What scared me in the museum

I am on my way to the the Amphipolis antique site in the Greek province of Macedonia, located about 5 km from the sea…

When a house is built in the middle of the road as we Serbians know well, then the rulers often change, and history is always exciting.  Amphipolis was located on the famous Via Egnatia road, where the traces of Persian, Spartan and Macedonian interests were crossed.

At one point Amphipolis was ruled by Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great, and it is thought that Amphopolis was the starting point in the creation of his Empire.

Now, this location is under active construction.

Around here a new tomb was dug up and, according to its interior,  a pearson of some significant was buried here. The Tomb was built from green marble which was brought from Tasos. In the past, the Tomb has been vandalized on several occasions, so there are no characteristic personal items that would make the archaeologist work easier.

There is a suspicion that this Tomb is of Alexanders closest friend, Hefestion. The remains of five bodies, two younger men, one woman, one newborn and another man who was burnt were found. Probably the latter is in fact the deceased for whom the tomb was built, and the rest are buried alive to keep him company in the afterlife. Philip II was also buried with two living wife’s.

On the way to the Amphipolis, there is the statue of the lion of Amphipolis which was at the top of the tomb and which will be returned to its original location when the excavations are completed.

The anatomy of the lion was made down to the smallest details veins, a strong muzzle, a rich mane, a mouth drawn to the side, eyes positioned deep in the niches to emphasize the wisdom of Laomedon, a respected citizen of Amphipolis, in whose honor the monument was erected.

On the road of today’s Amphipolis can be seen various medieval towers as well as the oldest preserved wooden Roman bridge.

The Amphipolis Museum itself has very interesting exhibits from many periods: Athenians, Tracians, Spartans, ancient Macedonians and Romans.

After the arrival of the Slovenians in the 6th century, the city began to lose its importance to the population where the population descends to the coastal city of Eion at the mouth of Strumica in Aegeus.

The tickets for the museum in Amphipolis are 3 euros in the winter period and 6 euros in the summer

Although Greece is rightly regarded as the cradle of civilization, the ancient Greeks were very superstitious.

They believed in the existence of the underworld that was the source of all evil.

In order to appease the demons, the ancient Greeks had a ‘super’ custom that was maintained on an annual basis.

At certain time of the year, every Greek city chose a person with some physical disability and assigned him a role as a pharmacos. The pharmacos then for some time was offered the best treats of that time, after which he or she would be expelled, beaten up, stoned or burned on the stake depending on the local tradition.

Pharmacos is a Greek word that means both medicine and poison.


Pharmacos has two kinds of meanings: he is at the same time an outlet for all the evils in the community, but also a savior.

So he was honored before the sacrifice with the best food and vine.

In Greek society, obsessed with beauty, all physical imperfections were considered indicators of spiritual defects, and such individuals were abandoned or expelled outside the city.

In addition, it was considered that if the tribe sacrificed their weakest members, there was a greater chance for survival.

But that the Greeks changed the attitude towards us pharmacos’ as an example is this super lift by which I could look into all the parts of the museum and from a passive I become an active observer.

Before the 2o-th century there was no moussaka as we know today. In the 20-th century France educated the Greek chef Nikos Tselemantes who decided to cleanse Greek cuisine from Turkish influence so he added the French beshamel as a third layer.  Moussaka is also present in Balkan countries but no one knows where it originate from. It is widely believed that the Arabs are to blame when they brought eggplant to the region.


Traveled and enjoyed,


Marko Veličković

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