Gold wreath, bones found in a copper vat

Archaeologists excavating what was once the central market in ancient Aigai, the capital of Macedonia in Philip II and Alexander the Great’s day, have uncovered an odd marvel.

When the digger first came across the large copper vat, he thought it was some old landmine. Upon further inspection, archaeologists found a gold jar inside containing a gold wreath and human bones.

You don’t come across gold wreaths every day. Only aristocrats and nobles were buried with them, but they were buried in, you know, cemeteries, not in jars.

That means someone disinterred those bones and the wreath, canned them, and reburied them in the market near the spot where Philip II was assassinated.

“Archeologists must explain why such a group … was found outside the extensive royal cemetery,” the university statement said. “(They must also) work out why the bones of the unknown – but by no means insignificant – person were hidden in the city’s most public and sacred area.”

During the fourth century BC, burials outside organized cemeteries were very uncommon.

Whoever did this did it fairly soon after burial and obviously left behind the big ticket items (the gold wreath and jar), so it definitely wasn’t a looter.

I love a good archaeological mystery. :love:

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4 Comments »

Comment by Donna
2008-08-30 08:02:43

Wow!! Sounds like something a lover would do….Great post, thanks!

Comment by livius drusus
2008-08-30 08:12:37

Thank you. :thanks:

It does seem like there was some special relationship between the reburier and the deceased, almost like he or she knew the deceased’s special wishes for a non-traditional burial.

 
 
Comment by Dina
2008-08-30 08:33:57

Bones found in a water filled copper vat, complete with gold bay leaves? Soups on!

Comment by livius drusus
2008-08-30 08:36:10

That’s the first thing I thought of too! “Hmm… Sounds like someone was making stock.” :giggle:

 
 
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