Aiani is located 20 km. south of Kozani. In ancient times it belonged to the kingdom of Elimiotida, which together with the rest of the Greek kingdoms (Tymphaea, Orestida, Lygkistida, Eordaia, Pelagonia, Derriopou) constituted the Upper Macedonia of the ancients. According to the founding legend that was saved by Stephen Byzantius, Aiani, "city of Macedonia", was built by Aianus, son of Elymos and founder of Elimeia or Elimiotida. The existence of the city of Aianis is confirmed by two epigraphic testimonies.

The systematic excavation, which began in 1983, brought to light important architectural remains of the city, clusters of tombs and organized cemeteries, dating from the prehistoric to the Austro-Hellenistic years. These new findings are revealing both about the prehistory of Upper Macedonia and its heyday in the archaic and classical years (6th and 5th centuries BC), while at the same time they confirm that Aiani occupied the position of capital of the state very early on of the Elimiots.

In prehistoric times, Aiani was a notable production center of the so-called dark-colored pottery, the origin of which goes back to Middle Helladic (1900 – 1600 BC) standards of southern Greece. Its bearers are considered to be the northwestern Greek races, to which the Macedonians also belonged, who, according to Herodotus, migrated from Pindus to Dryopida and the Peloponnese, where they were called Dorians. At the same time, the abundance of Mycenaean finds from the area (cemeteries, figurines, linear writing, etc.) make the settlement of Mycenaeans in Upper Macedonia more and more probable.

Source: Archaeological Resources & Expropriations Fund