Albania Archeology Part II

By | December 15, 2021

As for the Illyrian cities that developed from the middle of the 4th century, recent excavations have provided new information about Byllis, where the theater (5500 spectators) was completely exhumed, as well as the stadium, peristyle residences. and the surrounding walls; of Lissos, where the phases of autonomous Illyrian city and Roman municipality have been distinguished and clarified; of Finiq, already identified with the ancient capital of Chaonia, Phoinike, and now investigated by new archaeological essays: the remains of the agora with the temple of Athena, the gymnasium, the theater testify to the flourishing of the city, especially between the 3rd and 2nd century. BC The emergencies of Mavrova also doubtfully identify the site with ancient Olympe. The urban development is further testified by the excavations of Butroto, which reveal a particular constructive intensity between the 1st and 2nd century. AD, in the Roman period, and of Malathre, equipped with a rectangular fortification with corner towers and entrances to false arches. The epigraphic texts in Greek shed light on the urban period, and therefore on the forms of political life; to the interpretation of the known inscriptions is continuously added the presentation of new findings (see the numerous epigraphs of Butroto, essentially represented by servile manipulations). For Albania 1997, please check aristmarketing.com.

The search also continues in the Greek colonies: in Apollonia, the impressive defensive system, comprising several phases, with a brick wall from the 4th-3rd century, is remarkable. B.C; excavated objects of recent years in Dyrrhachium have been the necropolis, whose testimonies extend for a period of time from the 7th century. BC to the 2nd century AD, the remains of the Hadrianic aqueduct and other minor complexes, such as a 1 century ceramic kiln. AD For the Greco-Roman period, important contributions are made by epigraphic and numismatic findings (eg the treasure of silver coins of Hija and Korbit, found in 1982, and the conspicuous numismatic finds of Dimale). The study of Roman archaeological emergencies today leads Albanian archaeologists to recognize a strong Illyrian continuity, disturbed by the pressures of Roman penetration, found not only at the urban level, but in the organization of the territory (consider the recent discovery of the rural theater in the village of Sofratike, from the 2nd century, and the dams in the Gjanica valley, from the 1st-2nd century.). It is essentially the data of Latin epigraphy that today bring confirmations and news on the level of Romanization and on the provincial administration: from this point of view, the centers of Shkodra, Dyr rhachium, Byllis, Butroto, Lissos, where recently new texts have provided valuable information on the life of the town hall (among the unpublished texts of particular relevance see for example the inscription with the mention of L. Domizio Enobarbo). and the dams in the Gjanica valley, from the 1st-2nd century). It is essentially the data of Latin epigraphy that today bring confirmations and news on the level of Romanization and on the provincial administration: from this point of view, the centers of Shkodra, Dyr rhachium, Byllis, Butroto, Lissos, where recently new texts have provided valuable information on the life of the town hall (among the unpublished texts of particular relevance see for example the inscription with the mention of L. Domizio Enobarbo). and the dams in the Gjanica valley, from the 1st-2nd century). It is essentially the data of Latin epigraphy that today bring confirmations and news on the level of Romanization and on the provincial administration: from this point of view, the centers of Shkodra, Dyr rhachium, Byllis, Butroto, Lissos, where recently new texts have provided valuable information on the life of the town hall (among the unpublished texts of particular relevance see for example the inscription with the mention of L. Domizio Enobarbo).

With the 4th century. AD there is a tendency to identify a revival of the Illyrian element, evident above all at a rural level; with this phenomenon, as well as with that of the defensive organization of the late imperial age, the attestations of the late ancient fortresses, now widely investigated, are reconnected: these are fortifications with a regular plan, of the type of castra, intended to house military units (eg Vig, probably Ad Picaria of the Tabula Peutingeriana, Paleokastra) and other strongholds. Some Illyrian cities document continuity of life, with the superimposition of late fortifications (Shkodra, Durrës-Dyrrhachium, Berat, Kanina, Butrint, Pogradec), while new fortresses arise scattered throughout the territory (see the fortresses of Kruja, Bushat, Onchesmos -Saranda, among the most recently excavated). The most notable cultural facies is that of Koman (6th-7th century), represented by about thirty cemeteries in the Albania northern and central, whose grave goods present in the objects of ornament sensitive affinities with the previous Illyrian phases and help to define this facies as a crucial stage in the evolutionary process of Arbero-Albanian culture (see in particular the continuity documented in Lissos and Durrës), in which Byzantine cultural components also converge. The early Christian testimonies are also noteworthy today, following new excavations and the study of visible monuments: the mosaic basilicas are of particular importance, among which that of San Michele ad Arapaj is worthy of note.

Albania Archeology Part II