The Archaeological Museum of Pella was inaugurated on September 5 by Culture and Sports Minister Kostas Tasoulas with the exhibit “Macedonian Treasures” that will run until September 30, 2015.
The exhibition showcases valuable artifacts from excavations in the area, including royal tombs and the Aegae palace (present-day Vergina), capital of Macedonia’s kingdom, and discoveries from Archontiko (which predated Pella during the 7th and 6th centuries BC, or Archaic times), including gold wreaths, gold masks, jewellery, weapons, sculptures, alabaster objects and vases, among others.
Tasoulas said the archaeological excavations in Pella and Imathia, the prefectures in northern Greece associated with the Macedonian Empire and Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), are funded by the EU-based National Strategic Reference Program with 35 million euros. A comprehensive program with cultural tours and reconstruction of the palace complex at Aegae belonging to Philip II (382-336 BC), Alexander’s father, has also been submitted to the same program for funding.
Some of the exhibits were included in shows at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and the Louvre in Paris in 2011.
Angeliki Kottaridi, director of the local ephorate of antiquities, said that the museum wants to “give a complete picture of the civilization in the heart of Macedonia in Archaic and early Classical times, a time when the greatest changes were taking place and the Macedonians were beginning to establish their kingdom.”
The “Lady of Aegae” celebrates Euridice, wife and queen of Amyntas I (530-495 BC), high priestess of the Macedonians. She was also the mother of three kings, including Philip II. A mannequin with gold jewellery and pins decorating her dress are on show, as are Macedonian warriors’ armors and gold funerary masks (for males and females).
Among other exhibits, are vessels, including bronze and alabaster ones, decorative ostrich eggs and faience. The exhibits of Pella are permanently housed on the museum’s ground floor.