Ancient Gold Wreath Found In Greek Subway

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An abundance of gold wreaths appear to lay hidden in a subway network in Greece.

Indeed, excavation work during construction of a new subway in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, has revealed another gold wreath – the ninth since work started in 2006.

Found on the site of an ancient cemetery at what will be the Dimokratias Station stop, the wreath of olive leaves lay buried for some 2,300 years.

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According to the Greek Reporter, the wreath was found “inside a large box-type Macedonian tomb on the head of a buried body.”

It was approximately dated to the Early Hellenistic Era, at the end of the fourth — early third century B.C.

Gold wreaths are rare finds and are usually associated with royal or aristocratic graves. Featuring delicate decorations which imitated various leaves, such as oak, olive, vine, laurel and myrtle, the fragile gold wreaths were created primarily to be buried.

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In 2008 archaeologists found eight Hellenistic era golden wreaths again during subway work in Thessaloniki. The wreaths were placed within a female burial along with elaborately-crafted earrings and other artifacts.

About 23,000 ancient and medieval artifacts have been unearthed during the ongoing dig for the Thessaloniki subway system.

Much-delayed, the project is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Image: This photo, released by the Greek Ministry of Culture in 2008, shows one of the gold wreaths unearthed at that time. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture.