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New archaeological discoveries in the Drino Valley in Gjirokastër

2023-09-17 19:18:48, Kulturë CNA

New archaeological discoveries in the Drino Valley in Gjirokastër

Archaeologists have returned to the Drino Valley in Gjirokastra for new discoveries in ancient cities.

In Antigone Park, excavations are being carried out this year in the center of the city, where new dwellings have been discovered.

According to archaeologists, the research campaign aims to prepare a complete archaeological map for the purpose of tourism.

In the Drino Valley in Gjirokastër, where there are about 20 cities and ancient settlements, Albanian and Italian archaeologists have returned for new discoveries.

Research this year is focused on the Archaeological Park of Antigone, the most important ancient settlement of the Drino Valley.

Archeologist Sabina Veseli says that excavations are underway in the city's public square where the first discoveries were made.

"It is excavated very close to the Agora and is also being excavated in the housing sector where excavations have started since last year. In the area of ??the dwellings, we excavated the house of coins, where several new environments were discovered that were not discovered during the previous excavations."

Mrs. Veseli further says that the excavations are aimed at understanding how the city functioned.

"We intend to understand how the city has functioned, how the urbanism of this city functions. We focus on the public square of the city, in the Agora, to see if there are other monuments besides the promenade, and we intend to see how the residential urbanism of Antigone was developed".

New archaeological discoveries in the Drino Valley in Gjirokastër

Albanian archaeologists are working together with Italian archaeologists within an agreement, which has entered its third year, between the University of Macerata in Italy and the Albanian Institute of Archaeology.

Italian archaeologist Roberto Perna talks about this year's research.

We are working both in public and private space and this is part of an ambitious project that we started 15 years ago in cooperation with the Albanian Institute of Archeology to bring historical data for the entire territory of the Drino valley. We dig into Antigone not only to discover Antigone but also to understand what life was like in the entire valley. In 2016, we also carried out important excavations in the Theater of Adrianople, near here.

Archaeological excavations are also attracting these groups of students from Albania and Italy.

Archeology Sabina Veseli says that the students come mainly from the University of Tirana and this is quite useful for them.

First, students understand how important field research is, second, they put into practice what they have learned in theory, and third, students are the future archaeologists.

The archaeological discoveries this year serve as a support for tourism as Antigonea is one of the most visited archaeological sites in the Gjirokastra District.

The director of the Archaeological Park Shkëlqim Guce says that the aim is to have year-round activities to attract the interest of both local and foreign visitors.

We are making efforts to have promotional activities in all seasons. There are genuine activities that take place in the park, such as "Stoilites of Antigone" dedicated to the ethnography of the area, "Ladies of Beads" dedicated to women's handicrafts, "Friends of Antigone" with history, archeology and folklore. The main basis of our work continues to be the maintenance and protection of monuments.

Antigonea, a city founded by King Pyrrhus in honor of his wife Antigone lived less than two centuries after it was burned by the Romans.

Archaeologists believe that the surrounding walls of the ancient city were built in the c. III BC while they do not exclude the hypothesis that there was an earlier settlement in that place.

Antigonea is located about 15 kilometers from the city of Gjriokastra, where the ancient area already discovered occupies an area of ??45 hectares, while the territory of the archaeological park is over 90 hectares.

The monuments are combined with nature and with about a thousand oaks that stretch across the ancient city./ VOA

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