardly news except that Samaras went there for a visit and archeologist plan to enter within the next few months...
  • meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 14, 2014 @06:32AM (#47669369)

    It should be a requrement for people to include all of the measurments in metrics so people shouldn't be requred to dechipher how many feetsies are there in a yard and how much that is in crows wings, car tyres, pencil lenghts, cat paws etc.

    • meh (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It should be a requirement for people leaving primary school to be able to convert units.

      • Re:meh (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 14, 2014 @06:53AM (#47669435)

        OK.
        "It is ordained that 3 grains of barley dry and round do make an inch, 12 inches make 1 foot, 3 feet make 1 yard, 5 yards and a half make a perch, and 40 perches in length and 4 in breadth make an acre."

        Oh it's based on barley, i thought the whole system is flawed but now i know it all makes sense, so next time just write 90.9090909090909090909090909 perches and I'll know thats like 499,99999999 in yards (Sorry 500 doesnt divide by 5 and a half), just multiply that by three and then 12 and get inches, now multiply by three, whip out that barley sack and start to line them up to get a seeable reference.

        Thanks man.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        For the useless endeavor of catering to 5% of the world population? No, thanks, we are quite happy using the SI and base 10 conversions. Also, it comes with the benefit of NOT needing to state the country issuing a specific measurement or whether is intended to use at sea or land (not to mention funny prefixes like gross).

        I can understand if there were any clear benefit to use the old imperial units, but there is none (zero, zilch, nada, other than nationalistic pride) and lots of downsides, so is about tim

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Here are two propositions:

          - The scientific and technical world should use the SI wherever doing so would not increase confusion;

          - Every adult without severe learning difficulties should be able to convert popular alternative units - certainly approximately in their head, and (perhaps with reference to a table) exactly where needed.

          I agree with both of these propositions.

          I am a European brought up on the metric system. But, just as I understand why analog communications systems are easier to grasp because of

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Double meh.

            As above states, a foot (male, adult, farmer) is about a foot. Further, "a pint is a pound the world around". One ounce (liquid) of water weighs one ounce (in the USA). One horsepower is what it is (assuming an average workhorse like a Morgan, not an Arabian, nor a Clydesdale). So some of it makes a lot of sense, at least to farmers who used the units on a daily basis. In the UK, maybe not so much (1 pt = 20 oz), but then the UK has problems with proper spelling too, often inserting unnecessary

            • by Calydor (739835)

              Are you SERIOUSLY saying that England is the one spelling the English language wrong, or was this more tongue-in-cheek than can be conveyed easily in text?

              • by Anonymous Coward

                England had no standardization and many competing spellings for words until some bright folk in the Colonies (e.g., America) decided to promote uniform 'correct' spelling and compile dictionaries. AFTER it had caught on in America, England eventually did the same with alrernate British spellings.

                If you want an interesting read, look up the history of the word 'aluminum.' The spelling 'Aluminium' was first proposed by an American and was standard therd for a time. For various reasons it fell out of favor in

              • by Rakarra (112805)

                Are you SERIOUSLY saying that England is the one spelling the English language wrong, or was this more tongue-in-cheek than can be conveyed easily in text?

                Hey, color (and honor, etc) is the original spelling. If the Normans hadn't conquered England and introduced those frenchified variations, we wouldn't be having this argument.

                And no, England and English having the same root word in no way makes England the ultimate arbiter in how language spellings go.

        • It is expensive and has low return trying to convert 95% (statistic made up) of a country's population to another standard. Both systems are taught both in school, and people choose to use the one that is most prevalent, although both units show up in many products. Both systems require rote memorization and can be confusing (deca/deci for example).

          And of course, those in favor of the metric system often conveniently forget to mention that conversions are not all purely powers of ten. When dealing with data

        • by readin (838620)

          I can understand if there were any clear benefit to use the old imperial units, but there is none (zero, zilch, nada, other than nationalistic pride) and lots of downsides, so is about time you guys enter the 20 century and make life simpler for everyone.

          Metric makes it so easy to get calculations wrong in ways that are hard to detect.

          1. write you 'n' with 1.5 humps (a habit from writing cursive) or write your 'm' so that it looks like cursive when you didn't mean cursive, and suddenly a nm is a mm or a mm is a nm and your measurement is off by a factor of a million. In Metric all abbreviations in a given dimension differ by one letter, but in Human measurements they differ by 2 or more.

          2. In Human measurements conversions usually require a bit of c

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It should be a requirement for people leaving primary school to be able to convert units.

        It often is. I recall that we briefly mentioned imperial units in history class in primary school. A foot is 296.904mm but that wouldn't apply here since we are talking about Greek imperial units so we should probably use the Greek foot (pous) of 308.2 mm.
        That is the thing with imperial units, every empire has their own. Once people started dealing with more than just the next nation and started to travel a little bit further the conversion became really complex. Metric would never have been adopted is impe

        • A foot is 296.904mm but that wouldn't apply here since we are talking about Greek imperial units so we should probably use the Greek foot (pous) of 308.2 mm.

          Last I checked, a foot was 304.8mm (25.4mm per inch, 12 inches per foot).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        It should be a requirement for people leaving primary school to be able to use metric units so as to be able to communicate with the rest of the world. And among themselves actually, while in the US I experimented by asking Americans questions like "how many ounces to the gallon" etc. Actually that particular one nobody ever answered correctly (most common answer was 64 when it is 128 - or 160 if you are from the UK and using the imperial versions).
        • by sumdumass (711423)

          No one answered because you would normally convert down to the next logical unit. You don't say the field was one million six hundred thousand and three hundred centimeters long. You say it is sixteenthousand and three meters or sixteen point zero zero three kilometers. 16003 meters. Like wise, every eight ounces is a cup, two cups (16oz) is a pint, two pints (32oz) is a quart , and four quarts (128oz) is a gallon.

          Rarely would you need to know how many ounces are in a gallon unless you are doing something t

        • Pro-metric folks talk about the ease of metric conversions, but that's mostly useless. Few calculations are of the shift the decimal place around. Rather, most calculations require more arithmetic than most people can comfortably handle without paper or a calculator.

          But, even more important, the most relevant aspect of using either any system of measurement, be it metric or English, is gut feelings. That's what used daily over and over again. I have a gut feel for how big 100 miles, 1 gallon, 160 lbs, e

          • by xfade551 (2627499)
            When using computers, there is one way in which English measures are unbiasly superior to metric units, which is that the standard practice that subdivisions of the small length unit (the inch) are base-2 fractions (i.e. 1/2", 3/4", 5/32", etc), rather than decimal (i.e. 11.3 mm, 15.923 mm, 2.71 mm, etc. ...just examples, not conversions). Why is this superior? Numbers are represented in binary on a computer, decimals will not neccessarily convert without a small error. Usually the difference is negligible,
          • Pro-metric folks talk about the ease of metric conversions, but that's mostly useless.

            I absolutely agree with you for everyday use. Scientists and engineers obviously have a lot more unit conversion to do at times, but for everyday folks, it doesn't really matter if there are 5280, 5000, or 5317 feet in a mile -- short distances are expressed in feet or yards, long distances are miles. Everyday people rarely need to convert the two. And it doesn't matter if there are 128 ounces in a gallon or 130 or 117. You buy certain things in ounces, and other things in quarts or pints, and still oth

            • (By the way, regarding my last comment about a sudden conversion -- I know that's impossible because of all the machinery, equipment, etc. in many fields that uses traditional units. But if it were possible to just move everything over one day, I don't think it would take people that long to obtain a new sense of the new units, at least not for the things they tend to encounter often in their daily lives.)
      • Yes and no (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 14, 2014 @09:13AM (#47669917)

        It is a requirement leaving primary school to be able to do a division. it is not a requirement to know what feet or yard or stones or furlong are. When you have an international audience, it is polite to use the international measurement methods that about 95% of the world use maybe put it in parenthesis near the medieval unit. like say 500 yards (about 450 meters).
         
        This has an ecological impact by the way, because if thousand of people google "500 yards to meter" the electricity and time lost, would have been better spent on something else. If one person the submitter does it it is maybe 5 second lost to him and no big deal. If say 10000 persons do it, guessestimate international audience slashdot, that's 50000 seconds lost, electricity, bandwidth usage and so forth. Not a lot but cumulated over the years ? And jsut because the submitter does not want to make 1 step, he forces those loss on everybody else

        • by Anonymous Coward

          This has an ecological impact by the way, because if thousand of people google "500 yards to meter" the electricity and time lost, would have been better spent on something else. If one person the submitter does it it is maybe 5 second lost to him and no big deal. If say 10000 persons do it, guessestimate international audience slashdot, that's 50000 seconds lost, electricity, bandwidth usage and so forth. Not a lot but cumulated over the years ? And jsut because the submitter does not want to make 1 step, he forces those loss on everybody else

          Think of the kitten memes and porn that could have been transferred over that precious lost bandwidth!

        • by cyn1c77 (928549)

          It is a requirement leaving primary school to be able to do a division. it is not a requirement to know what feet or yard or stones or furlong are. When you have an international audience, it is polite to use the international measurement methods that about 95% of the world use maybe put it in parenthesis near the medieval unit. like say 500 yards (about 450 meters).

          This has an ecological impact by the way, because if thousand of people google "500 yards to meter" the electricity and time lost, would have been better spent on something else. If one person the submitter does it it is maybe 5 second lost to him and no big deal. If say 10000 persons do it, guessestimate international audience slashdot, that's 50000 seconds lost, electricity, bandwidth usage and so forth. Not a lot but cumulated over the years ? And jsut because the submitter does not want to make 1 step, he forces those loss on everybody else

          A true historian would use both SI units and units that were contemporary of when the tomb was created.

      • by landoltjp (676315)

        Well, then. As a testament to the superlative American education system, the US should finish what they started in 1976 and join EVERYBODY ELSE in the world by FINALLY converting to metric!

        • We do use metric. We also like to retain our Anglo-Saxon/Roman system. We don't feel like it taxes our brains like you all feel it taxes yours. Those who don't use the metric system in their daily lives tend to not convert easily. Those who do, can. We find it amusing that it generates such apoplexy in those abroad who can't.

          • by GNious (953874)

            Perhaps because those outside of the US knows that some imperial measurements comes in multiple versions depending on the source...

        • by readin (838620)
          So everyone else makes a mistake and we're supposed to follow? How about if the rest of the world abandons metric and adopts some rational units instead?
      • by Optali (809880)
        Sure, but why would we have to learn exotic units used only in the USA in primary school here in Europe? Do you study the Castillian league by chance? Pray tell how much is a Dutch pound, a Dutch ounce or a German Zentner? Mind you, the three last units are of daily use here in Holland and in Germany.
    • For authenticity, the author should have used ancient Greek measurements instead.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        For authenticity, the author should have used ancient Greek measurements instead.

        A broad, 2.73 AtG wide road led up to the tomb, the entrance of which was flanked by two carved sphinxes. It was encircled by a 273 AtG long marble outer wall. Experts believe a 2.9 AtG tall lion sculpture previously discovered nearby once stood on top of the tomb.

        Assuming that AtG was 5' 6" tall [pothos.org].

        • AtG was 7'4" tall.

          Oh wait. You weren't referring to Andres the Giant.
          Never mind.
    • by DrXym (126579)
      If the Telegraph is using imperial, it's probably as some weak protest against Europe (and almost the entire world) and their fangle dangle standard system of weights and measures.
    • Re:meh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PPalmgren (1009823) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @08:42AM (#47669779)

      If you want rough estimates, its simple. If its in feet, divide by 3 for meters. If its in yards, yards = meters. No, its not perfect, but its close enough, within 2% margin of error.

      Its not going to change any time soon, and no amount of bitching is going to make it change any time soon, so get over it. I find it funny that the bitching usually comes from Europe, where language is about 'cultural identity' but you have to speak english to be functional in larger businesses. Using the same logic, we should eliminate Dutch, Italian, Greek, Finnish, Swedish, and so on because they're a minority method of communication.

      • I think your point count against you. /. is fairly large. It would be reasonable to apply the same standards as for a large business. Hence, you should standardize your communication. In this case that means English and metric. It is ok that you use it amongst yourself but it would be nice of you to try to keep it only amongst yourself :) The standard custom in Europe is more or less that if someone wouldnt understand otherwise, you speak English (at least for the larger places I have worked). Similarly, it

      • It is not the problem of feet and yards, and the error is not 2% but roughly 10% ...
        The problem are square feet versus square meters or acres versus hectar (german measure, 100 ars, where an ar is 100 square meters [10x10] ... or square miles versus square kilometers ... )
        OTOH in special cases it makes sense to have your own units, like in sailing. No one is using km or km/h if he is traveling the seas, however we don't use 'miles' but nautical miles, which makes sense if you know how navigation works.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PPalmgren (1009823)

          I understand the frustration, hell, my first course in egineering, they devoted a big chunk to unit conversions. I just get aggrivated when year after year, story after story, someone starts complaining about units and we get a huge back-patting session where everyone congratulates each for not being from the US. It takes less time to press ctrl+t and type '5ft 6in to cm' in the top bar for a translation than it does to type out a whiny soap-box post like the type we commonly get.

          There are two facts that

          • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

            by flyingsquid (813711)

            I understand the frustration, hell, my first course in egineering, they devoted a big chunk to unit conversions. I just get aggrivated when year after year, story after story, someone starts complaining about units and we get a huge back-patting session where everyone congratulates each for not being from the US. It takes less time to press ctrl+t and type '5ft 6in to cm' in the top bar for a translation than it does to type out a whiny soap-box post like the type we commonly get.

            Speaking as a loud, proud AMERICAN, I'll give all you international whiners out there one more reason to learn traditional units. Next time you strike oil, and we elect someone with the IQ of a pygmy marmoset to the presidency, and the CIA gets the intelligence disastrously wrong, what happens next??? The bombs are gonna start raining down on your ASSES, the bullets are gonna start flying... ANDIT AINT GONNA BE IN METRIC!!! You all are gonna be welcome to sit there and sip your expressos with a smug, superi

        • The problem are square feet versus square meters or acres versus hectar (german measure, 100 ars, where an ar is 100 square meters [10x10] ... or square miles versus square kilometers ... )

          About ten square feet per square meter is a pretty good approximation.

          And 2.5 acres per hectare, as I recall.

          Note that both of those estimates are within 2%.

          • For that you need to know how big an acre is :) or what it actually is, certainly it is not 'similarâ to a german 'Ar' even if the name is similar.

            To figure if your proclaimed 2% is correct I need a calculator.

            The parent who claimed 3 feet would be in 2% range of a meter was wrong :)

            • For that you need to know how big an acre is :) or what it actually is, certainly it is not 'similarà to a german 'Ar' even if the name is similar.

              True. Fortunately, I do know what an acre is - 1/640th of a square mile. If it helps, a mile is 1609 meters (approximately).

              To figure if your proclaimed 2% is correct I need a calculator.

              I used a calculator to verify the accuracy of the numbers. Feel free to check me - it's always possible I mistyped something.

              • The percentage is not relevant, are you are better than your parent (who claimed the difference between a yard and a meter would be 2%, but its close to 10%)

                So if an acre is 1/640th of a square mile they split up the square mile by 80x80. If I remember right that was 1760 yard, so 1/80ths is 22yards.

                What is a the name of a 22 yards length? After all the mile must be 80 times that unknown length :)

                Haha, if I once write a fantasy novel I will make sure I have a Hobbit like 100 pages discussion about archaic m

      • I'm from the US and I absolutely bitch about us abandoning the conversion they started to move us to the metric system when I was a kid. Do I think metric, no, but i sure would if we had followed through on that.
    • Re:meh (Score:5, Funny)

      by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @08:56AM (#47669829)

      You really should've called them out on calling it "BC" rather than "BCE" while you were at it. What's pedantry without thoroughness?

    • by judoguy (534886)
      When your country becomes the largest military force on Earth, then YOU can dictate measurement units.

      Until then, neener, neener!

      • When your country becomes the largest military force on Earth, then YOU can dictate measurement units.

        Until then, neener, neener!

        Ah crap, not another military failure.

        Good job on Liberia and Myanmar though, keep it up!

    • Re:meh (Score:5, Informative)

      by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @12:03PM (#47670975)

      There's another article here [greekreporter.com], which contains this quote from the prime minister:

      This is a monument with unique features: A surrounding peribolos of 497 meters, almost a perfect circle carved in Thassos marble. The Lion of Amphipolis is 5.20 meters high; let’s imagine it as being on the top of the tomb

      That article also shows a picture with a partial glimpse of the entrance. This article [greekreporter.com] from the same site has a picture of the lion, and the video down below is basically a slideshow of pictures of the tomb site. There's another article here [ekathimerini.com] with another exterior picture. The site of ancient Amphipolis is here [google.com], on the land surrounded by the river (you can zoom in and see the ruins of the acropolis). Based on the pictures in the articles, it looks like the tomb itself is just northeast of the site, here [google.com].

      I'm not an archaeologist, I just play one on the internet.

    • by GNious (953874)

      As long as they'd bother note whether it was 5 front-yards wide, or 5 back-yards wide, we can probably convert trivially.
      Besides, pretty sure they use american-imperial units in Greece.

    • Most days I'm working in bases: 2,8,10,12,16 and 60 for one reason or another. For construction I've tried decimal but have returned to dozenal for the ease of working with prime factors and mental math - I was always on the calculator in my decimal phase.

      Y'know, my eleven year old daughter understands base and place value and can do math in arbitrary bases (it took me maybe four hours to teach her) - why do some Europeans feel so smug about being ignorant of non-decimal systems?

    • by Optali (809880)
      Easy!! Everybody and the dog knows that! 16yrd are exactly 12 4/3 crow's wings, 1/2 car tyre and 3 pubes of an untouched blond virgin plucked during full moon while Neptune is in the House of Aries!!!
  • Complete lack of photos or any actual indication of size (other than the burial mounds size) or layout.

  • Geek tomb? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 14, 2014 @06:54AM (#47669439)

    In the first moment I thought they found someones petrified basement

  • what kind of grease?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Giant geek tomb?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 14, 2014 @08:08AM (#47669641)

    I almost spewed my coffee all over my keyboard when I read this the first time. I read: "Giant GEEK tomb discovered".

    • by phorm (591458)

      Evidence that it belonged to an early Geek civilization included partial remains of early Minoan "RedBull" drinks as well as partial remains of what appears to be an overclocked gaming abacus.

  • by eye_blinked (2775553) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @08:16AM (#47669665)
    Internetogists have discovered a vast tomb that they believe is connected with the reign of Dice, who conquered vast swathes of the ancient Internet. The tomb, dating to around 2014AD, may have held the archive of pre-beta slashdot. It was found beneath a huge burial mound near the ancient site of Andover.net in northern Cyberspace. Rick Astley visited the dig on Tuesday and described the discovery as "clearly extremely significant". A broad, five Tb pipe led up to the tomb, the entrance of which was flanked by two carved goatse.
  • And was pondering what would be in a geek tomb. Probably old Dilbert dolls, models from the original Star Trek, B5 and Firefly and a large pile of dirty laundry. Naturally it'd be found in Alexander the Great's basement.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It was full of old Texas Instruments calculators, Star Trek memorabilia, and coffee beans for the after life.

    Wait, you said a Greek tomb? Why would we care about some dead frat boy?

  • Did anyone else read that as giant geek tomb discovered?
  • by Kagato (116051) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @10:40AM (#47670419)

    One of the problems with the historical sites in Greece is so many of the large ones have been stolen from over the centuries. Want to see the full Parthenon? Better book a trip to the Vatican, Louvre in Paris and the British Museum what's still left for public viewing. Various conquers and rulers have been selling off bits and pieces of greek history for as long as Europeans have been collecting art.

    • I went on a Mediterranean tour a few years back. An ancient history fan, visited all the big ruins and historical sites. I was disappointed.

      1) Pretty much everything has been "restored". Very little is actually original. Most have tried to recreate as close as possible, but it is exactly that, a recreation.
      2) One the most disappointing and disgusting things things I went to was the Vatican. Basically they looted and pillaged all the "Pagan" temples and historical sites of anything valuable to construct thei

      • by Kagato (116051)

        That's pretty much what happened to the colosseum. Stone and marble was torn out. A chunk of it ended to make the vatican.

        • by DarthVain (724186)

          Yeah went to the Colosseum. In addition to that:

          Rome was pillaged and sacked a few times, and the building was burned and damaged several times.
          World War Two wasn't so great for it either.
          Interestingly as mentioned valuable material got looted, one of which I wasn't aware of before, was that basically it was of the first structures to use brick and mortar, but on top of that, of the large stone supports, in order to remain stable, it was one of the first to use a primitive version of "rebar", in which large

  • by sls1j (580823) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @10:56AM (#47670519) Homepage
    Here is a better article with actual pictures [ancient-origins.net]
  • It's one thing to read about finding traces of ancient civilization using new RADAR and LIDAR technology over the South American jungle, a huge area where ground travel is rare and difficult; it's another to find "new" ancient ruins (not so ruined!) in a mostly modern country like Greece. Also, as with so many other constructs, impressive to see how much was done with sheer muscle power (including animals) and what we consider a low level of technology.
    • by jfengel (409917)

      It is pretty damn remarkable. A lot of it is just a matter of time and money. A dig like this is expensive, because you need to do it with some delicacy. We could rip the top off that mound in an afternoon with bulldozers, losing huge amounts of information in the process. Instead it takes an army of grad students and many months.

      Greece (and in fact the entire area through the Middle East) is just covered with such sites, where the locals know that something is buried under some hill or other, waiting for t

  • but how hard is it to "discover" a tomb that has a 5 yard wide road leading to its entrance? With carved sphinxes on either side? Encircled by a 500 yard long marble wall? Seems sort of obvious to me.

  • A broad, five-yard wide road led up to the tomb

    The broad's name is Xena.

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