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Remnants of an Ancient City Discovered Near Kilkis, Northern Greece

Tomb I found in Kilkis area. Credit: Archaeological Museum of Kilkis/Facebook

Newly found antiquities near the town of Kilkis, northern Greece, and close to the heart of the Macedonian Kingdom, reveal the remnants of an ancient city unknown until recently.

It is the area where ancient Vottiaia flourished in the late classical/early Hellenistic times (late 4th / early 3rd century BC), according to Dr. Georgia Strateli, Director of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Kilkis.

Dr. Strateli spoke to the Makedonia news website about the site saying that it is in the area of the Toumba rural community that belongs to the Paionia municipality.

The site is 8 km (5 miles) north of the famous ancient Europos city, the birthplace of the founder of the legendary Seleucid Dynasty, Seleucus I Nicator, general of the army of Alexander the Great.

Excavations to reveal the name of the city

The name of the ancient city, 1,200 meters (0.75 miles) meters north of today’s Toumba community, remains unknown. Archaeologists believe that it will become known once excavations progress.

River Gorgopis flows about 100 meters from the site, flowing from the springs of Mount Paikos and continuing east to flow into River Axios.

About 250 meters south of the ancient city, in a rural area full of wheat fields, olive trees, and rhododendrons, two dominant burial mounds while a third one is found 900 meters away, inside the modern community.

These burial monuments belonged to a cemetery of the aristocratic order of the ancient city in question and their location marks the course of the main ancient road of communication of the city with others.

Tomb of the aristocracy

The almost intact burial Tomb I has a diameter of 40 meters and a height of 9 meters. It was first researched in the 1960s by then Curator of Antiquities Fotios Petsas.

In the periphery of the mound, a looted underground single-chamber tomb of Macedonian type was discovered. It was an exceptional construction with a monumental facade.

According to Dr. Stratouli, it has a characteristic Macedonian-style arched roof, a bed inside, and an impressive double marble door.

The primary aim of the excavation project is the protection and promotion of the two burial mounds and their surrounding area.

After works are completed, the development of a visitor-friendly archaeological site will be established to extend the cultural route of the early Hellenistic years from Pella to Europos and Toumba of the Kilkis Prefecture.

New studies and project implementation

Next, Tomb II will be restored and promoted by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Kilkis. Tomb II has a diameter of 35 meters and a surviving height of 5 meters.

Excavation works around Tomb II were carried out in 1992 by the archaeologist of the former 16th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Thomais Savvopoulou.

In the center of the mound, a looted box-shaped tomb 3X2.5 meters of elaborate construction covered with large rocks was discovered.

The unveiling of vessels from ritual offerings suggests it is dated to the end of the 4th century BC, being probably a little older than the Macedonian-style Tomb I.

The Ephorate of Antiquities of Kilkis, according to Dr. Stratouli, is planning to create in the long run a cultural route 1.5 km (1 mile) long inside an extensive archeological park, like a  modern open air museum.

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