The mound cemetery in the Municipal District of Constantia dates, based on archaeological findings, to the Iron Age and its use reaches up to the 7th century BC.
During the excavations in 1995 and 2000, a new mound cemetery was identified and investigated at the Xirika site, south of the Konstantia community, Almopia district, N. Pella. The cemetery is located at the foot of the western Paikos, at the beginning of the shortest ancient road, which connects the region of Almopia with Vottiaia (today's Giannitsa province). 40 mounds were counted along a rushing stream, running E-S. The mounds have a diameter of 8-14 m., except for two elongated ones, whose dimensions were 20x8 m. and 17x11 m. respectively.
The mounds were essentially piles of stones, which were defined in their circumference by larger slow stones. The cairns covered and surrounded a single-room chamber, made of large argillaceous stones, which had been treated on the inner side and presented a smooth surface. To the east always, two of the stones, placed transversely, exceeded in height and constituted the pilasters of the entrance, while the floor had a layer of smaller pebbles. In a few cases, a slab-shaped stone was also found between the pilasters, as a symbolic entrance barrier.
Chambers and roads, like mounds, varied in size (the largest examples had a chamber diameter of 3.00 m) and progressed in shape, from circular to more rectangular examples. The covering of the graves must have been done in a pseudo-exploratory way, as shown by the only unmarked grave, which had also received successive burials. The lack of ceilings at the entrances and the small height of the chambers (1-1.5 m) show that the configuration of the road and entrance had only a symbolic character and for each new burial the covering of the grave was removed.
The successive uses of the chambers were confirmed mainly by the investigation of the only untouched tomb in Mound 2, which had internal dimensions of 2.20x 1.50 m. In the tomb chamber, ten human skulls and many offerings (their number is close to 100) were counted. such as earthenware vessels (diodes with knobs on handles, grooved kantha-shaped, prokhs, flask-shaped), flywheels or votes, iron knives and jewelry (stone or glass votes, clasps, bracelets, circular periaptus, eight-shaped shoulder and head buckles, an arched buckle in the tradition of the islanders).
The findings of the remaining mounds allow a broad dating of the use of the cemetery throughout the Iron Age and up to the 7th century BC. The study of the material and the continuation of the excavation of the cemetery in the few still intact examples of mounds will perhaps allow the extension of the boundaries of the cemetery upwards as well as downwards, in order to gather more information about the Almopes and especially in relation to the Thucydides' information about their expulsion from the area after the arrival of the Macedonians, a fact that the research places in the 6th century BC.
According to mythology, the area of Almopia was inhabited by the Almopes, towering giants, who were driven out by the Temenids.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou