“I have no hard proof, but strong indications lead me to almost certainty,” said Sismanidis.
Archaeologists have been working painstakingly at the site – the philosopher’s birthplace in 384 BC in the Greek region of Macedonia – for 20 years.
Sismanidis was due to give further details at a world congress in northern Greece of scholars specialised in Aristotle’s work. He said the architecture and location of the tomb, close to Stagira’s ancient square and with panoramic views, supported the belief that it was the philosopher’s final resting place.
Although few of Aristotle’s works have survived, two literary sources – a mainstay for archaeological discovery – suggest that the people of Stagira may have transferred his ashes from Chalkis on the island of Evia where he is known to have died in 322 BC.
The vault, which has a square marble floor dating from Hellenistic times, appears to have been hurriedly constructed with an altar outside. Coins dated to Alexander the Great and ceramics from royal pottery were also found.
The claim was welcomed by Greece’s culture ministry; a senior aide to the minister, Aristides Baltas, said the academic community was awaiting further detail.