Friday, September 10, 2010

The Occupants of Tomb II at Vergina. Why Arrhidaios and Eurydice must be excluded

ON 21 April 2000 Science published an article by Antonis Bartsiokas titled 'The Eye Injury of King Philip II and the Skeletal Evidence from the Royal Tomb II at Vergina'. In it he criticised some observations made by Prag, Neave and Musgrave in earlier publications concerning possible trauma to the cranium and facial asymmetry. In an attempt to identify the man in the main chamber of Tomb II at Vergina as Philip III Arrhidaios rather than Philip II, he also argued that the bones had been burned dry, degreased and unfleshed. This paper  answer his criticisms, and refute his dry cremation argument, pointing out that, far from strengthening the claim for Arrhidaios, it weakens it considerably.
Dr Jonathan Musgrave of the University of Bristol's Centre for Comparative and Clinical Anatomy and colleagues argue that evidence from the remains is not consistent with historical records of the life, death and burial of Arrhidaios, a far less prominent figure in the ancient world than his father Philip II.
Dr Musgrave said:

"The aim of this paper is not to press the claims of Philip II and his wife Cleopatra but to draw attention to the flaws in those for Philip III Arrhidaios and Eurydice. We do not believe that the condition of the bones and the circumstances of their interment are consistent with descriptions of the funeral of Arrhidaios, his wife and his mother-in-law."

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