09.20.2017

Discovering the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia

Not far from Thessaloniki, in Greece, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe, Aigai, the capital of the reign of Philip II and Alexander the Great

  • Discovering the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia
  • Discovering the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia
  • Discovering the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia
  • Discovering the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia
  • Discovering the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia

Among the many archaeological treasures of Greece, the remains of the Macedonian kingdom are certainly not the best known, perhaps because they are not on the classic tourist routes, yet they are gifted with a truly extraordinary charm that definitely deserves the trip to Thessaloniki and its surroundings.
 
When in 1977 Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos found the tomb of Philip II of Macedonia and its perfectly preserved treasures, it was immediately clear to everyone that this was a discovery of priceless value. The excavations around the village of Vergina, 75 kilometers away from Thessaloniki and in the ancient city of Aigai, capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia, had begun already at the end of the 19th century, but so far nothing so surprising had emerged.
 
The tomb of Philip II, along with other hypogeum-like tombs with vaulted ceilings and a monumental façade, were found beneath an artificial hill, protected by a clump of earth and tombstone fragments. But what struck the archaeologists at that time and still leaves visitors speechless is their miraculously intact nature, in addition to the beauty of the grave goods found inside them and currently on display in the adjoined museum.
 
In particular, the tomb identified as that of Philip II, a key figure in the history of ancient Greece and the father of Alexander the Great, assassinated in 336 BC, contained several objects made of gold, silver and bronze, including magnificent crowns and precious diadems, a shimmer and a shield, in addition to the remains of a coat-of-arms and five tiny ivory sculpted faces presumably depicting members of the royal family.
 
Even more surprisingly, there were also two perfectly preserved gold-plated urns containing the cremated remains of a man and a woman, supposedly Philip II and his second wife Cleopatra - or, according to an alternative theory, Philip III Arrhidaeus, brother-in-law of Alexander the Great, and his wife Eurydice.
 
The royal tombs, together with the monumental palace - one of the most striking buildings of classical Greece - the theater, the shrines of Eukleia and the Mother of Gods, the walls and the necropolis make the remains of Aigai one of the most important archaeological sites European, unsurprisingly designated UNESCO World Heritage List.
 
 

Author : The Slowear Journal

related articles | Arts & Culture |