Lion Hunt mosaic at Pella Craterus Alexander the Great

What A Site: Pella Greece – Ancient Macedonian Kingdom’s Capital

 The ancient Greek archaeological site at Pella, former capital of the Macedonian Kingdom under King Archelaus at the 5th century BC’s end, was also the birthplace of Alexander the Great. Located in the north of Greece, Pella is approximately 40 kilometres northwest of Thessaloniki.

Lion Hunt mosaic at Pella Craterus Alexander the Great

Dating back to 320 BC and located in Pella Greece, this lion hunt mosaic, is thought to depict Craterus rescuing Alexander the Great.

The Greek Archaeological Service began to excavate the site at Pella in 1957, revealing rooms full of beautiful mosaic floors in large, solidly-built houses and colonnaded courts. The mosaics are of two main types: those with scenes of life in these ancient cities, such as Amazonomachy (the battle of Amazons), hunts like the House of the Lion Hunt pictured above, while others were simple geometric patterns filling the floor, from wall to wall. The mosaics date back to the late 4th century BC.

Examining these truly spectacular mosaics, one can see the artists advancing in their efforts to give their works dimension by the use of shading. Though their colour palette was limited, with most of the figures depicted in these mosaics in pale shades against neutral backgrounds, there are instances where the mosaics also depict the natural landscape present at the time.

Closer examination of some of the mosaics will reveal the signature of the artist, with one floor’s signature as: “Gnosis epoesen” (Gnosis made this).

The city was destroyed in the 1st century BC, but rather than a result of being pillaged by the Roman Empire, it is believed that its demise was due to an earthquake.

The Romans would be back in 30 AD when they started the colony of Pella, known as Colonia Pellensis, just west of the original city, and can still be found at Nea Pella.

Visit the site of Pella Greece on Day 8 of our new Greece, Macedonia & Kosovo tour (GM1), next departure 17 June 2019.

Greece, Macedonia & Kosovo Tour: GM1 | 15 Days | Departure date: 17 June 2019 | Details

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