Settlement of the Late Neolithic period (5300-4500 BC), with two separate phases of occupation, covering an overall area of about 500 acres. In phase I sparsely dispersed groups of circular semi-underground huts were encircled by a double moat. In phase II the dwellings were densely arranged. An apsidal megaron 15 m long. The excavation has been back-filled.
The site of the city in historical times is located 2 km S of Makryyalos. The finds recovered from graves bear witness to the presence of colonists from southern Greece already in Mycenaean times. Later on, Argeades Macedonians arrived from Pindos and settled here. The city enjoyed its heyday in the 5th century BC as the most important port in the Macedonian realm, through which local timber, essential for shipbuilding, was exported. According to Thucydides, it was the port of Aegae (Vergina). In 410 BC the Pydnians rebelled and were punished by King Archelaos who moved the city 4 km into the hinterland (at modern Kitros). It experienced a new floruit during the 4th century BC, and in the reign of Kassander (306-297 BC) became a naval base once more. It was here that Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great, was murdered in 317/6 BC. In 168 BC the historic battle of Pydna between the last Macedonian king, Perseus, and the Roman proconsul Aemilius Paulus decided the fate of Greece, which was henceforth subject to the Romans.
Houses and a small Hellenistic sanctuary have been excavated at Makryyalos. Hundreds of graves, dating from the Early Iron Age (11th-8th century BC) to the Roman era, come to light daily, increasing our knowledge on this dynamic centre on the Pierian coast. The important finds are housed in the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum.
At the site of Paliokitros (Ancient Pydna) is a ruined fortress from the reign of Justinian I (6th century) with additions made in Byzantine times. Ruins of an Early Christian basilica (6th century) with additions at the same site. On nearby site episcopal complex, seat of the bishopric of Kitros (5th-6th century). Át Kitros remnants of an Early Christian basilica with a synthronon and an opus sectile floor.
Info: Archaeological Atlas of the Aegean
(Archaeological Atlas of the Aegean, Ministry of the Aegean)