Overview of the scientific research
1861: Excavation works at the eastern side of the Palace by Leon Heuzey and the architect Ηenry Daumet. A Macedonian tomb is unearthed close to the village of Palatitsia. Certain finds are transferred to the Museum of Louvre.
1922: To the west of the ancient city a new settlement is established by Greek refugees, Vergina. The ancient remains of the Palace of Aigai are used as construction material for the new village.
1937-1940: Konstantinos Romaios, professor of archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, re-launches the excavation works at the Palace and brings to light a Macedonian tomb.
1949-1960: Manolis Andronikos, in his capacity as a curator of antiquities, investigates the Cemetery of the Tumuli. In collaboration with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Ephorate of Antiquities, M. Andronikos, G. Bakalakis and Ch. Makaronas continue the excavation of the Palace.
1961-1962: Rescue excavation by the Director of Ephorate of Antiquities, F. Petsas, along the provincial road that crosses the ancient necropolis.
1961-1970 The excavation of the Palace is completed. The English historian N.G.L. Hammond suggests that the ancient city between Vergina and Palatitsia is the ancient Aigai.
1976: Manolis Andronikos starts excavating the Great Tumulus.
1977-1991: Systematic excavation at Vergina under the supervision of Manolis Andronikos and under the auspices of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Archaeological Society. Conservation of the monuments and finds by the Ministry of Culture:
• 1977 A historic archaeological discovery by Manolis Andronikos at the Great Tumulus of Aigai. The tomb of Philip II and its treasures once again has come to light. The mass media presents “the discovery of the century” and attracts universal public opinion. A new era begins for the study of the ancient Greek art and history.
• 1978 Revelation of the unlooted tomb of Alexander IV. The treasures are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki by the Ephor of Antiquities Aikaterini Romiopoulou. The conservation of the wall frescoes is undertaken by Fotis Zachariou team.
• 1980-1986 Revelation of the theater, the sanctuaries of Eukleia and Cybele, and three (3) Macedonian tombs. Excavation works at the Acropolis and certain architectural structures in the ancient city. First attempts to stabilize the organic materials unearthed. Conservation of the gold and ivory shield by a team of conservators under the supervision of G. Petkousis.
• 1987-1990 Revelation of the tomb of queen Eurydice, excavation works at the burial cluster of the queens and at the northwestern section of the city.
1992 Manolis Andronikos dies.
1992-2013 The systematic excavations performed by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki continue under the supervision of the archaeologists S. Drougou and Ch. Paliadeli at the sanctuaries of Eukleia and Cybele, at the acropolis and at the eastern wall, and they are completed in the area of the burial cluster Bella.
1991-to date: The activities performed by the Ministry for Culture and the 17th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in the area of Aigai
1991-2009 The 17th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities performs intensive surveys and excavations throughout the area of Aigai. More than one thousand tombs are excavated, new city districts, farm houses, cemeteries, streets, sanctuaries and parts of the city fortification are unearthed. The history and form of the city as a whole become clearer. (Person in charge A. Kottaridi)
• 1993-1996 Revelation of the royal burial cluster of the Temenids
• 2003-2004 Revelation of the northwestern gate and the earliest city wall
• 2004-2009 Revelation of the Archaic necropolis of Aigai
1991-1993 Construction of the protective shell over the royal burial cluster of Philip II (Directorate for the Reconstruction of Ancient Monuments – Iordanis Dimakopoulos)
1994-1998 Setting up of the 17th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities conservation lab at Vergina. Systematic documentation and conservation of the monuments and finds from the burial cluster of Philip II (2nd CSF, Scientific responsible: A. Kottaridi)
1996 Inclusion of Aigai on the UNESCO World Heritage List
1997 Reconstruction of the gold and ivory beds found in the tomb of Philip II (A. Kottaridi, Ch. Bokoros, M. Tiliopoulou)
1997 1st Phase of the exhibition of the treasures in the protective shell of the royal tombs. The golden larnakes (ash –chests) and wreaths return from Thessaloniki to Aigai. (Organization of the exhibition: A. Kottaridi)
1998 The rest of the royal tombs treasures return from Thessaloniki to Aigai
2003 2nd Phase and completion of the treasures’ exhibition (3rd CSF project, Scientific responsible: A. Kottaridi)
2007-2009 Commencement of the conservation of the Palace of Aigai (3rd CSF project, Scientific responsible: A. Kottaridi)
2009 Master Plan for the protection, unification and promotion of the archaeological site of Aigai (A. Kottaridi)
2010-2014 2nd Phase of the conservation of the Palace of Aigai (NSRF project, Scientific responsible: A. Kottaridi, Supervision: O. Felekidou, M. Gogou)
2011-2014 Protection and promotion of the royal burial cluster of the Temenids and of the cemetery of the tumuli (NSRF project, Scientific responsible: A. Kottaridi, Supervision: I. Graikos, A. Sotiropoulou)
2012-2013 Revelation of six new royal tombs in the burial cluster of the Temenids
2013 Commencement of the construction of the central building of the Polycentric Museum of Aigai
Today, the archaeological work in Aigai continues under the direction of Dr. Angeliki Kottaridi, Director of the 17th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, and focuses on the restoration of the Palace of Philip II, the creation of a model ecological-archaeological park at the Royal Necropolis of Aigai, the design and organization of exhibitions in the new museum building, but also on the creation of the Virtual Museum “Alexander the Great, from Aigai to the World”.
Άποψη από τον τάφο του Φιλίππου με τα κτερίσματα στη θέση τους, όπως βρέθηκαν από τον Μ.Ανδρόνικο και τους συνεργάτες του στις 8 Νοεμβρίου 1977
Vessels used in the washing of the dead and some of the weapons of Philip II as they were placed when revealed
The palace of Aigai in 1930s
The temporary shelter protecting the tomb that was revealed in 1977
Meda’s larnax (ash –chest) and the gold-decorated purple cloth photographed at the moment they were revealed
View of the tomb of Alexander IV, as found in 1977
The Great Tumulus in 1950s
The hydria and the golden wreath of Alexander IV, as found in 1978
Attic white lekythoi, as found on the excavation site
Grave offerings from the tomb of Alexander IV, as found in 1978