Entrance to the tomb №2.
In the 1962-1963 years archeologists made several soundings with a view to discover the burial, which by their calculations were right under the large hill. Unfortunately, the attempts of researchers have not had the desired success. Nevertheless, they found several gravestones. Good luck came to them in 1976 year. It was possible to prove that the first capital of the rulers of Macedonia, Aegi, was located precisely in the area of today's Vergina, as the British historian Nicklas Hammond had suggested several years earlier; hence the conclusion that the burial of the rulers of Macedonia, who were buried in Aegah, should be sought here, following the customs of the tribe; that there is a high probability that the Big Kurgan in Vergina is a royal tomb and keeps in itself the tombs of kings or the king. If so, then the excavations here could become promising, as there was a chance to find the tsar's burial, the first of the tombs that would not have suffered at the hands of the ancient robbers.
At the end of August 1977, scientists began new excavations. The results were not long in coming. By October, researchers had found three rooms. Also, archaeologists managed to get closer to the absolutely untouched royal tomb. The size of the tomb turned out to be approximately equal to 10 m at 5,5 m, and a height of about six meters.
The door to the royal tomb.
One of the three premises found was the “Sanctuary of Heroes”, which, unfortunately, was destroyed. The first tomb was rectangular in size 3 on 2,09 meters, and height 3 meters. As it turned out, the dead were buried through a hole located in the ceiling of the tomb, as there was no entrance in the tomb. The hole was closed with an oblong stone of enormous size. With regret, scientists were forced to state that in ancient times treasure hunters plundered. According to the remaining few finds, it could be attributed to the middle of the 4th century. BC. e., presumably 340 g. er The walls of the tomb were painted, depicting the famous scene of the abduction of Persephone by Pluto. The skill with which this work is performed is simply amazing. This wonderful work is depicted on a plane with the dimensions of a 3,5 meter and a height of 1 meters. The deity of the underworld is depicted in a chariot. In his right hand you can see the scepter and bridle, while the left waist, he embraces the young goddess who wring their hands in despair. The way the creator depicted a young girl in a moment of complete despair is simply amazing. Also depicted is the god Hermes, who shows the chariot the road to Hades. Behind it is a girlfriend of Percifona, possibly Kiana. On the ground, you can see the flowers, only picked by girls.
As it turned out later, before the start of the work, the sketches were made on plaster. From this you can make that the master worked in a free manner and perfectly mastered the technique of drawing. That incredible amount of colors used by the artist catches the eye. All this creates an image that will long remain in the memory of the one who saw it.
Thanks to the painstaking work of restorers, this drawing has reached us in excellent condition. On the basis of these ancient historians may conclude that the author of this fine work is the painter Nicomachus, who lived in the middle of the IV. BC er
Unfortunately, the images on the other walls did not reach us in such good condition. On one of the walls was depicted a goddess, presumably Dimetra. Also found on the east wall were three images in satisfactory condition. Maybe these are three Parks.
To the north-west of this tomb, archaeologists discovered the so-called “Macedonian Tomb” (Tomb II), which is a large chamber with a vaulted ceiling. As you know, before all Macedonian burial that archaeologists met, we were unfortunately stolen by treasure hunters. Therefore, there was a possibility that this burial was also looted. With trepidation in the heart began clearing the facade of the tomb. On the wall was discovered drawing huge 5,56 m in length and 1,16 m in height occupied the entire width of the facade. Plot for him was the scene of the hunt.
Incision of the tomb of King Philip.
It was clear that the thieves tried many times to open the door of the tomb, and scientists thought, decided to dig in the middle of the facade. After clearing the land, a large double door made of marble appeared on them, with no signs of burglary! By all indications, this tomb belonged to a nobleman. In addition, the size of the Big Kurgan suggested that it was a royal burial site, and the shards found in front of the facade dated it to 340 BC. er
Since it was impossible to penetrate the huge marble door and not damage the facade, the researchers decided to remove some slab and enter the tomb using the “tomb raider” method. The tomb was opened on 8 on November 1977 of the year. To the joy of archaeologists, the tomb was not touched. The remnants of wooden furniture were immediately thrown into the eyes, on both sides of the tomb, perfectly preserved objects made of metal were found: on the left - vessels of silver, on the right - utensils and weaponmade of bronze and iron. As it turned out, there is also a second room, which was separated from the central huge door, also made of marble. After the initial inspection it turned out that its facade was also not touched. One of the walls was a quadrangular marble sarcophagus. Researchers guessed that inside there may be a vessel with ashes. Also in the south-western part of the premises have been found: a couple of cups of bronze larger, bowl, jar, and a tripod made of bronze. Special attention was attracted to the container with holes made in it. This subject has been met by researchers many times, but no one could be identified - for what was it needed? After the insides of this vessel were examined, it turned out that it was only a lamp.
Reconstruction of the tomb of King Philip.
A truly unique object was found on one of the walls. The object, like a bronze shield, peacefully rested against the wall. Nearby were found iron knee pads and a helmet - the only iron helmet of the time that archaeologists have ever held in their hands. But back to the shield. Initially, they believed that the subject could not be a shield, because it did not have a handcuff or similar attributes. As it turned out later - it was ... a case from a shield. Later, a team of Greek restorers restored the shield itself. It turned out that its edges were decorated with ivory ornament. The central part was covered with gilding with 0,35 m high, carved with the figures of a man and a woman in it.
"The shell of King Philip."
A little further away lay the second unique subject of the Macedonian weapons - the iron shell. In its form, it looked like the armor of Alexander the Great, known to us from a fresco from Naples. It was made of five plates, the shoulder plates of four additional plates. On the front side there were six lions' heads, made of gold, which were used as fasteners for leather belt which connects the front part of the shell and Shoulders. This find is even more unique than a shield. But the most important thing is that according to these three outstanding finds, scientists have concluded that not only the king rests in the tomb, but an extremely powerful ruler and highly cultured man.
Remains of furniture that were found in front of the sarcophagus may have belonged to an ornate bed. As they recovered, scientists were able to create an external image of the product. As it turned out, the bed had a fringe, consisting of the characters of myths and miniature sculptures of people made out of ivory. One of these figures depicted a bearded man of mature age. Most likely it was Tsar Philip himself - the father of the great Alexander of Macedon. The majestic and at the same time slightly weary features of the king with an imperceptible but unequivocal indication of the blinded right eye surprisingly exactly looked like a portrait sketch of the ruler, which was found on a medallion made of gold and dating back to the Roman period. The medallion was discovered in the city of Tarsa. The second head depicted Alexander the Great, and the third was his mother Olympiad. All these images were created by the master with a capital letter. Each of them has its own individual features, which further testify to the skill of the person who made them. Each ivory head is a unique piece of art. They can be attributed to the IV. BC. and all of them are vivid examples of the early Greek sculptural portrait.
After the restoration work, it was possible to obtain information about how the legs of the bed looked. As it turned out, they were decorated with palmettes and ornaments made of glass and ivory inserts. In addition to the artistic value of finds from the tomb, historians and archaeologists were able to familiarize themselves with the technique of classical Hellenism, about which we do not have a very complete idea. The biggest puzzle keeps the sarcophagus of marble in which the researchers hoped to find an urn with the remains after cremation. After opening, archaeologists discovered a square-shaped golden casket of large size. It depicted a multipath star, which was also painted on Macedonian money and shields.
After the vessel was opened, human bones were found in perfect condition at the very bottom. They were painted blue, and there was also a trace of the purple fabric in which they were wrapped. A luxurious golden crown of gold, oak leaves and acorns was also found. Unfortunately, this creation was deformed. But now, when it is restored in all its glory - this is one of the most valuable finds that gave us antiquity.
A vessel of gold in it and found the remains of literally forced to float in memory of Hector's funeral scene in one of the final songs "Iliad." The burial found is exactly like this scene from a poem. Archaeologists for the first time held something similar in their hands.
Once these unique findings went to the city of Thessaloniki in the Archeology Museum, the scientists should decide how to open the next cell. Front door, made of marble, discover it was not possible, since there was the possibility to damage the unique treasures lying there. There was only one option - to remove the stone from the left wall and the right side of the door. It was very difficult to do this. At the same time, scientists did not hope to find any valuable things inside. According to the assumptions of researchers, there should have been remains of ceramics and wall paintings, which was supposed to help archaeologists establish the exact dating of this tomb.
Diadem of leaves and acorns.
After the hole was made in the wall, archaeologists expected real surprises. One of the walls was another marble tomb, the size of it was slightly larger than the one that scientists had previously discovered. On the floor of the tomb lay a wreath of gold. His find was a real little miracle, as it was covered with a piece of plaster. Thanks to the painstaking work of the restorer D. Matios, whose hands presented new life not only with this masterpiece, but also with many other finds from this tomb, today we can look at this beautiful wreath inherited from ancient times.
Продолжение следует ...