Greek Archaeologists Unearth Jewelry in Cemetery

(AP Photo/Selcan Hacaoglu) :: Archaeologists excavate Burgaz, the original site of the ancient Greek city of Knidos, near the town of Datca in southwestern Turkey, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008. The residents of Burgaz are thought to have moved to the tip of the peninsula to apparently better control maritime trade around 360 BC. But some archaic findings have also been unearthed at the new settlement where international excavations have been stopped by the Turkish government recently over allegations of causing irreparable damage to artifacts after the fall of a restored column.

Updated: 9/15/2008

ATHENS, Greece

New excavations at an ancient cemetery in northern Greece have yielded gold jewelry, copper and iron weapons and pottery.

Archaeologists digging in part of a vast burial ground near Pella, the ancient Macedonians' capital, have unearthed 43 new graves dating from 650-279 B.C., the Greek Culture Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

The dead included 20 warriors who had been buried in the Archaic period, between 580-480 B.C., with copper helmets and iron swords, daggers and spearheads. Ornaments of gold foil — specially made for funerals — covered their mouths, eyes and chests, the statement said.

A total of 915 graves have been excavated over the past eight years at the site of Arhontiko, about 330 miles northwest of Athens. Archaeologists estimate this represents just five percent of the cemetery.

''The settlement (to which the cemetery belonged) flourished in wealth and population mainly during the Archaic period,'' the ministry statement said. ''The funerary use of (gold) and the other grave goods points to a strong belief in life after death, and rebirth.''

Artifacts from previous digs include gold masks, crowns and diadems, as well as quantities of local and imported pottery.

Arhontiko was first settled around 6000 B.C. and abandoned in the 14th century A.D.

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