Alexander the Great - DISCOVERY OF PHILIP'S TOMB

DISCOVERY OF PHILIP'S TOMB (Illustration) Archeological Wonders Biographies Famous People Film Geography Social Studies World History Ancient Places and/or Civilizations

This image depicts the golden larnax (Chrysi Larnaka), with the Sun of Vergina on its lid, which allegedly contains the burial remains of King Philip II of Macedon. We also see the royal golden wreath in this image.  Formerly displayed at Thessaloniki's Archaeological Museum, the items are now maintained at the underground museum at Vergina (in northern Greece).


Before Pella became the royal capital, the ancient town of Aegae (Aigai) had served that purpose. Since at least 1850, scholars believed the tranquil hills of nearby Vergina contained the graves or tombs (you need Real Player for this video link) of Macedonian royalty.

In 1977, the late Greek archeologist, Manolis Andronikos, working in Vergina (also spelled Verghina) discovered several tombs. Two had never been plundered. One of those (believed, at the time, to be Philip's) contained a gold casket (called a larnax) with a royal Macedonian star burst on its cover. Inside the casket were cremated remains.

Although there is scholarly disagreement, Andronikos (who published a book with numerous pictures of his findings) and his colleagues believed those cremated remains were of Alexander's father, Philip II. A skull - believed, by some, to be Philip's - was also recovered.

The Great Tumulus Museum at Vergina, site of ongoing excavations (like the town's Acropolis), possesses the golden casket, a recovered bust of Philip II, and many artifacts. This video (you need Real Player to watch it) will enlighten you about some of the treasures found in Philip's grave.  It also helps us to understand why archeologists must be so careful in their work, lest they disturb burial grounds.

Based on their discoveries, scholars have reconstructed the royal palace where Philip and Alexander lived. Archeologists have turned over their incredible finds to Greek museums. Thanks to their generosity, the public can view these treasures on-line.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Dec 01, 2014

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"DISCOVERY OF PHILIP'S TOMB" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 2004. Dec 11, 2019.
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