Macedonian Gold Myrtle Funerary Wreath, 4th Century BC
This wreath, with filigreed and enameled flowers, was looted from a royal Macedonian tomb in Northern Greece and may have belonged to one of Alexander the Great’s relatives. It was returned to Greece by the Getty Museum, who called it a “lavish miniature garden.”
Grandma’s stewing about something her sister said 20 years ago, Uncle Rupert’s out teaching the kids about bottle rockets, and no one on dad’s side of the family is currently speaking. If your family reunions look something like this, rest easy: You’re still doing better than a great number of kings and queens throughout history.
With power and money comes dysfunction, as any number of royal families has proved. From palace assassinations to serial marriages, castle walls have seen it all.
1. Cleopatra, coming at you
Cleopatra is famous for her suicidal ending. What’s less known is her bloody beginning — and the familial drama that brought her to power. Read more.
The ancient Aliki quarry at Thasos. Though a Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea, the area was once geographically part of Macedonia.
An impressive ancient quarry partially submerged in the sea: The Aliki quarry on the southern shores of the island of Thassos (Greece) symbolises ancient stone work and trade, with the Mediterranean as the connecting link since time immemorial.
It also symbolises how quarrying may shape the landscape over the centuries. A coarse-grained, white calcitic marble, Aliki was a highly prized stone in Antiquity, exported throughout the Eastern Mediterranean to places such as Thessalonica, Delphi, Ostia, Rome, Ephesos, Antioch and Cyrenaica.
Extraction may have started in the 6th Century BC, and it ceased more than a thousand years later in the early 7th Century, perhaps due to an earthquake. The ancient quarrying techniques are well displayed by the bay of Aliki and the nearby shorelines of the island, and the quarries are easily accessible for tourists. (quarryscapes)
On a closer observation, Roman wedge holes as well as marks from picks and chisels can still be seen.
Rare & Unique Alexander The Great Equestrian Figure, 3rd-2nd Century BC
A magnificent bronze sculpture of Alexander the Great, this powerful and inspiring image of the young ruler is an exceedingly rare, indeed unique, masterwork from the Hellenistic period. The figure was originally astride a horse. The upraised right arm is bent at the elbow with the hand positioned to hold a spear or a much longer lance, the Macedonian sarisssa.
Well she descends from one of the generals of Alexander the Great who are Greek Macedonians. So there is no question there that she comes from a line of Greeks. It gets a little bit more certain because they tend to…they intermarried. The 13 or 14 marriages in her dynasty, ten of them were brother-sister marriages. So there’s really no foreign blood whatsoever in this dynasty, they are truly Greek Macedonian to the hilt. There may have been a Persian princess who slipped in there somewhere, but otherwise you’re really talking about a woman who was as Greek in terms of ethnicity, in terms of culture, in terms of education, as you could be in that world.
A decades-old mystery about the body of Alexander the Great’s father has been solved, anthropologists claim.
A new analysis of bones from a Macedonian tomb complex reveals a skeleton with a knee injury so severe that it would have caused a noticeable limp in life. This injury matches some historical records of one sustained by Philip II, whose nascent empire Alexander the Great would expand all the way to India.
The skeleton in question, however, is not the one initially thought to be Philip II’s — instead, it comes from the tomb next door. The skeletons are the subject of an entrenched debate among experts on ancient Greece and Macedonia. While some praised the new study, others pushed back, suggesting the new research will not quell 40 years of controversy. Read more.
A GREEK ONYX CAMEO OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT HELLENISTIC PERIOD, CIRCA 2ND-1ST CENTURY B.C.
The circular stone in three layers, black on white on blue-black, carved with the head of the Macedonian king in profile to the right, wearing a diadem in his characteristic tousled hair, the upper edge of the horn of Ammon in black; mounted as a brooch in a late 19th century gold setting ornamented with filigree and granulation, and hanging on a modern gold chain.
Burned Bones in Alexander the Great Family Tomb Give Up Few Secrets
It’s a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes, with a backstory that puts “Game of Thrones” to shame: Who was laid to rest in a lavish, gold-filled Macedonian tomb near Vergina, Greece? The tomb, discovered in 1977, might be the final resting place of Philip II of Macedon, conqueror of Greece and father of Alexander the Great, who would push his father’s empire to the edge of India.
Or, it might be the grave of the distinctly less impressive Philip III Arrhidaios (also written as Arrhidaeus), the half brother of, and figurehead successor to, Alexander the Great.
The latest volley in the debate over which Philip occupies the tomb makes a case for the illustrious Philip II, arguing that the woman found interred alongside the much-debated male body was too old to have been the younger Philip’s wife. But this new research seems unlikely to resolve the great Macedonian tomb mystery. Read more.
Inscribed Macedonian Bronze Shield, Hellenistic, 1st Half of the 3rd Century BC
Hammered from a single heavy sheet, of convex form, the rim rounded and folded over, with geometric decoration composed of a Macedonian star at the center, its twenty-four rays encircled within a double band flanking a Greek inscription, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ DHMHTPIOY, “Of King Demetrios,” surrounded by seven concentric arches, each centered by an eight-rayed star, three concentric bands along the edge.
Macedonian-Era Tomb Discovered During Public Works in Pella
A Macedonian era tomb was discovered within the modern settlement of Pella during sewage network constructions.
According to a Culture Ministry announcement ‘the interest in the new Macedonian tomb lays in its architecture. The tomb was robbed in the antiquity and dates back to the first half of the 3rd century BC. Its barrel-vaulted roof has been destroyed however, the roof of the side halls are in excellent condition. The entrance of the ante-chamber closed with a wooden 2.78 meter high and 1.30 meter wide door.
The new discovery along with 18 box-shaped and roof-tiled tombs of the east cemetery of Pella, the capital of the Macedonian kingdom, that were unearthed during the public works have been examined by Pella Ephorate from October 2014 until December 2015. (source)
“Through this ring I look at you, welcome me to your heart”
Galiċnik is a small village in the mountains of Macedonia known worldwide for organizing collective weddings each year on St. Peter’s day. In its time of glory, there were as many as 30 weddings being organized on July 21. Nowadays there are less and less, but the ceremony is still gathering tourists from all over the world appealed by the amazing costumes and the intricate rite.
According to the tradition, the wedding ceremony begins Saturday evening, at the sunset, when the groom hangs on the right side of his house a flag decorated with flowers. Gunfire announces his departure towards the village, where he meets his best men for a celebration that includes music, wine and well, partying. The next is the mother-in-law’s dance and then a traditional dance, after which the groom and his party head towards the bride’s home carrying torches. All through the night, everybody dances and is enjoying a nice time.
Sunday morning, the groom and his family go to visit their ancestors at the cemetery and ask for their blessing. Later on, back at his home, while the groom gets ready (gets a shave and a haircut) the party sings a farewell song, which sounds very familiar to the Romanian lyrics sang to the bride while women put her veil on.
Meanwhile, the bride gets dressed in the traditional wedding gown of the Galiċnik village, wearing a beautiful red costume, with long sleeves and fringes at the end, white batik, silver and gold coins around her waist and a red and black skirt. Both the bride’s and the groom’s wedding costumes are traditional, being hand sewed with silk and gold strings and decorated with folkloric elements specific to the Macedonian region. The costumes get so heavy that the bride’s wedding gown gets to weigh almost 40 kilos. Later that day, the groom and his party arrive at the bride’s house riding horses. Here are welcomed by the bride who looks through her wedding band and says: “Through this ring I look at you, welcome me to your heart”. The whole wedding party heads to the village fountain, where the bride fills up pots with water, while men dance the teskoto, a celebration dance of their ancestors who faced hardships working as emigrants. Sunday after-noon, at the St. Peter and Paul church, takes place the last part of the wedding ceremony. After that, the newly-weds dance the bride’s dance and go back at the groom’s house riding their horse. (X)