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AE2004 A New Funerary GQid Leaf from Pherai 3

since December 1924, when a large number of boxes containing 'valuable items' were sent
by Arvanitopoulos to the National Archaeological Museum for conservation.
In addition to the brief reference in Praktika, some information about the circumstances
of the discovery of the leaf can be found in the excavation daybooks of Arvanitopoulos.
According to them, the gold strip was discovered in November 1904, together with graves,
in a field near the hill Magoula Mati or s'ta Mylia,
by the owner of the land Athanasios
Nastos, while digging to uproot large trees. Not much is known about the graves, as Arvani-
topoulos visited the site two years after their discovery when the landscape had changed and
he had to rely on locals and the press for information.
The strip was found in what appears to have been a marble lidded - cylindrical?-
osteotheke (repository), measuring 0.41 m in diameter and 0.18-0.20 m in depth. It had
allegedly contained only a few bones and the strip, which suggests that the funeral rite was
When Arvarutopoulos visited the site, the repository had long been used by the
owner of the plot as building material in his house and the strip had been collected by the
then mayor of Velestino, from whom he bought it in 1906 for 10 drachmas.
Consequently, there is not much information about either the burial ground or the con-
tents and date of the grave. Magoula Mati Lies in the area of the extensive northern cemet-
ery of Pherai and is near the ancient road towards Larisa (map 1, no. 2).
With the excep-
tion of what is, probably, a family burial tumu]us at the locality Thymarakia and numerous
grave markers found during agricultural works, the northern cemetery of Pherai remains
largely unexplored.
5. Dossier on A. Arvanitopoulos in the Archive of
Monuments and Publications, Ministry of Culture. M.
Stamatopoulou would like to thank the Director of the
Archive of Monuments and Publications of the Hel-
lenic Ministry of Culture Mr P. Pantos for permission
to consult and study their archives and Mrs M. Pan-
tou for her help during research in the archlves.
6. 'AQX 4, 25 IeTCrqtfJeiov - 29 Noeftf3eiov
1906, pp. 9 and 13: 7 'Ox:r:wfJe{ov.
7. 'AQX 5 (1906-7): p. 81, 26 jttneiliov 1907
on the Magoula Mati.
8. Arvanitopoulos in his excavation daybooks re-
ports that he relied for information on locals and the
then mayor of Velestino St. Dondos, who had collected
the strip upon discovery and from whom Arvani-
topoulos bought it in 1906 with Archaeological Soci-
ety of Athens funds.
9. Arvanitopoulos calls it Meta' in his
daybook, but the description suggests that it was not a
hydria but a marble repository similar to other exam-
pies from the region. The dimensions were taken from
I. Dimopoulos who had published the find in the
Volos press in 1904. It should be noted that the
Pharsalos gold leaf (5) was also found inside a marble
repository, which was recovered from numerous frag-
ments by Verdelis, AE 1950-1951, 80-105, esp. 80-81,
fig. 1.
10. SUihlin op.cit. n. 4, 105-6, fig. 5. On Magoula
Mati: 0. Apostolopoulou-Kakavoyianni, Ton:oyQa<pta
"tii<; n:eewx11<; "t<i>v <I>ee<i>v AL1 34, 1979, A,
174-206, esp. 180-1 and plan 1 no. 8. K. Gallis,
lC(!OiOrO(}LXWV o/xtafi-WV
(Larisa 1992) 103-104, 'BeA.e<TtLvo 3 (Ma-
yo\JA.a Ma"tl)'.
1 l. For the Thymarakia tumulus: V. Adryrni-Sis-
mani, <I>ee<i>v,AAA 16, 1983, 23-42. M. Stama-
topoulou, Burial Customs in Thessaly in the Classical
and Hellenistic Periods (unpubl. DPhil thesis, Oxford
1999) vol. II, cat. no. 63 ('Velestino') for an overview
of the evidence and previous bibliography.