Archaeologists in northern Greece have explored more than 200 new graves in a vast ancient cemetery that was plundered in antiquity but still retained dozens of rich finds, including a gold mask and bronze helmets.
In a statement, the Culture Ministry said the most impressive finds came from the graves of warriors who died in the 6th century B.C. and were members of a powerful military aristocracy that lived in the region.
“[These finds] reveal the wealth, aristocratic origins, heroic character and leading role of some Macedonian aristocracy in the political and social life of ancient Lyngos during the latter half of the 6th century BC,” the statement said.
Recovered artifacts included the valuable face mask — made specially for funerals; four bronze helmets; iron spearheads and fragmented iron swords; a large bronze urn with ornate handles; an iron model of a farm cart; and bronze leg armor.
The cemetery at Ahlada, near the city of Florina, has so far yielded nearly 1,300 graves, including this year’s discoveries, from various eras. This year alone has yielded 73 tombs belonging to the archaic and classical eras (6th to 4th centuries BC) and 131 dated to the Byzantine era.
The golden mask which archaeologists discovered places Achlada in the company of the cemeteries of Sindos and Archontko in Pella — making it the third site in the Macedonia region where funerary masks were discovered in tombs.
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