Ancient Macedonian grave yields its treasures

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New excavations at a rich ancient cemetery in northern Greece have yielded gold jewellery, copper and iron weapons and pottery. Archaeologists digging in part of a vast burial ground near Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia, have unearthed 43 new graves dating from 650-279BC, a Culture Ministry statement said.

The dead included 20 warriors who had been buried in the Archaic period, between 580 and 480 BC, with copper helmets, left, and iron swords, daggers and spearheads. Ornaments of gold foil – especially made for funerary use – covered their mouths, eyes and chests.

A total of 915 graves have been excavated over the past eight years at the site of Arhontiko, about 330 miles (530km) northwest of Athens.

Archaeologists estimate that this represents 5 per cent of the cemetery. “The settlement flourished in wealth and population mainly during the Archaic period,” the ministry said.

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