A few days ago, during excavations for the construction of a building in one of the districts of Durres, tombs dating back to the Hellenistic period were discovered beyond 36.According to reports from the archaeologist who is following the archaeological excavations, Surja lela, these tombs are dated between the second century BC and the fourth century AD, corresponding to the most flourishing period of Hellenism. Skeletal remains in east-west direction have been found in the tombs. The importance of the discovery is mainly due to the very characteristics of the tombs: built in different periods, they also have different types: for example some are built with bricks, others with roof-shaped ceramic tiles, with calcareous rock urns, with urns of amphorae or other ceramic objects. Furthermore, other objects of great archaeological value have been recovered inside the tombs. Given the relevance of the new discoveries, archaeologists have requested an extension of the excavations until a complete inventory of archaeological objects is reached, which in turn will be subjected to further anthropological studies. For those interested, most of the well-preserved objects will also be exhibited in the city museum. The recent discovery constitutes a further testimony of the antiquity of this city. We remind you that Durres, founded in 627 a.
C., was for centuries the largest port on the Adriatic, as well as the starting point of the Via Egnatia which started east to reach Constantinople and was the continuation of the Appian Way, which ended in Brindisi, connected three seas: the Tyrrhenian Sea of the Greek colonies, the Adriatic of the Illyrians, of the Greeks in the suburbs, of the Romans and finally the Black Sea of the Argonauts. In Roman times the city became a very important center and capital of Epirus nova. In the fourth century Dyrrachion became an independent state, dealing with metallurgy, ceramics factories arose, and specialized in the production of ships, and its currency circulated throughout the ancient world. Its importance and commercial prosperity are also evidenced by the presence of an amphitheater and the Latin comedy "Menecmi" by Plautus, which is set in Durazzo. The famous Roman orator, Cicero called Durazzo an "admirable city", while the poet Catullus called it the "Taverna dell'Adriatico".
It was the provincial capital in the Roman and Byzantine empire, Venetian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Angevin and Turkish possession.
In recent years, archaeological studies in Albania have brought to light many objects and monuments of great historical and cultural value. Also a few days ago, for example, a cave was discovered in the area of Lake Prespa which has prehistoric cave graffiti. This cave, called "Grotta di Marica" contains well 27 mural graffiti dating back to the Neolithic period, living proof of an ancient residence, constituting a real historical-cultural treasure, not only for the area in question, but for the whole Albania. The graffiti represent schematized human figures, different animals, inscribed crosses, etc. designed mainly in red in the wall. Fulcrum of recent archaeological discoveries was also the city of Fier, the ancient Apollonia, defined by Cicero "Magna urbs et gravis", where archaeological excavations began in the 1924 by the French archaeologist Leon Rey. Since then a succession of various discoveries has led to the recovery of the 10% of the ancient city, the 90% is still to be discovered. Recently in Apollonia was found, in sector G of the archaeological national park, a statue of a well-preserved Roman athlete, like few others in Albania in general.
According to archaeologists, it represents the most important archaeological discovery in the last 50 years in Apollonia. Another important discovery always in the same place, that is near the Roman villas of Apollonia, was the bronze shoe, which is believed to have belonged to a statue of a Roman legionary. It is dated around the II-III century AD
C. and according to the Frenchman Jean-Luc Lambeley together with the previous discovery, could be a proof of a possible workshop of sculptures of this kind in the area. Of course, the famous city of Butrint (the ancient Butroto), the "celsa urbs Buthroti" according to Dionigi d'Alicarnasso, made famous by the "pious Aeneas" who visited it during his journey before reaching Rome, comparing it to a small "Troy". It was discovered by the Italian archaeologist Ugolini during fascism. About a month ago, there were sensational archaeological discoveries by a group of students from the universities of Tirana and Gjirokastra together with the "Notre damme" university in the United States. In fact they found the eastern part of the forum and the basilica. The objects found date back to the 7th century BC and according to prof. Dhimiter Condi constitute new testimonies of an ancient civilization. In fact, the latest findings demonstrate with concrete evidence that the story of Butroto is much older than the one we know. Finally, northern Albania is not to be overlooked, in fact in May of this year a group of Albanian archaeologists in collaboration with Polish colleagues started a series of archaeological studies in the city of Alessio, after a break of about 30 years. They concentrated mainly in two areas: under the castle of Rozafa, next to the Drina river and in the courtyards of the ancient castle, where archaeological remains belonging to different historical periods can be found: the Ottoman, Venetian and medieval ones, to then arrive at antiquities and more.
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