King Philip II of Macedonia
A bust of King Philip II of Macedon, who was assassinated in 336BCWiki Commons

The ancient remains of the Macedonian King Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great, have been discovered in a royal tomb in Vergina, northern Greece.

The anthropological find was made in a large mound called the Great Tumulus in Vergina, a town 160km from Amphipolis' tomb. Around 350 bones and fragments were uncovered in two caskets.

Along with the cremated remains of King Philip II, the tomb also contained the bones of a female warrior.

Theodore Antikas, head of the Art-Anthropological research team of the Vergina excavation, told Discovery News that the bones could belong to the daughter of Skythian King Athea.

Bronze and silver vessels, gold wreaths, weapons, armour and two gold larnakes, small coffins, were also found in the grave.

King Philip II was king of the Greek kingdom of Macedon from 359BC, until his assassination in 336BC. He was the father of Alexander the Great and Philip III.

The male and female bones in the tomb have been analysed by Antikas' team since 2009. Analysis shows evidence of facial trauma, possible from an arrow that hit and blinded the King Philip II in his right eye at the siege of Methone in 354BC.

The monarch survived and ruled for another 18 years before he was assassinated at the celebration of his daughter's wedding.

"The individual suffered from frontal and maxillary sinusitis that might have been caused by an old facial trauma," Antikas said, adding that other analysis revealed he had suffered other wounds as a warrior.

"He had signs of chronic pathology on the visceral surface of several low thoracic ribs, indicating pleuritis."

The phrase "divide at impera" (divide and conquer) is attributed to King Philip II, who gained control of Greece and the Balkan Peninsula through tactful use of warfare, diplomacy and marriage alliances.

King Philip II reformed the Macedonian army and proposed the invasion of Persia, which provided the basis for the achievements of his son and successor Alexander the Great. Born in 356BC, Alexander succeeded his father to the throne at the age of 20.

He spent the majority of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa. By the age of 30, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, which spanned Greece to Egypt and stretched as far as northwestern ancient India.

During Alexander's youth, he was tutored by the philosopher Aristotle until the age of 16. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of the most successful military commanders in the world.

Alexander died in Babylon, present day Iraq, at the age of 32 in 323BC. It is believed he is buried in Egypt, but his tomb has not yet been found – and is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the world.

The findings are due to be presented later this week at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.