Aegina played a major role in trade during the 17th-16th centuries BC. At that time, a neolithic settlement began to grow in the Kolona area next to the harbour and gradually became a powerful centre for the wider area.
It should be noted that research into the ancient history of Aegina, based on surviving works and written sources, is incomplete, as the island suffered tremendous destruction over the centuries and much of the existing evidence is fragmentary and insufficient. However, some of the ancient writers who wrote about Aegina and provide insight include Herodotus, Strabo, Pausanias, Lucian, Xenophon, Isocrates and Pindar.
There are essentially three main archaeological sites on the island: Kolona Hill with the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Aphaia and the Hellanion altar.