Alexander the Great exhibition to give insight into man who conquered world

An exhibition of more than 500 objects, most of them never before seen outside Greece, is set to rewrite knowledge of the Macedonian civilisation that brought forth Alexander the Great – the man who conquered most of the known world, from Greece to Egypt, Afghanistan and India, in the 4th century BC.

A magnificent array of objects, from intricate golden crowns to finely sculpted heads, will travel to the Ashmolean in Oxford this spring, for the first major archaeological exhibition to be held in the museum's newly expanded galleries.

The exhibition, Heracles to Alexander the Great, will show the fruits of recent excavations in Aegae, the ancient capital of Macedon. Artefacts in the exhibition will include objects from the burial tomb of the powerful King Philip II, Alexander's father, and his son, Alexander IV – and splendid jewellery and ornaments from the tombs of various Macedonian queens.

Some of the most revelatory objects in the exhibition are portrait heads. Unlike the idealised faces of classical Athens, they show furrowed brows, wrinkles and laughter lines and may transform understanding of the history of portraiture. "The Macedon of Philip II is the birthplace and birth-time of realistic portraiture," said Dr Angeliki Kottaridi, the lead curator of the exhibition and the director of excavations at Aegae....

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