by Alex Francis

gold charm

In a place with as rich a history as Thessaloniki (the second-largest city in Greece), it is not surprising when ancient artifacts collide with industrial improvements. This time around, an excavation alongside the construction of a new subway system unearthed a gold wreath estimated to date back to the Early Hellenistic Period and have been buried for approximately 2,500 years.

The wreath was made to resemble olive leaves on a gold band and was found, according to the Greek Reporter, within “a large box-type Macedonian tomb on the head of a buried body.” Discovery News noted that such wreaths were typically buried with either royals or aristocrats.

This is not the first artifact to be found since construction began on the new subway system in 2006. Discovery News reports that about 23,000 artifacts have been found thus far, including four gold wreaths and gold earrings that were unearthed in 2008. Vasiliki Misailidou-Despotidou, director of 16th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities for Greece’s General Directorate of Antiquities, however, explained to a reporter that “It’s not common. It’s an extraordinary finding.”

Such careful excavations and findings inevitably make the construction of the city’s new subway system slow and steady, and the project is not scheduled to be completed until 2017.

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