To date, very few northern Albanian archaeological sites have been surveyed and excavated. Situated beyond the reach, and allure, of the Classical Greek colonies of south-central Albania, the region has drawn less scholarly attention. But in various ways, northern Albania is just as important to the ongoing archaeological debates regarding the origins of inequality and the rise of social complexity.
Some of the earliest and largest hill forts and tumuli (burial mounds) in Albania, dating to the Bronze and Iron Age, are located in Shkodër. Shkodër (Rozafa) Castle became the capital of the so-called Illyrian Kingdom, which was conquered by Rome in the early 3rd century BC. This research report, focused on the province of Shkodër, is based on five years of field and laboratory work and is the first synthetic archaeological treatment of this region.
The results of the Projekti Arkeologjik i Shkodrës (or PASH) are presented here in two volumes. Volume 1 includes geological context, a literature review, historical background, and reports on the regional survey and test excavations at three settlements and three tumuli. In Volume 2, the authors describe the artifacts recovered through survey and excavation, including chipped stone, small finds, and pottery from the prehistoric, Classical, Roman, medieval, and post-medieval periods. They also present results of faunal, petrographic, chemical, carpological, and strontium isotope analyses of the artifacts.
These two volumes place northern Albania—and the Shkodër Province in particular—at the forefront of archaeological research in the Balkans.
Michael L. Galaty is the director of the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, curator of European and Mediterranean Archaeology at the Museum, and a professor of anthropology and classical studies. He has conducted field research in Albania, Greece, and Kosova. His previous works include Memory and Nation Building: From Ancient Times to the Islamic State and Light and Shadow: Isolation and Interaction in the Shala Valley of Northern Albania.
Lorenc Bejko is chair of the Department of Archaeology and Cultural Heritage at the University of Tirana, Albania and senior cultural heritage advisor to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project. He has conducted field research at numerous sites throughout Albania. His previous works include The Excavation of the Prehistoric Burial Tumulus at Lofkënd, Albania and New Directions in Albanian Archaeology.