A previous analysis seems to have mixed up the royal identities of bones found in a tomb complex.
In a new study of bones found in a tomb complex in Macedonia, researchers are adamant that they've got the identities right this time, thanks to a knee injury revealed in one of the skeletons. The severed knee was like an ID to Alexander the Great's father, Philip II.
The thing is, a different set of bones has already been previously identified as the conqueror's father.
Three tombs lie in the site - Tomb I, Tomb II and Tomb III. Tomb I revealed a wall painting of the Rape of Persephone, and human remains. Tomb II housed a man and a woman's bones which were cremated and lavishly adorned with items and armor. Tomb III, previous study says, was that of Alexander the Great's son, Alexander IV.
Tomb II is then believed to contain the remains of Philip II and his wife Cleopatra, but other archaeologists speculate that the remains belonged to Alexander the Great's half-brother Philip III Arrhidaeus (or Arrhidaios) and his wife Eurydice.
In Greece, Democritus University of Thrace's Antonis Bartsiokas then decided to take a different approach and study the skeletons in the tomb which is next to what was believed to be Philip II's.
A new analysis of Tomb I found a man who would have stood an impressive 5 feet 9 inches, and would have died when he was about 40. Beside him was a woman who was about 5 feet 4 inches in height. Looking at her bone fusion measurements, the researchers estimated time of her death to be when she was 18. They also found an infant, who likely died between the age of a week and three weeks.
History tells of the murder of Philip II by one of his bodyguards. After Philip's death, the mother of Alexander the Great, Olympias, murdered the daughter of Philip's newest wife Cleopatra. As if that wasn't enough, Olympias also ordered Cleopatra to hang herself.
The skeleton's ages were a match to those of Philip II, Cleopatra and their infant. But what really stood out was the severed knee on the skeleton of the man.
"When I found the femur fused to the tibia at the knee joint, I suddenly remembered the leg injury of Philip, but I could not recall any details. I then ran to study the historical evidence," said Bartsiokas.
In 345 BC, Philip II was injured in the leg, leaving him limping for the rest of his life, according to historians.
This discovery presents strong evidence that previous discovery of the skeletons said to belong to Alexander the Great's father is not authentic. It may continue to be a topic of debate among experts, but the findings, published July 20 in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Science just might turn things around.