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Unesco Monuments
Vergina
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In Pieria Prefecture, south from Vergina town lies the spot where the archaeologist Manolis Andronikos made ​​perhaps the greatest discovery in Greece in 1977. This constituted a global event for the scientific community too. Today many top professionals question the view that the archaeological site in Vergina and the findings belong to the ancient town of Aiges.

Findings

The findings highlighted during the excavations include, apart from the Royal tombs, the Necropolis of Tombs (of the Iron Age, includes more than 300 tombs), the Theater (which was an extension of the Palace), the Sanctuary of Eukleia (with two temples of the 3rd and 4th centuries BC), and parts of the Citadel and the town’s wall, at the south part of the settlement.

The Palace

The Palace (4th century BC) was plain and functional yet impressive. It was the residence of the king of the Macedonians.

At the internal east and north sides laid rooms used during Symposiums and corridors that lead to the large terrace with the panoramic view of the town. The five rooms at the south side with mosaics that were added later (3rd century) and built to meet the growing needs of the occupants of the palace are of exceptional beauty. The Palace was equipped with all the comforts and had drainage and sewerage systems. The women's apartments and dormitories with impressive tiling roofs (Corinthian order) were located probably at the east and west sides.

The Tomb of Philip

The Tomb is 9.50m long, 4.46m wide and 5.30m high and is the only one that was not looted. It is roofed with an arch and consists of a chamber and a hall whereas the facade resembles a temple. A sloping path leads to a small plateau; that is the Tomb’s entrance. The Tomb is made from limestone and within the interior, as opposed to the exterior, mirrors a constructional sloppy. Each of the two chambers had cases. The chamber’s case housed a golden shrine with the relics of the dead king, while the hall’s case included a golden shrine with the relics of his wife.

The Tomb of Alexander IV

Next to the Tomb of Philip is located a smaller (in dimensions) Tomb that was constructed to accommodate a younger member of the royal family. The Tomb is bicameral and its facade is not as impressive as Philip’s. Internally, did not lack decoration; the walls were covered in good quality mortar with white coverings whereas there were friezes around the walls.

The Tomb of Persephone

It is a box-in-shape Tomb which although big, lacks facade and proper entrance. It dates around 350 BC and belongs to a 25-year-old woman who died in childbirth and was buried along with her newborn. The location of the Tomb in relation to that of Philip indicates that she was probably one of the king’s seven wives.

The Tomb of the ‘free columns’

It is a single-chamber monument, built in the 3rd century BC. It constitutes a plundered Tomb. The only-saved parts are pieces from the walls and the columns of Doric order from the facade.

The Museum

Soon after the discovery of the Royal Tombs, emerged the need for the maintenance of the findings and especially of the tombs’ murals. Initially, a maintenance and restoration laboratory was created while afterwards an underground building was constructed (1993) in order to house the findings from the Royal Tombs. Externally, the museum looks like an earthy burial mound and since 1997 (when it was inaugurated) it has been housing and exhibiting all the archaeological findings discovered by archaeologists in the Royal Tombs. The museum used modern systems and techniques to maintain and display the items in the best way, catering specifically about the place’s security.

Excavations

The excavations in the area started in the 19th century under the supervision of the French archaeologist Heuzey. Soon after the liberation of Macedonia, the research was conducted by Prof.  K. Romeos until the Second World War. After the end of the war, Manolis Andronikos carried an excavation project at the tombs’ site. In 1977 and after years of research, Andronikos brought into light findings from the Royal Tombs of the Great Toumba among which stands the not-plundered tomb of Philip. This discovery attracted worldwide attention and was a milestone in Archaeological Science as one of the most important events of the past century.

 

Further Information

General admission fee is 8€ and the reduced fee is 4 €, valid for the Archaeological Site and the Museum of the Royal Tombs. The site is open in the winter period: Tuesday - Sunday 10:00 - 17:00 (closed on Mondays) and in the summer period: Tuesday - Sunday 08:00 - 20:00 (Mondays 10:00 -18:00).

The site closes on public holidays. Certain groups entitled free or reduced admission fee.

In the archaeological site you will find a shop to buy books, cards, souvenirs and copies of the findings.

In order to reach the site, take one of the many urban buses that connect Veroia with Vergina.

17th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities: +3(0)2331092347, e – Mail: vergina@culture.gr.