Vergina (in Greek Βεργίνα ( f sg ), Bulgarian / Macedonian Кутлеш or Kutleš ) is a North Greek town in the municipality Veria in the region of Central Macedonia.

1934, the rural community ( kinotita ) Vergina was formed by spin-off from Palatitsia. 1997 some neighboring communities were incorporated to Vergina and the municipality to municipality ( dimos ) levied. With the administrative reform in 2010 Vergina went on in the town of Veria, where it forms one of five municipal districts.

The archaeological site of Vergina is probably identical with the ancient town Aegae, which until 410 BC capital of the kingdom of Macedonia. Even later the place was used as a burial place of the Macedonian kings. Of Vergina is an Iron Age Hügelgräbernekropole with about 300 graves from the 11th - 9th century BC, which also includes a previously clearly identified settlement was assigned. The archaeological site of Vergina count since 1996 a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Structure Verginas in towns and settlements, see Veria # administrative divisions.

Archaeological Site

Ancient City

The ancient city located at Vergina extended probably mainly north of the palace. The town belonged to several sanctuaries and a theater which was built in the second half of the 4th century BC. The city seems to have been BC badly damaged in the first half of the 2nd century.


The remains of the palace are located on the slopes of Pieria Mountains. The building measures 104.5 × 88.5 m and has a square courtyard with 44.5 meters on each side, which was bordered by a colonnade. Joined the portico of different sized rooms. Additionally, possessed the palace, which was probably two storeys on the east side, a terrace, which opened towards the Aliakmona Valley. The palace is dated to the third quarter of the 4th century BC and may have been destroyed even before the conquest of Macedonia by the Romans in 168 BC.

Macedonian tombs from time

In the area of Vergina there are nine tombs of the Macedonian period. Four graves lie under a large tumulus with a diameter of 110 m and then a height of over 12 m. Three tombs are richly painted and provided with many grave goods, and the fourth was badly damaged and robbed.

The largest grave of the great tumulus is the so-called Philipp- grave. It is divided into a pre-and main chamber and has a facade with ionic columns, pilasters and a colorfully painted frieze. The grave goods of Philip 's tomb are very extensive. Both in the pre-chamber and in the main chamber was among other things a golden Larnax, which was decorated with a star, known as the Star of Vergina. The Larnax in the main chamber contained a golden wreath of oak and, formerly wrapped in a purple cloth, the burnt bones of a man. The bones are Philip II, father of Alexander the Great attributed. In studying the skeletal remains of a healed bone wound in the right eye was noted by the British anthropologist Jonathan H. Musgrave. Since it is recorded that Philip II lost his right eye at the battle of Methoni 355/4 BC, has been declared for this grave with this finding, the affiliation of Macedon king. However, this connection is deemed not secure. Others point out that the dating of the tomb itself rather Philip III. Arrhidaios ( 352-317 BC), half-brother and successor of Alexander the Great, as grave owner is likely.

In addition to the Philip - grave can be found in the great tumulus, the prince and the Persephone - grave. The Romaios and the Eurydice grave lie north of the palace. Four other chamber tombs were located west of the village Palatitsa.

The tombs provide important cultural and historical references to the self-presentation of the Macedonian royal dynasty of Argeaden. The oft stated view Macedonia falls outside the Greek cultural sphere, the royal family in the tombs presented as Greeks: grave goods show hunting and war scenes and symposia as part of Greek life of the king; Weapons and even commodities such as wine mixer (which should prove that the Macedonian dynasty like the Greeks, the wine is not pure drinking ) should be seen as reminiscent of Classical Greece, cremation and burial of the ashes of the models of the Homeric epics.

Excavation history

The excavation of the Hellenistic sites began in 1861 under the French archaeologist Leon Heuzey and continues to this day. Manolis Andronikos in 1977 discovered the untouched by grave robbers, richly furnished graves under the big tumulus.


The grave mound with the so-called Philipp- grave and other graves is now integrated into an underground museum that showcases the numerous grave goods.


2011 was held in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the exhibition Heracles to Alexander: Treasures from the Royal Capital of Macedonia. A Hellenic Kingdom in the Age of Democracy instead. Here, found in the last decades treasures from the palaces and tombs were issued in Aegae for the first time outside Greece.