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Unearthing the Family of Alexander the Great (Hardback)

The Remarkable Discovery of the Royal Tombs of Macedon

Ancient History Military

By David Grant
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 360
Illustrations: 70
ISBN: 9781526763433
Published: 9th September 2019


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In October 336 BC, statues of the twelve Olympian Gods were paraded through the ancient capital of Macedon. Following them was a thirteenth, a statue of King Philip II who was deifying himself in front of the Greek world. Moments later Philip was stabbed to death; it was a world-shaking event that heralded in the reign of his son, Alexander the Great. Equally driven by a heroic lineage stretching back to gods and heroes, Alexander conquered the Persian Empire in eleven years but died mysteriously in Babylon. Some 2,300 years later, a cluster of subterranean tombs were unearthed in northern Greece containing the remains of the Macedonian royal line. This is the remarkable story of the quest to identify the family of Alexander the Great and the dynasty that changed the Graeco-Persian world forever.

Written in close cooperation with the investigating archaeologists, anthropologists, and scientists, this book presents the revelations, mysteries and controversies in a charming, accessible style. Is this really the tomb of Philip II, Alexander’s father? And who was the warrior woman buried with weapons and armour beside him?

★★★★★ I found this book very fascinating and enlightening

Amazon Customer

★★★★★ A well-researched and fascinating book

Given my background in archaeology and my interest in 'ancient Greece’, I found this book to be fascinating. The author makes the history of the Vergina tombs understandable, without getting too technical. I appreciate firsthand information, not hearsay, and this book delivers. I have visited a few of the sites in the book but learned of more places worth a visit on my next trip. It was a quick, interesting and pleasurable read. It's a well-researched book for historians as well as an entertaining read for all.

Amazon Customer

★★★★★ Loved it!!! Fascinating new information!

I found this book by David Grant incredibly interesting. I learned many new facts and research that I have not heard of before. The color photos give vivid detail and makes the images come alive. I had visited Vergina a couple of years ago, this book puts the entire tomb and their lives in focus. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in an absolutely fascinating story of the past and the dynamic research that brought about these finds.

Amazon Customer

★★★★★ A fascinating read

What a great book. Just the right blend of history and knowledge presented about this fascinating process of discovery in a scholarly volume, yet it’s an entertaining read! A volume both for the academic as well as readers at large in this intriguing chapter of Ancient Greek history. A unique blend of the Alexander story with the back-story of those involved in the discovery and research process, a fascinating procedural read. Filled me with the urge to delve back into some of my Ancient Greek history books, or, even better, to revisit Greece. Highly recommended read. (Perhaps some savvy director or screen-writer should option the book for film rights.)

Amazon Customer

★★★★★ Fascinating, informative with an unexpected conspiracy theory

Grant tackles the difficult episodes of Alexander history head on, which I like. This new book is a more fluid read but every bit as controversial. Essential reading for anyone who like conspiracy theories and the ‘history behind the history’ as he puts it.

Amazon Customer

As referenced in 'further information' part of author article The Verging Tombs as featured by

Current World Archaeology, issue 100

Reading with all the innate and iconoclastic dramatic flair of a well scripted novel, "Unearthing the Family of Alexander the Great: The Remarkable Discovery of the Royal Tombs of Macedon" is an extraordinary story of modern archaeology. Enhanced throughout with thematically relevant illustrations, and enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an informative Postscript, forty-two pages of Notes, a twelve page Bibliography, and an eighteen page Index, "Unearthing the Family of Alexander the Great" is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library History of Archaeology collections.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

Was the antechamber part of the original construction? If not, what association did the female found in the antechamber have to the male found in the main chamber? If the bones found in Tomb II did not belong to Philip II, then whose bones are they? Are they part of the Argead bloodline? Was Philip II buried in Tomb I instead? With his up-to-date research, David Grant touches on these very questions and helps to bring more clarity into this mysterious, yet exciting subject.

Read the full review here

Ancient Origins

The stories of Ancient Greece reach a peak with the story of Alexander the Great and that of his conquest of the known world before an early death. The stories of his family are not well known and this excellent account provides a great deal of information from the remarkable discovery of the tombs of Macedon – Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here


David Grant presents his evidence regarding the family of Alexander the Great in a clear and compelling way. Faultless ancient Greek history.

Books Monthly

David Grant’s book is long overdue. It tells the definitive story of individuals involved in the discovery, exhumation, and analysis of the tomb of Philip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great, and one of the great generals of ancient Greece. Impressively researched, Grant weaves an adventurous tale set in what reads like a travelogue of Greek history and folklore that makes Unearthing the Family of Alexander the Great an important work for academics and anthropologists, but also for a wider audience, both for its important subject matter and excellent presentation. Highly recommended.

- Richard A. Gabriel, author of Philip of Macedon: Greater Than Alexander

Ambitious in its scope and never shying away from controversy, this tells of the archaeological ‘find of the century’: the unearthing of the royal tombs housing the family of Alexander the Great. In a compelling intertwining of ancient history, modern science and Greek legend, Grant’s meticulous research reveals discoveries that enthralled and divided historians. His acquaintance with the researchers makes this a very personal odyssey into the brilliant forensics that have helped unlock the mysteries of the tombs.

- Carol G. Thomas, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Washington

Captivating and deeply researched, the book illuminates the most recent archaeological discoveries in the lavish Royal Tombs of Macedonia. David Grant is the perfect guide to understanding how brilliant scientific and historical detective work has revealed so many ancient secrets of the illustrious family of Alexander the Great.

- Adrienne Mayor, author of The Amazons and The Poison King -

About David Grant

David Grant has a masters degree in ancient history. He is responsible for a number of international patents stemming from ideas that set out to challenge the status quo in one way or another, life experience which gave him his academic tenets: always challenge accepted norms, the past is never dead, and believe what you read at your peril. His research sets out to question and contest the 'standard model' of the history of the great Macedonian king. He is the author of Unearthing the Family of Alexander the Great and The Last Will and Testament of Alexander the Great. 

Perfect Partner

Alexander the Great, a Battle for Truth and Fiction The Ancient Sources And Why They Can't Be Trusted (Hardback)

Most of what we ‘know’ about Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) comes from the pages of much later historians, writing 300 years or more after these events. But these Roman-era writers drew on the accounts of earlier authors who were contemporary with Alexander, some of whom took part in the momentous events they described. David Grant examines the fragments of these earlier eyewitness testimonies which are preserved as undercurrents in the later works. He traces their influence and monopoly of the ‘truth’ and spotlights their manipulation of events to reveal how the Wars of the Successors…

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