Polish archaeologists have found a lost ancient city of the Hellenistic period in Albania

(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists from the University of Warsaw have discovered in Albania near the city of Shkoder an ancient city of the Hellenistic period, which may turn out to be the lost Illyrian Bassania, which disappeared two millennia ago. The corresponding press release was published on the Nauka w Polsce portal.

Bassania is a city founded by the Illyrians, a people who inhabited the northwest of the Balkan Peninsula in ancient times and came under the rule of the Romans as a result of the Illyrian wars.

Earlier it was assumed that this city was located near the current village of Pedhane in the Lezha district or the village of Bushat in the Shkodër district.

The Roman historian Livy (59 BC – 17 AD) described Bassania in the context of the battles of the Roman army with the last king of the Illyrians, Gentios.

Excavations began here in 2018, when researchers from the University of Warsaw discovered cyclopean defensive walls and two stone structures, previously thought to be natural rock formations, on a hill near Shkodër.

All this turned out to be in fact watchtowers and two bastions. The settlement was located between the two most important ancient centers on the territory of the former Illyria (now Albania) – the Illyrian capital of Shkodra and the Greek city of Lissos.

As part of a new project of the Research Center for South-East Europe, archaeologists carried out geophysical measurements on the hill under study, estimating the size of the settlement – its area was about 20 hectares.

Excavations have also been carried out on two large buildings, one measuring 240 m2 and the other 70 m2, dating back to the Hellenistic period.

Found fragments of pottery made it possible to establish that this place was first inhabited as early as 2000 BC, while amphorae shards brought from Italy date back to the 3rd-2nd centuries BC.

Professor Piotr Dychek reported that the examined buildings show no signs of violent destruction or arson; this settlement was simply abandoned and gradually turned into ruins due to natural erosion and centuries of extraction of building material by local residents.


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