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Study: King Phillip II buried in Tomb I not Tomb II

Also inside Tomb I are the remains of a young woman and newborn, believed to be Philip's wife Cleopatra and child.

By Brooks Hays
Researchers have identified the ancient knee of King Philip II of Macedonia -- located in Tomb I, not Tomb II. Photo by Bartsiokas et al/PNAS
Researchers have identified the ancient knee of King Philip II of Macedonia -- located in Tomb I, not Tomb II. Photo by Bartsiokas et al/PNAS

VERGINA, Greece, July 21 (UPI) -- King Philip II of Macedonia, dad to Alexander the Great, isn't missing -- but he's not in the tomb researchers thought he was.

In 1978, archaeologists located the ancient royal tombs at Great Tumulus hill, in the northern Greece town of Vergina. The tombs were of interest to archaeologists and historians, as records indicated relatives of Alexander the Great were buried there.

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Two tombs were excavated, and initially researchers believed the remains of King Philip were inside what came to be known as Tomb II.

But a new analysis of the remains suggests otherwise.

In 336 B.C., three years before Philip II was slain, the king's leg was pierced by a lance, rendering him lame. Scanning and radiography technology recently revealed a pair of perfectly healthy legs inside Tomb II. Inside Tomb I, however, are the remains of a 45-year-old man with a significant knee wound.

"The knee ankylosis and the hole through it ties perfectly with the penetrating wound and lameness suffered by Philip II and conclusively identifies him as the occupant of Tomb I," researchers in Greece and Spain wrote in a new study on the subject.

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Also inside Tomb I are the remains of a young woman and newborn, believed to be Philip's wife Cleopatra and child, who were killed not long after the king.

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