Encyclopaedia of  Wondrous Objects

Your daily dose of awe and wonder from our encyclopaedic collection of over 4.5 million objects

Philip II of Macedon 


Face to face with the past: in this case Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. This ground-breaking facial reconstruction was created by Prof John Prag and Dr David Neave. 


The facial reconstruction of someone in the past is now a commonplace of archaeology documentaries. It can now be done digitally rather than by using plaster casts, modelling clay and prosthetics. 



The bone fragments on which this was based came from a very rich tomb beneath a mound at Vergina in northern Greece. Unfortunately, there wasn’t an inscription to confirm the name of the man whose final resting place this was. 



The splendour of the funerary offerings, dating and circumstantial evidence suggested this was Philip’s tomb. Philip was hit by an arrow and lost his right eye whilst besieging the city of Methone in 355-4 BC.


You can read more about how Prof John Prag and Dr Richard Neave pieced together the evidence and produced the reconstruction here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/505951 



Although we cannot be sure this man was Philip II, this makes the reconstruction even more interesting because it encourages us to explore the evidence and present a reasoned case. This is a great case study in archaeological interpretation.