The Incredible Tombs of Philip of Macedon and his Family– Part Four

The Incredible Tombs of Philip of Macedon and his Family– Part Four July 14, 2023

As the following graphic shows, the tombs we are examining were dug into the left side of the hill….

There were other graves but not any of great significance for our purposes.  Basically, Philip went through the same process of the bathing of the body, then the funeral pyre, then the gathering of the burnt remains and ashes,  then the burial.  Below is a picture of the huge bronze bathing bowl and related items, used with Philip…

Here are some of the things burned in the process…

Especially interesting is the lion door knocker, something we also find on medieval cathedrals such as the one in Durham England.

But of course the things that draw the most wows, are all the gold items including Philips gold breast plate, crown, coffin and more.  For example,

But Philip was not buried alone.  He was buried with a 22-23 year old female, presumably a concubine named Medea, or possible his queen Cleopatra.   And her crown is just as impressive….

More certainly, here is the gold laurel wreath that lay on the ivory inlaid couch of the queen…

The copper or bronze objects are also impressive for their workmanship.   It is well to remember the condition the archaeologists found these things in….

The work of an archaeologist is slow, painstaking, and takes a lot of concentration and effort and delicacy to make sure when cleaning up such objects one does not spoil them.  Some of the items, like Philip’s battle suit can only be partially cleaned and restored.


There is so much more to see in this museum that at times it becomes overwhelming.  It is also a reminder that while we rightly complain about the fact that the huge majority of the wealth of the Western world is in the hands of the upper 5% of the population, the situation was even worse in Philip’s day.  At least we have a working class and middle class that can live a normal healthy life. In Philip’s world there were the rich and the poor and precious little in between.

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