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Archaeologist claims opulent grave in Greece honored Alexander the Great's best friend

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 file photo, tourists read a sign in front of the reconstructed, colossal 4th century BC marble Lion of Amphipolis, some 5 kilometers from a large funeral mound currently under excavation by Greek archaeologists near Amfipolis, Greece. An opulent underground monument in northern Greece that caused a stir when excavated last year may have been a symbolic grave - but not the final resting place of -_ the closest friend and general of ancient warrior-king Alexander the Great, the excavator Katerina Peristeri said on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 file photo, tourists read a sign in front of the reconstructed, colossal 4th century BC marble Lion of Amphipolis, some 5 kilometers from a large funeral mound currently under excavation by Greek archaeologists near Amfipolis, Greece. An opulent underground monument in northern Greece that caused a stir when excavated last year may have been a symbolic grave - but not the final resting place of -_ the closest friend and general of ancient warrior-king Alexander the Great, the excavator Katerina Peristeri said on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 10, 2014 file photo, work under progress at Casta Hill near Amphipolis in northern Greece, where archaeologists are excavating a large 4th century B.C. tomb. An opulent underground monument in northern Greece that caused a stir when excavated last year may have been a symbolic grave - but not the final resting place of - the closest friend and general of ancient warrior-king Alexander the Great, the excavator Katerina Peristeri said on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 10, 2014 file photo, work under progress at Casta Hill near Amphipolis in northern Greece, where archaeologists are excavating a large 4th century B.C. tomb. An opulent underground monument in northern Greece that caused a stir when excavated last year may have been a symbolic grave - but not the final resting place of - the closest friend and general of ancient warrior-king Alexander the Great, the excavator Katerina Peristeri said on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Archaeologist Katerina Peristeri arrives for a news conference in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. An opulent underground monument in northern Greece that caused a stir when excavated last year may have been a symbolic grave - but not the final resting place of - the closest friend and general of ancient warrior-king Alexander the Great, the excavator says. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

    Archaeologist Katerina Peristeri arrives for a news conference in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. An opulent underground monument in northern Greece that caused a stir when excavated last year may have been a symbolic grave - but not the final resting place of - the closest friend and general of ancient warrior-king Alexander the Great, the excavator says. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)  (The Associated Press)

An opulent underground monument in northern Greece that caused a stir when excavated last year may have been a symbolic grave — but not the final resting place of — the closest friend and general of ancient warrior-king Alexander the Great, the excavator says.

Archaeologist Katerina Peristeri said Wednesday she believes the vaulted structure, decorated with sculptures and a mosaic floor, "was a funerary monument for Hephaestion."

The Macedonian nobleman grew up with Alexander and died in Persia in 324 B.C., predeceasing the king by a year and driving him into a frenzy of grief during which he ordered a series of monuments to be built for Hephaestion across his newly-won empire.

Peristeri said there was no evidence Hephaestion was actually buried at the tomb in Amhipolis, east of Thessaloniki.