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The tomb of Philip of Macedonia

The tomb of Philip of Macedonia

Philip of Macedonia is Macedonian king who reigned in 369-336 BC. Under him, Macedonia became a centralized state. He introduced the army, called the “Macedonian phalanx” and paved the way for their the navy. He is also the father of Alexander the Great of Macedonia.

Philip of Macedonia was assassinated in 336 BC. by plotting courtiers. Hi tomb- Museum is located in Vergina, 75 km. away from Thessaloniki.

Interest in this area was already shown in 1850, when archaeologists have suggested that there are tombs there. In 1977, an archaeologist of Greek origin, called Manolis Andronikos started excavation activities on the hill called the Great Tumulus. There they found a total of seven rooms and two of them are supposed to belong to Philip II of Macedonia and his grandson Alexander IV of Macedonian - the son of Alexander.

The tomb of Philip is of a large size. It is built of limestone and fine white plaster. It consists of two rooms. In the main room is the sarcophagus of marble and an urn made from 24 carat gold. Inside the box were found the remains of the king and a golden crown with 313 oak leaves and 68 acorns.

In the room were also found armor made of gold and ivory and a richly decorated funeral bed, on which the king was placed and burned. There are also silver dishes full of burial gifts.

Anthropological study of the skull of Philip shows fatal injury in the right eye and that confirmed its identification. The tomb dates from the 4th century BC.

On the facade of the porch is depiction of a hunting scene. There is another open coffin, again with a golden urn, but smaller in size. In the urn were found the bones of a woman wrapped in golden-purple canvas and a golden wreath of flowers. It is assumed that this is one of the wives of the king. Next to it, there is another burial bed, which was affected by the fire. They also found a golden crown there.

The tomb of Philip's grandson, Alexander IV of Macedonia is smaller in size and just as the king’s it is not spoiled. Unfortunately, the two other tombs were plundered and ruined.