20 July 2009 | This Saturday, archeologists in Ohrid unearthed exceptionally valuable finds dating to the fifth century BC.
On the road between the Upper Gate and the St. Bogorodica Perivlepta Church were discoevered 17 tombs from the Hellenistic Period, Pasko Kuzman, head of the Macedonian Department for Cultural Heritage told the Dnevnik daily newspaper.
In one of the tombs was buried a 15-year-old girl, which most likely belonged to the nobility.
“There is something here which, from a scientific point of view, is more important even than the golden mask [discovered in Ohrid earlier], since the personality buried in this tomb had a golden object in the shape of eye glasses, a rhomboid-shaped golden plate on the mouth and a golden plate with a sun with 16 rays in the area of the heart,” Kuzman stated.
“The two objects that were placed on the eyes and the mouth mean the dead person was masked. This kind of combination of masking was unique on the Balkans. Until now, separate golden plates were discovered, especially in the Aegean, but this kind of combination was unknown until now,” the archaeologist explained.
The other valuable artefacts discovered on Saturday include a 40-centimetre-long golden belt, amphorae-shaped golden pendants for a necklace, bronze and silver gloves and golden object with a conical shape which are quite rare for this part of the world.
Also found were objects from amber, a material which – as Kuzman explained, was not found in these lands but was transported from the Baltic area when there was a strong trade connection between North ad South.
“We should be proud of this priceless treasure being discovered [in Macedonia] and thankful to all the archaeologists who have invested all their energy and knowledge,” Macedonian Minister of Culture Elizabeta Kanchevska-Milevska told the publication.
The state and the Ministry will continue working with the same speed and intensity towards the protection of cultural heritage and the exploration of a large number of sites, Kanchevska-Milevska added.
Ohrid is the leader in Macedonia in terms of the golden ornaments discovered in the area, numbering 450 objects so far, Kuzman stated. This, according to him, has to do with the city’s location, near the ancient Via Egnatia road which connected Rome to Byzantium (later Constantinople, now Istanbul).
Excavations at the site, according to the publication, will continue in the fall and an exhibition of all the golden artefacts discovered so far will be organised by the end of the year.