Pella was founded in 399 BC by King Archelaus as the capital of his kingdom, replacing the older palace-city of Aigai. After this, it was the seat of the king Philip II and of Alexander, his son. In 168 BC, it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later, the city was destroyed by an earthquake and eventually was rebuilt over its ruins.

Pella is in the beginning of the 4th century BC the largest Macedonian city. It attracted Greek artists. In antiquity, Pella was a port connected to the Thermaic Gulf by a navigable inlet, but the harbor has silted, leaving the site landlocked. The reign of Antigonus likely represented the height of the city, as this is the period which has left us the most archaeological remains. The city went into decline for reasons unknown (possibly an earthquake) by the end of the 1st century BC.

Vergina (ancient Aigai) is about 13 southeast of Veroia and about 80 km southwest of Thessaloniki. Aegae is said to mean "city of goats". The capital city of the Macedon kings was called so after Perdiccas I, who was advised by the Pythian priestess to build the capital city of his kingdom where goats led him. From Aegae they spread to the central part of Macedonia and displaced the local population of Pierians. Here are burial sites of the kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. The tomb contained, amonf other things, the larnax made of 24 carat gold, the golden grave crown of Philip, the golden and ivory panoply of the dead, silver utensils, etc.