Archaeology mystery: Historian’s shocl Alexander the Great tomb claim – ‘Body was stolen!’

The claim was made by historian Andrew Chugg, who used historical evidence to suggest that Alexander the Great was resting in the city of Alexandria, Egypt, but was mistaken for a religious figure Saint Mark the Evangelist. As highlighted in the 2011 Mystery Files show, broadcast on National Geographic, Mr Chugg talks of a key piece of evidence.  At the time of the last mention of Alexander’s tomb, literature referring to another burial begins to become increasingly prevalent.

Mr Chugg said: “We first get mentions of a tomb of Saint Mark a year later in A.D. 392… mentions for the first time that Saint Mark is buried in Alexandria.”

Alexander the Great – hence the name – was founder of the city of Alexandria while Saint Mark was the founder of christianity in the city.

Ancient references also place Saint Mark’s body in the same location as Alexander, leading to Mr Chugg to suggest that Saint Mark’s tomb was actually still host to Alexander the Great’s body.

In the first millennium, Alexandria was conquered by Muslims, but Christians attempted to reclaim their land in the crusades.

Mr Chugg claims Venetian merchants went to Alexandria and smuggled the body out of the city.

Artwork on the front of the Basilica illustrates a tomb being carried by the merchants, and also shows the body being covered in pork.

The illustrations show Muslim figures repulsed by the pork, suggesting the merchants used it as a way to get the body out of the city.

The artwork also shows a celebratory homecoming for the body.

However, there have been numerous other claims from researchers who believe they have found the true resting place of the legendary military commander.

Archaeologist Liana Souvaltzi claims she discovered the real tomb of Alexander 20 years ago in Egypt, but has been blocked by the Greek and Egyptian governments ever since.

Ms Souvaltzi and her team found an entranceway, guarded by lion statues, to what appeared to be a very large and important monument.

Over the next several years, the excavations revealed that the monument was a magnificent 525 square-metre Hellenistic royal tomb.

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The archeologists found numerous lion heads on the site, suggesting the burial was of an important figure.

Among the inscriptions and carvings was a symbol of Amun Ra and Greek decorations, meaning the tomb could well belong to Alexander the Great.

One of the inscriptions, which Ms Souvaltzi believes was written by Ptolemy – a famous companion of Alexander – refers to the elaborate transportation of the body to that tomb, though there is no reference to any names.

In 1995, it was announced to the world that Alexander the Great’s tomb had been found.

Ms Souvaltzi told Greek media at the time: “I have no reservations about whether this is Alexander’s tomb.

“But I am speaking to every Greek all over the world. I want every one of you to feel proud, because Greek hands have found this very important monument.”

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