A mosaic depicting the Greek God Hermes was recently discovered by archaeologists, under an ancient grave. The colorful work of ancient art was discovered in a tomb dating to the era of Alexander the Great, hundreds of years before the start of the common era. The mosaic depicts Hermes leading a man to the underworld, aboard a chariot drawn by horses. This style of picture is known as a psychopomp. The design is nearly 15 feet long, and nine feet wide.

Archaeologists removing dirt from the Kasta Hill burial complex in Amphipolis, located in central Macedonia in Greece, discovered the ancient artwork. The mosaic was found behind a doorway constructed with caryatids on both sides. These are figurines of women used in place of pillars or columns, occasionally used in tombs and other construction.

The mosaic is constructed from thousands of pebbles, colored red, blue, gray, black and yellow. A circle near the middle of the mosaic, roughly 2.5 feet in diameter, is broken. The design is still readily apparent in what remains of the artifact.

A pair of white horses are seen pulling the chariot, commanded by Hermes. The bearded passenger wears a laurel wreath upon his head. The scene is depicted against a backdrop of waves.

"The team of excavators, led by Greek archaeologist Katerina Peristeri, believes the tomb dates back to the fourth century B.C. and bears the architectural fingerprints of Dinocrates, Alexander the Great's chief designer," Megan Gannon reports in Live Science.

The tomb at Amphipolis, where the mosaic was found, is well known for its size. A wall enclosing the tomb has a perimeter of 1,600 feet. Archaeologists are still uncertain who is buried within the complex, which is the largest burial spot ever found in Greece. Just a few months ago, investigators unearthed a pair of headless sphinxes. The pair of stone animals guard an entrance to the tomb.

Alexander the Great is said to have died in Babylon, and most archaeologists and historians believe he is buried somewhere in Egypt. His body is unlikely to be the one interred in the Kasta Hill burial complex, although archaeologists have not yet found the grave of the famous leader. However, it is possible that the site may hold the remains of Alexander's wife, Olympias, or Roxana, a noble in Greece during the late 4th century before the common era. Some researchers think the complex may be dedicated to someone else, whose remains are interred in another location.

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