At the end of November 2011, an entirely unexpected find was unearthed proving that in archaeology nothing is impossible.
After removing the fills of the old excavation works that covered the area to the west of the auxiliary peristyle (colonnade surrounding a building or a court) of the palace of Aigai, the slope was investigated by performing trial excavations. These yielded a spacious cist grave with one primary burial and six secondary ones dating back to the early-Christian times. The surprising element in this discovery was not its content but rather the material used, since the whole monument was composed of pseudo-windows in stone –one on each side, two on the floor and two as kalyptires (caps).
In total, eight windows were used, out of which six were found in a very good condition. Their details are still intact; the armokalyptres (capping strips) and the ephilides (imitation of cover nails) on their exterior and of a wooden structure on their interior, still bearing pieces of the plaster that resembled marble.
The dimensions and very interesting construction and structural details of the eight pseudo-windows are perfectly comparable to the stone window, pieces of which had been found to the east of the monument, and leave no doubt that these rare architectural members were taken from the avant-garde royal establishment of Aigai.
The unique and unexpected architectural treasure that has just started being systematically conserved and studied is a find of an exceptional significance, since, together with the Ionian double-sided pilaster columns and their architraves, help us accurately visualize the upper floor of the building, something that is rarely possible, if not unique, for monuments of this era.
- Written by: Angeliki Kottaridi