At first glance this looks like a bunker of some sort, but in reality it is one of the most important and innovative museums in Europe. It is in Vergina, northern Greece, about 150 Km from Thessaloniki and it houses the actual Royal Macedonian tombs of Philip of Macedon and Alexander IV and the artefacts found in them. In a manner similar to Sutton Hoo in England, the area was always known for its great man-made tumulus that many archaeologists for many years suspected contained ancient tombs. In the late seventies a Greek archaeologist called Manolis Andronikos excavated the mount and discovered a cluster of Royal tombs. To everyone's surprise two of them had escaped from the greedy hands of looters and were still sealed with all their treasures intact. Eventually in order to protect the tombs and their frescoes they were carefully re-buried in an artificial shell to re-create the look of the original tumulus and the museum was formed around them by exhibiting underground the artefacts next to the tombs they were found in. It is a very impressive architectural achievement. Photography was allowed as long as no flash was used, so here is just a tiny sample of this very impressive spectacle. This is a part of the wall-painting decoration of one of the tombs that was unfortunately looted. It contained the remains of a 25 year old woman and an infant, probably one of Phillip's wives that died in during labour. It depicts the abduction of Persephone and it could be the work of the famous painter Nicomachos. The tomb of Philip. The painting on the frieze is of a royal hunt and it depicts both Philip and Alexander the Great. It is the only painting of the great man that we are sure was painted within Alexander's lifetime and was actually seen by his own eyes as we know he took an active part in the burial of his father. The artefacts that were discovered in the sealed tombs are very impressive, and very luxurious even by modern standards. I have never seen so much gold in one place. They are comparable to the finds of King Tut's tomb and one could say that the historical significance is even greater. The items in this photo are actually not even Philip's but one of his wives' that was buried with him. That golden arrow holder (gorytos) is an impressive sight. It is in the Scythian style, and this along with the uneven greaves indicate that the wife in question was the Scythian princess Meda, daughter of the King Kothelas. She was known to have a leg injury in her early youth that caused her legs to grow unevenly. She probably committed suicide after Philips's death in the Scythian tradition, which likely explains why she had such a lavish burial in her husband's tomb. Her bones was in golden larnax similar to the one of Philip's. The tombs were also full of bronze and silver utensils of great artistic merit. The item in the pic is a massive bronze lantern. Both sealed tombs contained full silver banqueting sets of impressive quality. Philip's breastplate and helmet. The helmet is probably the work of Theophilos, the same artist that made Alexander's helmet only a few years later. Philip's shield is indeed an impressive sight. The wood and leather has not survived, but the gold and ivory decoration was carefully reassembled back together. This is probably the most jaw-dropping find. The golden larnax that contained Philip's bones. Almost 9 kilos of pure 24-karat gold. The golden diadem that was placed on top of the bones was on Philip's head when he was cremated, as it is damaged by fire and parts of it was found in the remains of the funeral pyre that were also placed within the tomb. And here is Alexander IV's tomb. The bones found inside were of an 13-14 year old boy and the lack of funeral pyre artefacts indicated that he was cremated elsewhere and this was just a re-burial. These two clues made archaeologists speculate that it is probably the tomb of Alexander the Great's son that was murdered by Cassander. In the case of Philip, the evidence are even more solid. In 2015 a forensic research on the King's cremated bones confirmed that it was indeed Philip's as the arrow injury to the eye socket that was known to have blinded Philip was discovered. If you find yourselves in Greece, it is well worth a visit even though it is a bit off the beaten track (nearest beach is many miles away).