VERGINA Anc. Aigai - 2008
Gymnasium - Residence - Palace - Tomb - Tools/weapons - Dress and personal ornament - Sculpture - Metal - Bone - Stone - Glass - Sporting establishment - Domestic space - Cemetery - Building Type - Find Type - Material Type - Site Type
Type of Operation
Aristotelian University, Thessaloniki; Ministry of Culture (ΙΖ' ΕΠΚΑ)
Vergina (anc. Aigai). Ch. Saatsoglou-Paliadeli (Aristotelian University, Thessaloniki) reports on progress in a collaborative programme with the ΙΖ' ΕΠΚΑ to complete cataloguing, conservation, and presentation of architectural and other finds.
Ch. Saatsoglou-Paliadeli and A. Kyriakou (Aristotelian University, Thessaloniki) report on continuing excavation at the palace and cemetery. Excavation at the tholos in the palace demonstrated that the exedra contains reused architectural members in its foundation and must thus post-date the Rom conquest in the M2nd Ct BC. It cannot, therefore, be connected with the palace, but it represents a continuity of ritual function in this area. The main conclusions of A. Kyriakou’s 2005 doctoral thesis on the M4th Ct BC Stenomakri tomb (excavated in 1981 and 2003−2005) are presented. The oblong tumulus (43.75 x 24.75m) covered 3 burials − a pit grave in the centre (tomb A) and 2 cist graves to the N (tomb Γ) and S (tomb B), each surrounded by its own peribolos. In tomb B, attention is drawn to at least 10 polychrome hydriae, pierced to allow funerary libations, which are closely similar to polychrome vessels from the Aiane cemetery, as well as rich metal goods including horse trappings, and metal and ivory fittings for a wooden chest. Over tomb Γ, a group of 15 hydriae pierced for libations differs in style from that in tomb B, being more closely influenced by metalwork. Notable among the grave offerings is a Kerch style acorn lekythos attributed to the Attic painter of the Vogell Group, but in non-Attic clay. Other offerings include 3 rf vases, metal weapons and jewellery, iron knobs from leather vessels, 2 wreaths, and ivory decoration from a wooden chest and couch, as well as gilded terracotta plaques. In the central tomb A, a male burial is clearly attested and the tomb includes many weapons (notably a silver-inlaid sword), but there are also slight indications of a female burial. At the E side of the tumulus, a monument bore burial markers, of which survive the marble paw of a lion and a marble volute krater buried in the foundation. The tombs were looted and the monument destroyed by the Gauls in the 3rd Ct BC and the Romans in the 2nd Ct BC. Remains of pyres connected to the cist graves and rich weapons from the central grave indicate the status of the deceased.
S. Drougou (Aristotelian University, Thessaloniki) reports on excavation of the Macedonian tomb with Ionic façade. This focused on the dromos, which is shown to be lengthy (14m l. x 6−7m h.), including a large courtyard (7m l. x 6m w.) in front of the façade. A large wall of coarse stones protected the dromos from loose soil on the S side. A building dedication at the SE corner of the tomb contains mainly bg plates which date the tomb to the L4th Ct or ca. 300 BC.
A. Kottaridou (ΙΖ' ΕΠΚΑ) reports (AEMTh 20 , 723−80) on rescue excavation of building plots on the E side of Vergina, within the Ar cemetery. 90 graves have so far been excavated, spanning the 6th Ct BC: these are densely concentrated, apparently in groups (perhaps family groups) and arranged in rows. Within the city, excavation close to the NW gate revealed a large building complex (covering over 0.3 ha) with multiple phases, but on a different orientation from the palace and the Sanctuaries of Eurykleia and Kybele (confirming that, despite the efforts of Philip II, Aigai never entirely conformed to a consistent grid). Finds include LAr pottery and a very few 5th Ct spolia used in a large 4th Ct structure. The building apparently continues W, with a large courtyard and a water channel running beneath. The building was remodelled before the end of the 4th Ct and, with various alterations, continued in use into ECh times when the town was abandoned. This is a longer period of use than the palace and the main sanctuaries, and the extent of construction in the 1st Ct AD is notable. To this later building phase belongs the large peristyle court (ca. 0.1 ha in area) which reshaped the entire complex. A rich destruction deposit covers the building. Documentation of the full extent and layout of the complex awaits future seasons.
Beside the W city wall, within the Palaiopanagia gully, lies a well-constructed building with pebble mosaic pavements similar to those in the palace. This was destroyed in the reign of Amyntas III, probably in a flood. It is speculated that the gymnasium of the city is to be found here. Further S, on the Palaiochori hill, the discovery of the body of a marble statue of a seated deity surely indicates an extra mural sanctuary. An extensive area of settlement (ca. 7 ha) existed W of Vergina, including substantial remains previously reported. Fourth Ct houses and periboloi have been located here, as well as a cemetery of the reigns of Amyntas III and Philip II to the W. The remains of a Hel building lie further W, at Pournari near Rovia, where a settlement and cemetery of the L EIA and an anc. water channel are located. Further N, on the plain close to the Aliakmon at Varka, is a tumulus with EBA settlement remains, an EIA cemetery and a Cl−Hel settlement and cemetery. On the plain NE of the cemetery, is the Rom settlement (with ECh basilica) which replaced Aigai and just beyond the E city gate is another settlement area, with 2 more further E at Keramario. Here trial trenches revealed a house destroyed in the 2nd Ct BC and an Imperial Rom kiln. This evidence combines to support the picture of an urban structure kata komas.
Ethnos (13/03/2008) reports the results of analysis (by M. Vavelidis, Aristotelian University, Thessaloniki) of the provenance of precious metals used in the royal burials. Gold comes from the Aliakmon area and the Chalkidike, and silver from Lavrion.
Ch. Saatsoglou-Paliadeli, AEMTh 20 (2006), 753−57; Ch. Saatsoglou-Paliadeli and A. Kyriakou, AEMTh 20 (2006), 759−66; S. Drougou, AEMTh 20 (2006), 767−72; A. Kottaridou, AEMTh 20 (2006), 723−80
Date of creation