Vergina Archaeological Site (World Heritage)

By | August 19, 2021

Vergina, the ancient Aigai, was until 410 BC. Capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia and burial place of the Macedonian kings. The center of the excavation site is the burial mound with three royal tombs and over 300 barrows. One of the royal burial chambers contained the tomb of Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great.

Vergina Archaeological Site: Facts

Official title: Vergina archaeological site
Cultural monument: Vergina excavation site, interpreted as Aigai, first capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia; Remains of a palace (4th century BC) with a 45×45 m interior and traces of 13 banquet halls, remains of a theater, the 110 m diameter tumulus with three royal tombs, among others. the 9.5 x 4.5 m grave of Philip II of Macedonia, more than 300 barrows, some from the 11th-8th centuries Century BC BC, Temple of Eukleia, tomb of Queen Eurydice, the grandmother of Alexander the Great, the Acropolis and the city wall (4th / 3rd century BC)
Continent: Europe
Country: Greece, Central Macedonia
Location: Vergina, at VĂ©ria
Appointment: 1996
Meaning: important testimony from the time of the Macedonian kingdom

Vergina Archaeological Site: History

336 BC Chr. Death of Philip II of Macedonia
310 BC Chr. Death of Alexander IV, son of Alexander the Great and Roxanes, remains presumably in “Grave III” of the royal tombs
around 290 BC Chr. Construction of the Palace of Vergina
1977 Discovery of a royal tomb that has not been plundered, probably that of the Macedonian King Philip II.
1997 after completion of the reconstructed barrow of the royal tombs, the local archaeological museum opens

From the splendor of the Macedonian kings

Unlike what archaeologists are usually used to, the grave robbers of various centuries in the middle of the village of Vergina had not yet discovered their “precious booty” before the archaeologists: Under a high mound of earth they were able to uncover three graves almost three decades ago, two of which are still completely were preserved intact. Precious finds led the scientists to the conclusion that these must be royal tombs, including the final resting place of King Philip II, the ruler of the Macedonian Empire in the fourth century BC and father of the famous Alexander the Great. The so-called royal tombs are part of a larger cemetery with a large number of tombs that date back to the early Iron Age. On the basis of these grave finds and the excavations of the city wall.

According to neovideogames, the exciting finds from the graves include several fresco paintings, including the most important of Greek monumental painting: the “Rape of Persephone by the god Pluto, standing in a four-horse chariot”. Strong lines, reliable knowledge of perspective and a sensitive selection of mainly warm tones in red and chestnut brown probably point to the painter Nicomachus. A large frieze of painting measuring more than one by five meters covers the facade of Philip II’s tomb. The viewer is faced with a hunting party that is chasing lions and boars and that probably also included Philip II and his son Alexander. In a marble sarcophagus of this largest grave, the bones of a deceased, presumably Philip II, were discovered in a chest-shaped, precious golden urn. acts. Over seven kilograms of pure gold were used to make this coffin, the lid of which is adorned with a large, sixteen-pointed sun star, the emblem of Macedonian kings. The crown that the dead wore consisted of a wreath of over 300 oak leaves and 68 acorns, a work of the finest goldsmithing.

Another grave room contained a second golden “chest”, somewhat smaller and more simply decorated, but also bearing the royal emblem. In it lay the bones of a woman, probably one of Philip II’s wives, wrapped in the finest gold-purple fabric. The enclosed golden diadem made of leaves and flowers is one of the most impressive pieces of Greek handicrafts of the time.

Traces of ivory-decorated wooden furniture, numerous cleverly decorated and handcrafted silver vases and bronze vessels as further grave finds convey an impression of the wealth of the Macedonian royal family. Of particular interest is the complete weaponry of a noble warrior. Even if the wood and leather used have completely dissolved in the past centuries and the iron of the shield and helmet, armor and greaves has lost its original luster, the decorations that have been preserved, including golden lion heads and gold ribbons decorated in relief, testify to fine handicrafts. Because of this existing jewelry, it is likely to be ceremonial weapons. A gorytos, a combination of quiver and bow container, was made particularly splendidly.

Vergina Archaeological Site