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Photos: Mysterious Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis

Blocked by a Wall

Caryatids covered up

(Image credit: Greek Ministry of Culture)

The caryatids bodies were covered up by a wall of sealing stones .

Stones removed

caryatid body revealed

(Image credit: Greek Ministry of Culture)

Once the stones were removed and more dirt was cleared, archaeologists could see the female statues in full.

Caryatid body

caryatid body

(Image credit: Greek Ministry of Culture)

This image, released on Sept. 11, shows the expertly carved robe of one of the caryatids.

Tomb Map

Amphipolis diagram

(Image credit: Greek Ministry of Culture)

The team of excavators made this map showing the inside of the tomb — or at least what they had excavated by mid-September.

Caryatids in full

Caryatid full body

(Image credit: Greek Ministry of Culture)

By Sept. 21, the caryatids had been revealed down to their feet.

Ancient Toes

caryatid feet

(Image credit: Greek Ministry of Culture)

The toes are amazingly intact on the ancient sculptures.

Clingy Clothes

Caryatid leg

(Image credit: Greek Ministry of Culture)

The stone statues appear to be wearing robes that cling to their bodies.

Stunning Mosaic

Amphipolis mosaic

(Image credit: Greek Ministry of Culture)

When archaeologists cleared dirt from the room just beyond the caryatids, they found this mosaic covering the floor.

Chariot

Amphipolis mosaic

(Image credit: Greek Ministry of Culture)

The composition shows Hermes leading a bearded man on a horse-drawn chariot.

Underworld Guide

Hermes

(Image credit: Greek Ministry of Culture)

Hermes is shown here as "psychopomp," or spiritual guide to souls in the afterlife.

Megan Gannon
Megan has been writing for Live Science and Space.com since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.