Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria Ariana (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in the Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Vergina, The Royal Tombs by Manolis Andronicos

Vergina, The Royal Tombs by Manolis Andronicos (ISBN 960-213-128-4) is the ultimate book about the excavations in and around Vergina and in particular for the tombs found in the Great Tumulus.

Manolis Andronicos largely dedicated his life to archaeology and after much determination he is the one who has discovered the undisturbed resting place of King Philip II of Macedonia under the Great Tumulus in Vergina. His love for his work and his analytical approach to his excavations transpire all through this marvelous book.

The many large pictures alone make it worth browsing through this book, but Andronicos’ careful explanations, experiences and theories make fascinating reading.

He starts with a short but clear description of the theater of Aegae as Vergina was called in antiquity followed by a detailed walk through the remains of the Palace of Aegae. We will remember that King Philip was murdered at this very theater in 336 BC, and that this is the place where the reign of Alexander the Great commenced.

The major part of the book is obviously concentrating on the excavations of the Great Tumulus from his first attempts to the discovery of the many grave stele, the Tomb of Persephone, “Philip’s Tomb” and finally of the so-called Prince’s Tomb. Photographs taken during the many years of hard and intensive work give an excellent view of the problems, hopes, diagnosis and results of these diggings. Especially for “Philip’s Tomb” he describes the structure and paintings of the tomb, he itemizes and analyses all the grave goods from weapons to vessels, to finally the gold larnax and the royal gold diadem. Then in turn he focuses on the contents of the antechamber where a smaller larnax was located together with a magnificent gorytos, a set of greaves, a pectoral and a charming myrtle wreath.

Finally the ”Prince’s Tomb” is being examined, the outside and inside of the building, and the grave goods among which is the marvelous silver urn that contained the bones of the dead, crowned with a gold wreath.

Andronicos ends this book with a special chapter holding his conclusions where he explains how and why he made the statements as he did. Instead of a dry archaeological report, this book is very pleasant to read or just to have at hand for a relaxed browsing among these unique examples of Greek art at its best.

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