Macedonia's prehistory, Hellenistic and Roman periods are charted in this wonderful museum, home to many of the region's major archaeological discoveries. Highlights include goldwork from various hoards and graves, and the Derveni Krater (330–320 BC), a huge, ornate Hellenistic bronze-and-tin vase marked by intricate relief carvings of Dionysos, along with mythical figures, animals and ivy vines. The Derveni Papyrus, Greece’s oldest surviving papyrus piece (320–250 BC), is recognised by Unesco as Europe's oldest 'book'.
The lower-floor exhibit, Prehistoric Macedonia, boasts prehistoric implements from the Petralona Cave north of Halkidiki, plus Neolithic and Bronze Age daggers, pottery and tools. The grounds, home to a rich collection of funerary monuments and a full-size floorplan of a Roman villa, are free to explore.