Rich finds in Macedonia

Recent finds at the ancient settlement of Archontiko, near Pella in northern Greece, have shed further light on the wealth, heroic culture, commerce and burial rituals of ancient Macedonians, following the discovery of 396 unlooted tombs and 5,000 objects, dating between the 7th and 4th centuries BC. Among recent finds were 80 pit graves of warriors richly adorned in gold, carrying weapons and near their wives, who were also adorned with gold, Kathimerini reported yesterday. They date from the second half of the 6th century BC. The ancient cemetery is expected to yield many more treasures, as the necropolis of the ancient site covers an area of 200 stremmas (20 hectares), of which less than one hundredth has been excavated. The ancient settlement, whose name is unknown, was the most important urban center in the northern part of the ancient province of Bottiaia during the prehistoric and historical periods until the end of the 5th century BC, when Pella became the new capital of the Macedonian kingdom. Archaeologists Anastasia and Pavlos Chrysostomou have spent four years excavating the site. The golden ornaments and offerings show the expertise of metalwork in Macedonia but items were also imported from Egypt, Ionia, Corinth and Attica.