Technical Field Trip

Technical Field Trip – EWRA2023

A Technical Field Trip of EWRA2023 is organized on Saturday, 1 July 2023. The trip includes a visit and tour at the Aliakmonas River Sfikia reservoir, the archaeological site of Vergina (guided tours in English in the Museum of Vergina Macedonian Royal Tombs and the new Museum of Aigai). The cost of the Technical Field Trip is 90 Euros/person (it is not included in the registration fee) including transfer with air-conditioned buses, guided tours in English with experienced professional guides, entrance in the Museums of Vergina and relaxing lunch under the trees. The interested persons should declare in advance their interest to the Technical Field Trip by sending an email to or

Saturday, 1 July 2023 (approximate duration 12 hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

Meeting point at a central location in Thessaloniki and board on the buses (8 a.m.).

Arrival at the Sfikia reservoir of Aliakmonas River. Presentation of the reservoir system of Aliakmonas River and its operation by the personnel of the Greek Public Power Company S.A. (PPC). Refreshments with the compliments of PPS (10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.).

Arrival at the archeological site of Vergina. Guided tour in the Museum of the Vergina Macedonian Royal Tombs. Guided tour in the new Museum of Aigai (12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.).

Lunch under the trees in Platanakia tavern (4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.).

Arrival at the center of Thessaloniki ( 8 p.m.).

A few details about the Sites and Museums

Aliakmonas River reservoir system

Aliakmonas (Haliacmon) River is the longest river flowing entirely in Greece, with a total length of 297 km. Its drainage basin is 8,813 km2. Aliakmonas River basin belongs to the Water Department of Western Macedonia (GR09) in Greece. Its headwaters are located in the mountainous region near the Greek-Albanian border and it follows a southeasterly direction before outflowing into the North Aegean Sea. Aliakmonas River is the largest national river with its total river basin area belonging to Greece.

Reservoirs have consecutively been constructed by Public Power Company since the early 1970s on the river’s main course and its tributaries, mainly, for the production of hydropower energy. However, the water from the reservoirs is also used for irrigation and urban water supply. The downstream dam of that hydropower complex, namely Assomata, is located on the main branch of the river at a distance of 43.0 km upstream of the river estuaries. A small regulatory reservoir for diverting water through open channel structures for the coverage of the aforementioned water demands is located just downstream of the Assomata dam outlet.

The Aliakmonas River Reservoir Complex consists of six (6) reservoirs, namely, the reservoirs of Ilarion, Polyfytos, Sfikia, Asomata on the main stem of the river and the reservoirs of Agra and Edessaios on Edessaios River, a tributary of Aliakmonas River. The total installed capacity of the system is  1,020 MW.

From the Aliakmon reservoir (near Agia Varvara) water is carried via the open-air connecting canal under its own free flow to the western banks of the Axios River, over a distance of 50 km. Then via a twin 1.5 km long siphon it passes under the Axios River and in a sealed pipeline 8.5 km long is transported to the Sindos pump station. There it is forwarded via a 4.7 km long pipeline to the Thessaloniki Water Treatment Plant. In total, 150,000 m3 of water per day are transferred for the water supply of Thessaloniki. With the construction of additional hydraulic works, the volume of water transferred from Aliakmonas River will be doubled to 300,000 m3 per day. The urban water supply system is operated by the Thessaloniki Water Supply and Sewerage Co. S.A.

More information: Haliacmon – Wikipedia

Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai (Vergina)

The Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai (Vergina) is located 75 km west of Thessaloniki, Greece, centered around the royal tombs built by the ancient Kingdom of Macedon at Aigai. The underground museum containing the burial cluster of Philip II of Macedon began construction in 1993 and was inaugurated in 1997. Exhibits are presented in four interconnected areas, including the Palace, the royal burial cluster of the Temenid dynasty (burial cluster “C”), the burial cluster of Philip II, and a gateway entrance with a semi-open-air exhibition of the sculptures found in the city sanctuaries and the restored upper floor of the Palace of Philip’s facade. The tombs and other archeological sites of Aigai were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996 because of its exceptional architecture and testimony to the transition between city-states and empires in European civilization.

The collections housed in the museum are the grave goods recovered from a series of archaeological excavations beginning in 1861 and continue to the present day.

More information: Museum of the Royal Tombs at Aigai

The new Museum of Aigai (Vergina)

The new museum unites the Palace of Philip, the royal tombs cluster, and the Museum of the Royal Tombs. The point of reference and pole of cohesion of the polycentric museum is the new museum, the central museum building designed to be the symbolic gateway to the archaeological site and to the history of Aigai, to the history and culture of the Macedonians, but also to the Hellenistic world, since this will host the physical headquarters of the digital museum “Alexander the Great, from Aiges to the World”.

The new Museum, in addition to the introductory exhibition “a window into the world of Alexander the Great”, hosts five exhibitions: the architectural exhibition with the central exhibit of the reconstructed part of the palace, the sculpture exhibition, the central exhibition “Aigai memory”, the periodic exhibition “Oicumeni Antidoron” and the art exhibition “Memory Material” with works by Christos Bokoros created especially for the presentation at museum of Aigai.

More information: Polycentric Museum of Aigai / Central Museum Building

Lunch at Platanakia Tavern, Agia Varvara