• Dimitris Lazaridesς

    He was born in Kavala, in 1917 and died in 1984. After graduating from high-school in 1934, he had to interrupt his studies for a period of two years, because of having to work. After that period, he gave exams to enter the Faculty of Philosophy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, from which he graduated in 1941.

    In 1945 he was appointed as an ephor in the Ephorate of Antiquities in Kavala, being responsible for the regions of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and he stayed there for 20 years, only interrupting for two years (1950-1952) when he moved in Paris to study at the Sorbonne University on a scholarship. During those 20 years, he worked tirelessly, having limited resources and even less money, and he performed excavations at important ancient cities of Macedonia and Thrace, like Avdera (1956-1977), Amphipolis (1956-1984), Philippi (1959-1964), ancient Neapolis (Kavala) (1960-1963) and Thasos (1961). He also organized new museums in Kavala, Thasos, Filippi, Amphipolis and Skyros. He accomplished restorations at the archaeological sites of Filippi and Thasos. In parallel, he was one of the initiators of the Festival of Ancient Drama in Thasos.

    In 1965 he was appointed as director of the Ephorate of Antiquities in Athens. Apart from his actions for the protection of the archaeological sites and the organization of the museums in his territory, he was elected as President of the Greek Archaeologists (1967).

    In 1968, he was dismissed by the dictatorship, due to his democratical beliefs. For the same reasons, he was banned from leaving the country, only being allowed to go to France for a few days in 1969, after an intervention of the President of the French Republic Georges Pompidou, in order to be honored for the excavations at Amphipolis. There, he was also proclaimed honorary Professor of the University of Besancon. During the dictatorship, he refused some very interesting proposals to go abroad, preferring to stay in his country where he wrote seven studies concerning ancient Greek cities in Macedonia and Thrace.

    After the restoration of Democracy in 1974, he was appointed as General Director of Antiquities in the Ministry of Culture, but in 1977 he resigned from his office due to a disagreement with minister Tripanis, as Lazarides argued that the findings of Vergina should not have been moved to the USA. After that, he became Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Crete.

    But his greatest love was Amphipolis, in which he spent most of his life. After the excavation of decades of graves from 1956 to 1961, he brought to light the famous school of ancient Amphipolis, which remains partially uncovered due to his death (His daughter, Kaliopi Lazarides, has undertaken the resumption of the excavation work there). An ancient cemetery has also not been fully uncovered before his death. In 1977, he uncovered a finding of major importance: the Amphipolis wooden bridge, which is described by Thucydides, because the Spartans led by Brassidas passed over it to capture Amphipolis.

    In 1964 he made the first sounding at Kasta hill revealing 41 meters of the precinct wall. He believed that the construction of the tumulus (the artificial hill) was an important technical work - this is the largest tumulus we have seen- and could only conceal something very important. He had written that it must be a funerary monument of extreme importance, of the Macedonian tomb type, or a heroic funerary monument. His belief is now proved to be right.

    In front of the museum he created, the Municipality of Amphipoli has placed a bust of Dimitris Lazarides, in an attempt to pay tribute to him. They have also given his name to the road that drives to this museum.

  • Michalis Lefantzisς

    Michalis Lefantzis is part of the team that performs the excavations at Amphipolis. He is the architect of the team and is considered as an important consultant.

  • Katerina Peristeri

    From 2009 the archaeologist Katerina Peristeri is the leader of a team that works to solve the mystery of what is hidden inside the tomb of Amphipolis. However, she keeps a low profile.

    For three years, the procedure of the excavation remained at its primary stages, and the research failed to produce interesting results. But in 2012, Katerina Peristeri attempted to find the boundaries of the tomb. After two unsuccessful attempts, the precinct wall of the tomb was revealed. It is worthwhile to mention that, up to that revelation, the tomb mound was 23 meters tall, while in order for the precinct wall to be brought to light, the archaeologists had to dig 12 meters deeper, as Katerina Peristeri has pointed out.

    In order to proceed with the excavations, she asked assistance from an architect, Micalis Lefantzis, who worked on the project of restoration of the Acropolis and happened to be in the region of Amphipolis by chance at that time (from then on he is a member of her team). Together they began to depict the precinct of the tomb and, after lots of research they came to the conclusion that the Lion of Amphipolis, the famous statue, is directly related with the local tomb.

  • Evangelos Kambouroglou

    He is chief of the Geology and Paleontology Department of the Ephorate of Palaeoanthropology - Speleology of South Greece. His scientific contribution includes his involvement in the restoration of some important caves in Greece, like the Gerani Cave in Crete and he is also the author of some books concerning the geomorphology and the paleogeographic evolution of important ancient cities, such as Eretria.

    He was asked by the Ministry of Culture to participate in the process when it came to the “exploration” of the third chamber, that means, at a crucial time. He was the only person that crawled into the chamber with a hand-held drilling rig, ignoring the risks – the vault was extremely unstable – and he detected the door that leads to the fourth chamber.