After Archimedes’ death in 212 B.C., his tomb in Sicily fell into obscurity and was eventually lost. It was rediscovered by, of all people, Cicero, who had been sent to the island in 75 B.C. to administer corn production:
When I was Quaestor, I tracked down his grave; the Syracusans not only had no idea where it was, they denied it even existed. I found it surrounded and covered by brambles and thickets. I remembered that some lines of doggerel I had heard were inscribed on his tomb to the effect that a sphere and a cylinder had been placed on its top. So I took a good look around (for there are a lot of graves at the Agrigentine Gate cemetery) and noticed a small column rising a little way above some bushes, on which stood a sphere and a cylinder. I immediately told the Syracusans (some of their leading men were with me) that I thought I had found what I was looking for. Slaves were sent in with scythes to clear the ground and once a path had been opened up we approached the pedestal. About half the lines of the epigram were still legible although the rest had worn away.
“So, you see, one of the most celebrated cities of Greece, once upon a time a great seat of learning too, would have been ignorant of the grave of one of its most intellectually gifted citizens — had it not been for a man from Arpinum who pointed it out to them.”
(From Anthony Everitt, Cicero, 2003.)