Vergina is a small town in northern Greece, located in the regional unit of Imathia, Central Macedonia. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Veroia, of which it is a municipal unit. The town is better known for its remains of Aigai, the first capital of Macedon. It was here in 336 BC that Philip II was assassinated in the theatre and Alexander the Great was proclaimed king.
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”.
On the discovery of the Royal Tombs of Vergina (Aigai) in 1977, an immediate programme was launched to preserve the magnificent murals which adorned them. At the same time a conservation laboratory was set up on the spot to save and restore the extremely important portable objects they contained. For the preservation of the Royal Tombs themselves a subterranean structure was built in 1993 to encase and protect the ancient monuments by maintaining a constant temperature and humidity, both indispensable for the preservation of the wall paintings.
Externally the structure has the appearance of an earth mound; inside it are the treasures found in the Royal Tombs, which have been on exhibition since November 1997.