Vergina is best known as the site of ancient Aigai (Αἰγαί, Latinized Aegae), the first capital of Macedonia. It was there when in 336 BC Philip II was assassinated in the theatre and Alexander the Great was proclaimed king. The ancient site was discovered in 1976 and excavated under the leadership of archaeologist Manolis Andronikos. The excavation unearthed the burial sites of many kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, which, unlike so many other tombs, had not been disturbed or looted. It is also the site of an extensive royal palace. The archaeological museum of Vergina was built to house all the artifacts found at the site and is one of the most important museums in Greece.
Among these artifacts, the symbol of ‘Vergina Sun’ came to prominence, depicted on a golden larnax found in a 4th-century BC royal tomb belonging to Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.
Aigai has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as ‘an exceptional testimony to a significant development in European civilization, at the transition from classical city-state to the imperial structure of the Hellenistic and Roman periods‘.
[ Featured photo ] The archaeological site of Pella, the capital of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia in the time of Alexander the Great, replacing the older palace-city of Aigai. Pella was the birthplace of Philip II and Alexander the Great and remained the cornerstone city of Macedonian kingdom until its conquer from the Roman empire.