It is one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe, which was excavated in the village of Vergina and made the region of Imathia known worldwide.
In 1977-78, Professor Manolis Andronikos pointed out in Vergina (12 km. SE of Veria, the capital of the prefecture) important findings, the wealth of which confirmed the conclusion that Vergina was the Aiges, the first capital of the Macedonian kingdom.
The ancient city, which the archaeological excavation is slowly revealing in the northern foothills of Pieria, has been definitely identified with Aiges, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Lower Macedonia.
From the existing evidence, it appears that the site has been continuously inhabited since the early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), while already during the early Iron Age (11th - 8th century BC) Aiges was an important rich and multiple polarization.
The time of the city's greatest prosperity was the Archaic (7th - 6th century BC) and the Classical years (5th and 4th century BC), when it was the most important urban center of the region, the seat of the Macedonian kings and a place where the most important ancestral sanctuaries were gathered.
The most tangible evidence today of the prosperity of the Macedonian city and kingdom is the wealth of royal tombs uncovered in the city's extensive necropolis. The finds from the royal tombs are exhibited in the underground building - shelter that protects the ancient monuments of Megali Toumba and in a specially designed area of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.
Excavations in the area began in the 19th century, continued after the liberation of Macedonia by Professor Konstantinos Romeo in the 30s. After the end of the Second World War, the baton was taken over by Manolis Andronikos, who during the 1950s and 1960s carried out excavations in the cemetery of the mounds.
At the same time, excavations brought to light the palace of the Goats and part of the necropolis.
In 1977 the shovel of M. Andronikos revealed the royal tombs of Megali Tomba, among which the most important was that of Philip II (359-336 BC). This archaeological discovery is considered one of the most important of the 20th century.
Excavation continues to this day and has revealed a number of important monuments and movable finds.
The most important monuments and architectural ensembles of the archaeological site of Vergina - Aigon are:
The royal tombs of Megali Tomba
The group includes three Macedonian tombs and a cist. Among them is the magnificent Macedonian tomb of Philip II (336 BC) which was untouched and a violated box-shaped tomb. These two tombs are decorated with brilliant frescoes, works of great artists of the time.
The royal tombs in the NW of the city
The group includes two Macedonian tombs, the so-called "tomb of Roman" Ionic, temple-shaped from the beginning of the 3rd century BC, and the "tomb of Eurydice", which probably belongs to the mother of Philip II ΄ and dates around 340 BC. Also, three cisterns of the 5th and 4th centuries BC. and four pits of the Late Archaic era.
The cemetery of mounds
This is the imposing necropolis of the Iron Age (11th-8th century BC), near the archaeological site of the ancient Aigai in Vergina, consisting of more than 300 earthen mounds covering clusters of richly endowed tombs.
The Palace and the Theater
These two very important monuments of the ancient capital of the Macedonian kings, Aigai, are part of the same building complex, which dates back to the 4th century BC.
The sanctuary of Euklia
It is located to the north of the Theater at a distance of about 80 m. During the excavations, the foundations of the vestibule and the nave of the small temple of Euklia of the classical times (4th century BC) were revealed. In the nave of the temple, two statue bases and offering bank sockets were found.
Around the temple there are bases of votive statues, two of which bear the name of Eurydice, wife of Amyntas III, mother of Philip II and grandmother of Alexander the Great.
and includes two temples of the 4th and , a monumental peristyle and a series of votive offerings, among which two bases from the votive offerings of Queen Eurydice.
Sanctuary of the Mother of the Gods
Near the theater, a building of two spaces (apparently initiation spaces for the faithful) with hearths, cisterns, altars and manholes. In the buildings that have been investigated so far, which are made of humble materials, votives, clay cult objects and the head of a clay statue of the goddess have been found.
The Acropolis and the city wall
It is located in the south of the settlement on a rather steep hill. The wall also extends to the east of the city. Parts of the enclosure and the interior (houses of the Hellenistic era) have been excavated from the Acropolis. The fortification of Aiga dates back to the early Hellenistic years (end of the 4th beginning of the 3rd century BC).
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou