High-status Macedonian tomb discovered during sewage construction

High-status Macedonian tomb discovered during sewage construction

During the construction of the sewers, workers became the heroes of a great discovery. In the ancient city of Aegae (now Vergina) in Imathia, Central Macedonia, during the construction of a sewer network, the tomb of a local nobleman buried with his wife was discovered.

Aegae or Aigai was the original capital of the Macedonians, an ancient kingdom in Emathia in northern Greece. In antiquity, the city remained the burial place of the royal family after the capital was transferred to the city of Pella at the beginning of the 4th century BC.

This and other important findings of the archaeological excavations carried out during the rescue excavations in the necropolis of Aigai last year were presented by Angeliki Kottaridis, Honorary Director of Antiquities, at the 36th Annual Archaeological Meeting of the “the Archaeological Project in Macedonia and Thrace in 2023” in Thessaloniki.

Helmet discovered by archaeologists in Aigai. Photo: Angeliki Kottaridi

The tomb, which dates back to the third century BC, was discovered in an area with mounds in the northwest corner of the necropolis. The entranceway of the tomb enclosed by piles of stones was unearthed. The interior of the tomb measures 3.7 x 2.7 meters.

“This is an important tomb because the man buried here, the main deceased, had a shield reinforced with iron pieces, and the weapons preserved in sections show that they were made in a very good workshop, so it is probably one of the hetairai (Macedonian elite cavalry),” said Kottaridi.

The interior of the tomb is decorated with an encircling golden band with bows. The colored mortars on the facade observed by the archaeologists belong to two phases and are explained by the later burial of his wife here, while a crown of gold myrtle attracted attention among the jewels found in the tomb.

The tomb that Dimitris Pandermanlis excavated in 1969 is located just 100 meters away from this one, and it contains two additional tombs. In the archaeologist’s opinion, it is most likely a group of wealthy tombs.


Cover Photo: Angeliki Kottaridi

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