Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Alexander's Wreath-Time Band

A wreath of gold that dates back to the 4th century BC was found last week in the ruins of Aigai, where Philip of Macedonia had his royal palace.

I'm using the picture from a 2001 story from the Archaeology.org site and hope they don't mind. How could anyone describe such an exquisite object without a picture? Unbelievably, a farmer ploughing his field unearthed this artifact, which dates to 450-425 BC.

The newly-found wreath was found in a copper vase that local workers mistook for a land mine, and it was found with bones. That's what AP says, and its story includes pictures of the copper bucket and the wreath in situ.

The AP article quotes experts from the University of Thessaloniki who date the find to the 4th century--close to when Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great's father, was stabbed to death in the marketplace. That event happened very near where the wreath and bones were found.

Since it was found so recently, I think the guess about its age is preliminary. How does one date gold, anyway? Or are they dating the bones or other organic material found in the copper vase, which was covered?

No comments: