Albania Prehistory

Albania Prehistory and Archaeology

According to TOPPHARMACYSCHOOLS.ORG, the research for prehistory, promoted by the Italian archaeological mission, led to the discovery of traces of the Paleolithic period in the southern region of Albania; here, near the lake of Vivari and in the cave of S. Maria which opens into the Paula stream, between Vagaljo and Murzi, lithic objects of the facies were foundMusteriana and others of the upper Paleolithic. The Mousterian type artifacts of flint or jasper and obtained from floating pebbles include discs, rough blades and scrapers, sometimes with a sinuous line base. Among those of the upper Paleolithic, less numerous, the “snout” scrapers, blades and splinters cut with the burin technique are characteristic. Other traces of the Paleolithic period were reported in the village of Gradishta, while in the area of ​​the Acrocerauni mountains and the bays of Valona and Dukati, vestiges of Neolithic settlements were identified. In the vicinity of the village of Dukati (cave known as the Kanalit) traces of Aeneolithic industry also appeared, but for the Aeneolithic period the research in Velca, not far from Valona, ​​was far more conclusive. In this location, next to a rich lithic paraphernalia, whose shapes, due to the regular cut, reveal undoubted knowledge of metal objects, a rich harvest of fragments of vases was found. Some belong to the type of blackish coarse-textured pottery, others to dark clay pottery with engraved ornaments, or red purified clay with a smooth surface decorated with red and black painted ornaments. The most immediate analogies revealed by these vases are with the Thessalian pottery of the first two periods, with that of the north-western Greek territory and with the Eneolithic stations of southern Italy. These analogies confirm once again those previously assumed commercial and perhaps even ethnic relations between the two shores of the Adriatic. with that of the north-western Greek territory and the Aeneolithic stations of southern Italy. These similarities confirm once again those previously assumed commercial and perhaps even ethnic relations between the two shores of the Adriatic.

For the knowledge of the following eras, the continuation of the Italian excavations of Butrint (VIII, p. 181) was remarkably fruitful, where on the top of the acropolis, in addition to fragments of votive and architectural terracotta, a deposit, perhaps coming from from a sacred stipe, of Protocorinthian, Corinthian vases of the VII-VI century and attics of the VI century. In one of the Corinthian fragments the name of Athena proves the worship of the goddess in the place. These vases, as a whole, document the first commercial relations with the Greek peoples. In the lower city, surrounded by mighty walls, the discovery of a door equipped with a complex fortification system and which opens towards the sea, attests that the defense of the city was reinforced at the beginning of the Hellenistic age, when it was involved in the turbulent events that followed the death of Alexander the Great. The door was flanked by two sturdy square towers and the one on the right was extended outwards by a semicircular body, so as to increase the power of the offense towards the side of the attacker, not protected by the shield. Furthermore, in the lower city a large building was discovered with spacious rooms, one of which is an apse, and with vast uncovered areas; perhaps it constituted the gymnasium. Three other thermal buildings from the Roman age, belonging in the original nucleus to the 2nd century AD. C. and reconstructed several times, have been discovered, confirming the wealth of water of the city.

Few finds have been possible in Durres, where the modern city was established on the site of the ancient one; it is also possible to report the discovery of a treasure of four thousand deniers of silver from the imperial age and that of some sculptures. Elsewhere, Italian researches near Gradishta have confirmed the identification, already proposed for some time, with the ancient Byllis, and delimited the fortification wall, perhaps from the 4th century BC. C. and the auditorium of the theater; similarly, the ruins near today’s Pliocia have been investigated again, confirming their identification with the city, mentioned several times by ancient writers, of Amanzia. Finally, pre-Roman settlements were reported in Petrela, near Tirana, and in Kalaja Rrmait near Gramsci. In Apollonia, a French archaeological mission had brought to light noteworthy buildings, including a long portico m. 77 and wide m. 12 of the Hellenistic period, an odeo and the monument known as the Agonoteti, formed by a portico, a vestibule and a small cavea, raised in Roman times by Quinto Villio Crispino Furio Proculo, pritane and agonothete, in honor of his brother; and had explored part of the necropolis. In subsequent Italian excavations, a rich funeral monument in the form of a temple was discovered in antis, belonging to the second half of the 2nd century AD. C., and the remains of a large building, perhaps the gymnasium of the Roman imperial age, built on an older building. Numerous fragments of rodie wine amphorae testify to the commercial activity of the thriving city, in which valuable works of sculpture have also been discovered.

Albania Prehistory

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