If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny, it’s that Alexander III, better known as Alexander the Great, was much more than the King of his native ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. He was actually a divine warrior, a military mastermind, as well as a noble leader yet near tyrant, making him a hero to many, as carefully explored in Netflix’s ‘Alexander: The Making of a God.’ Amongst them is none other than archaeologist Calliope “Pepi” Limneos-Papakosta — so now, if you simply wish to learn more about her and her current standing, we’ve got the details for you.
Who is Calliope Limneos-Papakosta?
It was reportedly back when Calliope was just a young girl growing up in Athens that she first developed a deep interest in Alexander due to their history, only for it to continue expanding. This went to such an extent she ultimately found herself needing to be closer to her icon and find genuine traces of him too, which is how she also ended up delving into the field of archaeology. In fact, she subsequently enrolled at the University of Athens to pursue a Bachelor’s in Classical Archaeology before later evolving into a Ph.D. candidate at Corfu University in Ionian Islands, Greece.
However, by the time 2000 rolled around, Calliope was not just settled in Egypt but also serving as the Head of Excavation Research in Alexandria — the port city founded by the King in 331 BC. Her dream has always been to uncover the real Mediterranean world Alexander had built as well as locate his purportedly extravagant yet lost tomb, and she has surprisingly managed to make great progress. The truth is she’d dug around sites near Shallalat Gardens in the modern city for 14 years to no avail and had almost given up when a bit of soil shifted in the last pit to turn everything upside down.
A piece of white marble had poked out, which ended up being a unique statute of none other than Alexander the Great — to this day, Calliope considers this discovery nothing short of a miracle. And since then, all she has done alongside her trusted team is go deeper into the ground to unveil many more incredible hidden secrets: ancient coins, oil lamps, Greek tiles, plus the actual royal road. It apparently wasn’t until she’d reached the -10½ meters mark that she began seeing clear traces of the land created all these centuries ago, and so she has no intention of stopping anytime soon.
Calliope has been “in the deepest layer of Alexandria” for a while, she indicated in the aforementioned docu-drama. “After these stones, there is nothing,” but there is still a lot to uncover horizontally. After all, she believes she has managed to locate the main road that ran through Royal Quarters and is gradually honing in on this latter building too, thanks to the limestones deep within the earth. There are even evidential aspects in the form of the countless colored plaster fragments that have come to light — red, yellow, light blue, colors synonymous with ancient Greece — plus a secret tunnel.
“Besides, we [have found] architectural pieces, and a nice surprise was the colored one with an egg motif; pure, typical Macedonian Greek style,” Calliope further stated in the series. “I’m sure that [this] is one of the famous buildings we know were inside the Royal Quarter. The library, the museum, and the tomb of Alexander. And from the size [over 50 meters] and construction, we understand how glorious this building should be.” Moreover, we should mention she seemingly also played a role in locating a life-size statute of the Apis bull that had been walled up — Apis was a sacred Egyptian bull deity.
Where is Calliope Limneos-Papakosta Now?
Considering everything noted above, it honestly comes as no surprise Calliope (or Kalliopi) is still working hard in Alexandria to recover any trace of her lifelong hero, Alexander the Great. It’s been over two decades since she began this journey and she has no intention of slowing down, let alone stopping, anytime soon, which is even made evident through her professional standing. That’s because this published family woman not only serves as the Head of the excavation at Shallalat Gardens to this day but also proudly holds the title of Director of the Hellenic Research Institute of Alexandrian Civilization (HRIAC).
“I’m happy that I did not give up…,” Calliope said back in 2019. “I was insistent and continued. I go on. For sure, it’s not easy to find it. But for sure, I am in the center of Alexandria in the royal quarter, and all these possibilities are in my favor.” Then, more recently, in the original production, she concluded, “We have to go on. We have to go excavating. It’s not easy and I hope that, in the end, we will have the surprise we are waiting for” in the form of Alexander the Great’s tomb.