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To Amphipolis with love

29 August 2014 / 12:08:57  GRReporter
2765 reads

"I am not going to make any statements, the moment is not yet ripe," Secretary General of the Greek Ministry of Culture Lena Mendoni said in response to a question by GRReporter regarding the excavations in Amphipolis.

While they are continuing and the eagerness to learn who was buried in the magnificent tomb is growing, an amusing discussion about the findings is taking place on the social networks, as reported by the online edition iefimerida.gr. According to Monitor, the electronic platform for search, registration and evaluation of posts on the Greek web and by Greek users, only within 20 days, from 10 August when the excavations started to 20 August, the word Amphipolis appeared on social networks over 55,000 times.

The culmination was on 13 August, a day after the visit of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to the excavation site, with about 6,000 posts on this topic. The majority of the posts, 53%, were on Twitter, followed by those in blogs and on Facebook. The largest number of comments on the subject, 43%, belonged to users aged between 36 to 50 years. Second, with a slight difference, were users aged between 21 and 35 years, who uploaded 40% of the posts.

Particularly popular proved to be Alexander the Great, whose name was mentioned over 22,000 times in user comments, as many of them expressed the assumption that probably he was laid in the tomb.

In addition to the comments related to the archaeological excavations in general, the topic has provoked many funny comments related to the topical issues of the Greek reality.

"The tomb in Amphipolis is the crocodile Sifis of archaeology," wrote one user, obviously referring to the so far unsuccessful efforts of the veterinary services to capture the reptile from the lake in Crete. Another user commenting on the opening of the only station, at present, of the long awaited underground in Thessaloniki wrote, "It will be opened after 2,000 years and then they will think it is a tomb. Try to explain to them..."

The news about the luxury car of popular singer Michalis Hatziyannis has also inspired social networks users, "They found the plates of Hatziyannis Ferrari buried in Amphipolis."

Archaeologist Catherine Peristeri, who is in charge of the excavations, has also been one of the themes over the past few days since more than 6,500 people have referred to her. "They are telling me to be careful because someone is digging my grave. I am telling them I am not afraid of anyone ... except of Peristeri." Her family name has also become the subject of a word play, since the word "peristeri" in Greek means "dove". "Peristeri...of peace" is the text of the joking post.

Especially funny was the decision of a user to calculate the already proverbial new property tax of the tomb. "The tomb in Amphipolis has an area of 1,962 square metres. It has a ground and first floor, a building aged over 100 years with more than two facades due to its round shape, and it is not used for agricultural activity. At the lowest price for the zone, the tax amounts to 2,400 euro. If we account for the fact that the tenant failed to record the property for many years, and add the duties of unpaid taxes and the penalties to it, I think Alexander the Great would hardly be able to pay around 500,000 euro. (The sum is greater, of course, but the court will take into account the mitigating circumstances). Fortunately, he can ask for deferred payment in 48 instalments, so he can safely open a small bar offering soft drinks outside the tomb (VAT 21%) and he will manage bit by bit. Unless he has to hire staff and to pay their social and health insurance, because he will be in trouble then. The only hope for the tomb is to have some of the slaves of the ruler put somewhere inside, who will work without any claim with a temporary residence permit."

Another user expressed doubts about the nationality of the owner of the tomb. "If it was Greek, there would be shepherd dogs at the entrance, not sphinxes. The deceased was probably an Egyptian shipping tycoon."

Commenting that the excavations are following the pace of political events, one user wrote, "Representatives of the Ministry of Culture refute that the excavations at #amfipoli are evolving according to the political statements. ~ At least they will be able to keep up to the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki."

"Archaeologists are shocked to discover this inscription at the entrance of the tomb in Amphipolis," is the comment to the photograph that reads, "Vote for Samaras."

There are also those who speak in terms of sports events. In the same vein are the photos of some inventive users who wrote "PAOK" (a football team from Thessaloniki - author’s note) on the sealing wall of the tomb.

We are looking forward to hear in our new poll your opinion on whether the attention being paid to the excavations at Amphipolis is reasonable.

Tags: SocietySocial networksCommentsTombAmphipolisCatherine PeristeriAntonis Samaras
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