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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Private House in Ancient Pella

A small town of ancient Macedonia, called Pella, was destined to become around 400 BC, the capital of Macedon, when King Archelaos decided to transfer his capital from the inland town of Aegae to the then coastal Pella. Archaeological excavations of the last 25 years have started bringing Pella to light, the town that remained the capital until the time of Perseus, the last Macedonian king. The town planning of Pella was the so-called “hippodameian”, which prevailed in the 5th century BC. Most of the excavated areas belong to housing districts. Given the recent interest of archaeologists in the study of the private house in antiquity, the discovery of houses in Pella excavations becomes even more important. The private house of Pella repeats the typical plan and structure of an ancient house, the early examples of which derive from the Minoan palace. The interior of the house is more or less richly decorated – in one room, coloured stucco shows a two level decoration. Lower level: structural character decoration with tiles and imitation marble;top level: imitation of a colonnade, opening onto a blue sky – while the exterior remains simple and plain, interrupted only by the entrance and by small openings for light to enter. The Pella excavations reveal the form of the town and offer information on the social life of its inhabitants and aspects of the ancient Macedonian civilization that long remained absolutely unknown.