Saturday, April 04, 2009

Philip II's palace revealed

The restoration works on the palace of Aigai at the archaeological site of Vergina of northern Greece have provided archaeologists with additional information on the impressive construction, described as in league with the Parthenon atop the Acropolis in central Athens and three times as large.

The recently completed three-million-euro initial restoration phase was funded by the 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF) and according to findings presented at the 22nd scientific meeting on archaeological excavations and work the Macedonia and Thrace provinces, restoration works have helped to document many facts on the building's ground plan. Construction work on the palace of King Philip II of Macedon began in 350 BC and was completed in 336 BC providing important information on ancient Macedonian architecture, because it was completed without interruptions and posterior interventions or alterations.

The restoration of the two-storey gallery (stoa) in the building's front section was a "revelation" for archaeologists' studying ancient architecture, as it contradicted earlier beliefs according to which such galleries were a later practice, dating in the 2nd century BC. The galleries' architectural sections are built based on the "golden mean" ratio (1 to 1.6). Archaeologists believe that Pytheos was the palace's architect, who had also designed the mausoleum of Halicarnassus, while the mausoleum's sculptor Leocharis had also worked on the palace of Aigai.

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