King Philip II - father of Alexander The Great

Start Date: Aug 19, 2015

Finish Date: Jul 20, 2016

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The discovery of Vergina Tomb close to Aiges in Pella, the capital of the glorious ancient Greek Kingdom of Makedonia Smile

King Philip II was a powerful fourth-century B.C. military ruler from the Greek kingdom of Macedon. Using the combination of warfare, diplomacy, and marriage alliances, Philip II took control of Greece and the Balkan PeninsulaSmile

The golden reliquary containing bones of Philip II and a gold crown representing the gold oak twig with golden acorns. It has 313 leaves and 68 acorns. The oak is the sacred tree of ZeusWink

Gold-and-ivory 'ceremonial' shield with male and female device on the outer side, from the Tomb of Philip at Vergina, third quarter of 4th century BC, Thessaloniki, Archaeological Museum.

detail from the internal of the shield of Philip IIWink

The researchers examined the bones and fragments and found that they belonged to the Macedonian King Philip II, Alexander the Great's father.'s%20army&f=false

Iron cuirass with gold detail from the Tomb of Philip at Vergina, 4th century BC, Thessaloniki, Archaeological Museum.

The tomb also had the bones of a woman warrior. As per the team of Greek researchers working on the project, the bones might belong to the daughter of the Skythian King Athea.

Gold 'gorytos' (quiver-and-bow-case) with repousse representation of the capture of a city, from the Tomb of Philip second half of 4th century BC, Thessaloniki, Archaeological Museum.

"I got the small hoe for the excavation which I carried with me since 1952, I bent the pit and began to dig with stubbornness and anguish the soil below the key of the vault while my partners were gathered all around me"(...) (Manolis Andronikos, "The Chronicles of Vergina")

"I kept digging and soon I was sure. The stone of the west wall was in place, undisturbed, solid. (...) - The grave was unpillaged! It was closed! I was profoundly happy. So I found the first Macedonian unpillaged tomb"Smile

That moment I was not interested in doing anything else. That night -as all the next- was impossible to sleep more than two or three hours. Around 12 midnight, I took the car and went to make sure if the guards were in place. It was the same at 2 and 5 am. Certainly, meditated, in the sarcophagus to be hiding a nice surprise.

The only difficulty we encountered was that while lifting the cover, saw clearly any content and should be able to keep calm and carry on our work, mole that our eyes were dazzled by what we saw and the heart we go to break with emotion.

Within the sarcophagus was a golden urn. Top on the cover of a prestigious embossed star with sixteen rays, and in the center of a rosetteSurprisedWith a lot more attention and emotion I lifted the lid on the star by grasping the two corners of the front panel. We expected to see in it the burnt bones of the dead.

But what we saw in the opening cut us once again breathless, dazzled our eyes and our flooded awe really into the shrine were burnt bones. But the most unexpected thing was a golden wreath of oak leaves and fruit that was folded and placed on the bonesSurprised  

I had never imagined such a marvellous image. Can I bring in my consciousness crystal clear response I tried as I said to myself: "If you have a suspicion, that the tomb belongs to Philip, it is true-and the golden urn came to reinforce the correctness of this suspected outbreak you held in your hands the shrine with the bones. It is incredible and such a marvellous thought, that seems completely unrealistic. "I do not think I've ever tried in my life such a fuss, nor will ever try it once again. "(Manolis Andronikos, "The Chronicles of Vergina")