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The Macedonian Tomb of Judgment

This is the largest known Macedonian tomb, which came to light by chance in 1954 and was restored structurally just in 1998, while maintenance works on its painted ornamentation are still underway. It is the only Macedonian tomb with a two-floor facade, with alternating Doric and Ionic order. Four Doric semi-columns and two pilasters in the corners support the epistyle and the Doric frieze. Above the entablature and the colorful zone with botanical decorations, the Ionic frieze extends, in which a contest between the Greeks and the barbarians is depicted in relief. This representation probably alludes to the - recent at the time of the tomb's construction-confrontation of the Macedonians with the Persians. On the ceiling, between the six Ionic semi-columns and the two pilasters, seven pseudo-windows have been opened, while only very few parts of the pediment remain. To the interior, the tomb is divided into a narrow, but tall antechamber and the main chamber of the tomb.

The painted representation of the facade is unique; it belongs to the sphere of the religious beliefs of the Greeks and alludes to the Platonic dialogue of Gorgias. It is made up of four autonomous paintings which are found among the Doric semi-columns. To the left of the main entrance of the tomb, in two paintings, there is a depiction of the deceased being led by Hermes Psychopompos (soul-sender) to the Crites (Judges) of the Underworld, Aeacus and Radamanthys, who take up the two paintings to the right of the entrance. The deceased, dressed in a short tunic and chest plate, is the only one who is not referred to by name in the inscriptions, obviously because he was a very well known figure to the society of Mieza. It has been speculated that he was Peukesta of Mieza, the General of Alexander the Great. The metopes are decorated with exceptional painted representations from the mythical battle of the Lapiths with the Centaurs. The ensemble is strongly reminiscent of a screen belonging to an Orthodox Christian temple!

 



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