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Evidence of ancient austerity found in Macedonian graves

Graves recently excavated in Macedonia show that funeral offerings were dramatically scaled back from gold to clay, probably by Royal decree.

The graves in Pydna, a prominent city in the ancient Macedonian kingdom elevated to fame by Alexander the Great, contained gold jewels, elaborate vases and ivory-plated beds in the fourth century BCE, Besios said.

But a century later, under King Cassander of Macedon, these offerings were phased out in favour of cheaper materials such as clay.

“At the close of the fourth century, a decree issued by Cassander’s commander in Macedon-occupied Athens forbade the building of elaborate funeral monuments and limited spending on ceremonies,” Besios, the deputy supervisor at the Pydna excavations, told the daily.

“It was like the period we are going through today — one that will possibly be found by an archaeologist of the future,” he jibed.

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