Archaeological site of Vergina (ancient Aigai), Imathia, Greece. According to M. Andronicos, this golden larnax contains the remains of king Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. On the upper side of the larnax, the famous Star of Vergina (or Vergina Sun) can be seen. The significance of the Vergina Sun is unclear. Archaeologists do not agree whether the sun was a symbol of Macedon, an emblem of Philip’s Argead dynasty, a religious symbol representing the Twelve Gods of Olympus, or simply a decorative design. Andronikos repeatedly interprets it as the “emblem of the Macedonian dynasty”. Sixteen and eight-pointed suns often appear Hellenistic coins and shields of that period, however the use of the symbol is attested in Greek art long before that period; depictions of ancient Athenian hoplites bearing identical sixteen-pointed and similar eight-pointed symbols on their armours and shields as early as the 6th century BC, as well as coin designs from island and mainland Greece bearing eight or sixteen-pointed sun symbols (Corfu, Locris etc). Before 1977 the symbol had been regarded as a simple ornament. After Andronikos’ discovery, the symbol began to be viewed as predominantly associated with Ancient Macedonians, despite its earlier ornamental use in Greek art in general.

Archaeological site of Vergina (ancient Aigai), Imathia, Greece.
According to M. Andronicos, this golden larnax contains the remains of king Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. On the upper side of the larnax, the famous Star of Vergina (or Vergina Sun) can be seen.
The significance of the Vergina Sun is unclear. Archaeologists do not agree whether the sun was a symbol of Macedon, an emblem of Philip’s Argead dynasty, a religious symbol representing the Twelve Gods of Olympus, or simply a decorative design. Andronikos repeatedly interprets it as the “emblem of the Macedonian dynasty”. Sixteen and eight-pointed suns often appear Hellenistic coins and shields of that period, however the use of the symbol is attested in Greek art long before that period; depictions of ancient Athenian hoplites bearing identical sixteen-pointed and similar eight-pointed symbols on their armours and shields as early as the 6th century BC, as well as coin designs from island and mainland Greece bearing eight or sixteen-pointed sun symbols (Corfu, Locris etc). Before 1977 the symbol had been regarded as a simple ornament. After Andronikos’ discovery, the symbol began to be viewed as predominantly associated with Ancient Macedonians, despite its earlier ornamental use in Greek art in general.