The Mallakastra Regional Archaeological Project

First Season



Jack L. Davis

Muzafer Korkuti

with contributions by

Michael L. Galaty

Skender Muç aj

Sharon R. Stocker

John L. Wallrodt

Charles Watkinson

Eberhard Zangger

Staff of the Project

The Mallakastra Regional Archaeological Project is a fully integrated cooperative program of regional archaeological research, sponsored by the Institute of Archaeology (Tirana) and the Department of Classics of the University of Cincinnati (USA).[1] MRAP is jointly directed by Professor Muzafer Korkuti and Professor Jack L. Davis. Staff members in the first season of the project were drawn from a number of academic and research institutions, both in Albania and abroad. Professional archaeologists participating in the project and their institutional affiliations were as follows:

Professor Muzafer Korkuti Institute of Archaeology (Tirana)

Professor Jack L. Davis University of Cincinnati

Lorenc Bejko, M.A. Institute of Archaeology (Tirana)

Professor Michael L. Galaty Mississippi State University

Nermin Më rtiraj Institute of Archaeology (Tirana)

Skender Muç aj Archaeological Unit (Fier)

Sharon R. Stocker University of Cincinnati

John Wallrodt, M.A. University of Cincinnati

Charles Watkinson, M.A. Oxbow Books, Oxford

Ilir Zaloshnija Institute of Archaeology (Tirana)

Eberhard Zangger Geoarchaeological Consulting-Zü rich

Students participating in the project included:

Ols Lafe University of Tirana

Mentor Mustafa Boston University

Florjan Muzaka University of Tirana

Goals of the Project in 1998

Preliminary reconnaissance in the Mallakastra area in 1996 by Korkuti and Davis, in the company of Stocker and Professor John F. Cherry of the University of Michigan, convinced us that Albania offers great potential for the application of modern techniques of regional surface archaeology.[2] Like other Mediterranean countries, its landscape and natural environment are well suited to this type of investigation, but much of the Albanian countryside offers the real advantage that it has not yet been greatly changed by intensive agricultural or industrial development, nor has tourism so far had a damaging impact. At the same time, there exists a long tradition of indigenous Albanian archaeology, with scientific excavations at sites of all periods and a record of prompt publication. This background helps provide essential information about cultural sequences and chronologies upon which survey-based research can build, as well as raising many important questions to which survey could make significant new contributions.

Survey, as it has developed during the past two or three decades and as we ourselves have practised it for the last 20 years, is regional, multi-period, and inter disciplinary. In most countries, archaeology has a strong focus on the larger and more prominent sites--whether cities, towns, hillforts, cemeteries, or tumuli--which offer the best opportunities for revealing plans, stratified sequences of material, and rich finds. What survey-based research has amply demonstrated is how much may be learned by placing the results of such excavations within a wider regional framework, in which sites of all types and sizes are brought into consideration. It is not the richness or suitability for future excavation of such sites that is important (many in fact may be relatively impoverished, or poorly preserved). Rather, it is the foundation that they collectively provide for understanding past patterns of settlement, systems of exploitation of the land, relations between town and country, or between different categories of people--and, above all, how all these things may have changed in the course of the centuries and millennia. Because modern surveys are intensive and systematic, and conducted in an organized scientific manner by small teams of experienced archaeologists, they often discover many hundreds of new sites, even in areas in which much archaeological exploration and excavation had taken place previously.

A survey project has the potential to discover sites of all periods represented in the region under investigation, from Palaeolithic through the modern era. One of the real benefits, in fact, of a systematic survey is to provide an inventory of the archaeological resources of a region, which can then help guide later decisions about site protection or future programs of excavation. Nonetheless, it is necessary for a survey to address some over-arching scientific and historical problems, which govern where and how research should be conducted. In our case, the main problem (but not the only one) to which we hope to make some contribution concerns the interaction between native Illyrians and Greek colonists--a matter of great significance not only specifically for the early history and archaeology of Albania, but more generally to our understanding of the processes and impact of colonialism itself.

The outlines of the history of colonial settlement in the Illyrian area are well known, both from the ancient historical sources and from the long-term programs of excavation at the chief coastal sites at Epidamnus-Dyrrachium, Apollonia and Buthrotum, founded in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. These initial foundations soon began to have an impact on the patterns of settlement, economy and culture of native Illyrians further inland, and vice versa. Most prominent in the archaeological record is the development, in the Proto-Urban phase, of new types of site--whether true towns, hilltop refuges, or trading centers--in the areas of Illyrian settlement in the interior hinterland (e.g., Gurzezë , Margelliç , Byllis, Klos). Much excellent work has been conducted at these sites by Albanian archaeologists, especially on their systems of fortification and on the changing character of their material culture under Greek influence, although the processes of their development and their relationships with each other and with the coastal colonies are not yet fully understood. Less well studied, however, is the way in which settlement, land-use and the natural environment in the rural hinterlands of these various central places were affected by the dramatic social, political and economic transformations that occurred in the period between Greek colonization and the Roman annexation of Illyria. This includes the era during which wider networks of political alliance emerged, such as the Koinon of the Bylliones.

We want to emphasize, however, that the research goals of our project are multiple, and by no means restricted to the first millennium B.C. Several of the project members, both Albanian and foreign, are prehistorians, variously with skills in lithics and ceramics, and first-hand knowledge of prehistoric sites in the area. We are struck, for instance, by the wealth of information that exists from a scientifically excavated Neolithic site such as Cakran, yet how little is known about the network of contemporaneous settlement of which it must surely once have been a part. We would hope, therefore, to recover a good deal more information about prehistoric activity in this part of Albania, and perhaps to understand more about the natural landscapes in which these sites were situated. As another example, remains of the Roman and Late Antique periods are well represented at a number of excavated sites within this region which, of course, is skirted by one of the major routes of the Roman Empire, the Via Egnatia. Some members of the team we are proposing have strong interests in these periods. Very recent work in the Roman province of Achaia to the south, based mainly on the results of archaeological surface prospection, has shown just how much surveys can contribute to knowledge even of a historically well-documented era.

An important aspect of our project is the undertaking of various inter disciplinary scientific studies which could enrich interpretation of the strictly archaeological data. For instance, it is difficult to interpret patterns of site distribution in different periods, or to appreciate fully how their inhabitants used and changed the lands they occupied, without technical studies of landscape change conducted by a qualified geoarchaologist or geomorphologist with experience of collaborating with archaeologists. Similarly, we believe this region, with its extensive coastal wetlands, estuaries and lakes, may prove to be an excellent place to undertake studies, from the pollen record, of long-term changes in vegetational history under the impact of both climate and human activities.

The Program of Research in 1998

With the preceding goals in mind, two areas in the immediate vicinity of the ancient city of Apollonia were chosen to be targets of intensive surface survey: the first, to the east and northeast of the acropolis of the ancient city, between the modern villages of Kryegjata and Havaleas-Radostina, where one principal necropolis of Apollonia was located; the second, in the valley northeast of the modern village of Shtyllas. A total area of 4.5 square kilometers was investigated in ca. 12 days of fieldwalking by two teams, designated A and B; in the course of the fieldwalking fifteen previously unknown concentrations of artifacts were designated as "sites" and earmarked for further investigation (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Map of sites defined in the Apollonia area in 1998.

These included:

Site 001. Tract A-13. Mali Shtyllasit ridge. Small settlement site of perhaps one or two buildings? Collected 14/6/98. Periods represented: C 2; HL 42.

Site 002. Tracts A-48--54. Ç uka e Bukur ridge. Small settlement site, probably a farmstead. Collected 14/6/98. Periods represented: HL 25

Site 003. Kryegjata Paleolithic station B. Tract B-58. An extensive distribution of lithic tools and debitage in the banks and bed of an agricultural road and in surrounding fields. Bed of road vacuumed 4/6/98, walkers spaced shoulder to shoulder. Periods represented: Middle Paleolithic; Late Paleolithic; Mesolithic.

Site 004. Tract B-32. Small site ca. 300 meters north of k. Kripë s on southern slopes beneath a small knoll. Collected 13/6/98. Periods represented: HL 26; Ott-Modern 75; Mod 3.

Site 005. Tract B-35--37. Summit of k. Kripë s. Burial tumulus: central area destroyed by military trenches; graves on periphery disturbed in part by agricultural road. Collected 13/6/98. Periods represented: A 22; C 11; HL 103; R 1.

Site 006. Tracts B-39, 44, 45, 52--55. Tumulus immediately north of Kryegjata village. Disturbed by army trenches and, on the perimeter, by looters' trenches. Collected 15/6/98. Periods represented: A-C 2; HL 49.

Sites 007-008. Apollonia. Settlement and cemeteries.[3]

Site 009. Tract A-48. Ç uka e Bukur ridge. Function uncertain; perhaps a cemetery associated with Site 002. Collected 14/6/98. Periods represented: HL 16.

Site 010. Tract A-76. At the south side of the valley of Shtyllas there is a defunct spring which farmers remember as active two decades ago. Numerous artifacts were found in a hole recently dug near it. Re-examined 14/6/98. Periods represented: A 1; HL 24.

Site 011. Tract A-104. Concentration of tiles and pottery in scarps of bluff immediately west of agricultural road leading along the skyline at the east side of the Shtyllas valley. Scheduled for collection in 1999.

Site 012. Tract A-107. Much tile associated with remains of walls near the spine of a macchia-covered ridge (pulli Shtyllasit), on the soutern side of the valley of Shtyllas. Scheduled for collection in 1999.

Site 013. Tract A-30--33. Site of destroyed church of Saint Ilias, now an open air shrine. At the site are spolia, apparently from Apollonia, including a fragment from a block from a coffered ceiling and an architrave block from a Roman monument, meander-design identical to that employed in the Agonothetis monument.[4] Several ashlar blocks in the foundations of the church. Collected 12/6/98. Periods represented: HL 1; Ott 14; Mod 2.

Site 014. Tract A-192--196. Artifacts on southern slopes of a knoll at the northeast end of the Shtyllas valley, in pass leading to Radostina. Near bottom of slope, parts of two human skeletons are eroding from the scarps of a terrace. Collected 12/6/98. Periods represented: C 1; HL 394; R 6; Mod 15.

Site 015. Tract A-121--122. Shullë ri. Near springs that supply the village of Pojan with its water. Artifacts widespread on slopes of a low knoll; around modern farmhouse, barn, and farmyard; and in adjacent gardens. Walls of ancient structures are currently being robbed for stones by the owners of the complex. Collected 12/6/98. Periods represented: Prehistoric 1; C 1; HL 197; R 23; Mod 7.

Site 016. Tracts B-85--88. Concentration of pottery at southwestern end of the k. Ullirit ca. 1.4 km. from the monastery at Apollonia; plentiful tile and brick in the northeast part of the site may represent the remains of a destroyed building. Collected 15/6/98. Periods represented: A 2; C 4; HL 71; R 2; Ott to Modern 5.

Site 017. Kryegjata Paleolithic station B. Tract B-27. Concentration of lithics on low ridge northwest of military base of Kryegjata. The bed of the road running through this site was re-examined on 13/6/98.

Fieldwork in each of these areas is described in greater detail in the following sections of this report.

Investigations by Team A in the Shtyllas Valley (pë rr. Shtyllasit)[5]

The French archaeologists Heuzey and Daumet, who visited Apollonia in 1861, described the valleys of Kryegjata, Levani and Shtyllas as a trident, of which Shtyllas was the longest point. From the modern village of Shtyllas at the NE end, to the ridge above Radostina at the SW end, the road stretches about 4 km along a broad valley. To the south a steep ridge marks the boundary with the Kryegjata/Apollonia valley. To the north gentle slopes lead up to a line of hills; M. Shtyllasit (168m), Ç uka e Bukur (140m) and M. Portë s (124m). Ridges divide these slopes into valley basins, some covered with olives, others in long grass and macquis. These basins are clearly visible from the Apollonia monastery.

Fig. 2. View of Shtyllas Valley Examined by Team A.

In 1998 Team A surveyed just over 3km squared of the north-facing slopes. Average visibility was 18% but this did not prevent us from pin-pointing nine sites, of which we further investigated seven. The preliminary results of our researches in the "further province" of Apollonia are presented in the following report. After a survey of the evidence we uncovered for different chronological periods, some general comments on land-use in the valley are made.

In contrast to Team B we found no Paleolithic sites although stray lithics were a common find and a fine Levallois flake (A-114) was discovered in the center of the valley close to the main water source. Fragments of prehistoric pottery were found in two highland locations: two on a watershed above Shtyllas village (A-22) and two just below the summit of M. Shtyllasit (A-80). A ground stone axe was found just above Site 015 (A-121). It should be noted that Neolithic sites in this area (like Cakran) are traditionally associated with lowland areas but that only a small sample of the Shtyllas valley bottom was surveyed because of the dense crops planted there.

Fig. 3. Neolithic Axe From Shtyllas Valley.

Only two sherds have been securely dated as Archaic and these both come from sites with Classical and Hellenistic components as well. Site 010 (A-76) is midway up a wide grass slope below M. Shtyllasit. Until 15-20 years ago, according to a local farmer, a spring issued there. Now shallow trenches have been dug to collect water and it is around these that a very localised collection of cooking and fineware sherds were found. The suggestion that this site may also have been a water source throughout antiquity seems persuasive. The other Archaic sherd came from terraces at the east end of the valley, just southeast of Site 014. In the same location the largest concentration of Classical sherds were found. It is interesting that Site 014 itself mainly produced sherds of Hellenistic and possibly Roman date. This may suggest that discrete areas were used at different periods in this area (Tracts 181-196).

Site 014 was the largest Hellenistic site found in the valley. On terraces down the side of the hill we found large quantities of amphorae, cooking wares, lamps, cover and pan tiles. Densities at the site were not concentrated but had multiple centres. They also tended to be on the west side of the hill, orientated so as to be visible from the Shtyllas road. There was only one example of black glaze on the whole site. Protruding from a terrace scarp on the lower slope of the hill was a human skull. On the same part of the hill a large fragment of pan tile bore the stamp "IT", also recognised at Apollonia by Alessandra Mano and dated there to the 3rd-2nd Century BC.

The interpretation of the site is problematic. On the one hand the human bones suggest a cemetery and yet the almost complete absence of black glaze (or other finewares) is puzzling when compared to Team B's finds in the Apollonian necropolis. Traditionally, cover tiles have been interpreted as indicating settlements as their use in pre-Roman tile graves is unknown from local excavated contexts. But again as Team B's researches make clear, cover tiles are a relatively common occurrence on the surface of Hellenistic tumuli.

The density patterns observed would be consistent with either a settlement of small houses or a cemetery of tile graves or a combination of the two. The wonderful location, with views from the site centre over the Fier plain and the Shtyllas valley, and positioning at a major crossroads, could fit either hypothesis.

Site 009 on the Ç uka e Bukur ridge presents a similar problem of interpretation: the material recovered could represent either grave goods or domestic rubbish. However Site 002 further up the ridge is unambiguously a settlement site with evidence of an ancient wall cut by a bunker trench. A large pithos base and a mortar discovered at the site suggest it was a farmstead. The ceramics from both sites are of the same period and it is tempting to suggest that perhaps Site 009 was a cemetery for the "folk up the hill." Clearly, however, some further research is necessary into which kinds of surface indications are characteristic of a cemetery and which of a settlement in this region.

About 1 km to the west, on a parallel ridge, we gridded and collected all the visible surface material from Site 001, a small site very similar in form to Sites 002 and 009. Separate analysis of the density patterning of sherds versus tiles at this site produced a satisfactory result. Tiles were concentrated in an area of around 40 meters squared with a smear of sherds extending down-slope for another 20 meters. The pattern suggests a small settlement site of maybe one or two buildings. A bronze coin with Artemis on the obverse and a tripod on the reverse can be dated from comparative Apollonian material to ca. 200BC.

Site 015 also had a large density of Hellenistic material, but it was particularly interesting for the strong Roman component, picked up in tracts (A205 --206) as well as in collection. Apart from some Roman ceramics at Site 014 and a concentration at the yet-uninvestigated Site 012 (1 km due south of Site 015), there is little Roman material in the valley. This paucity is also remarked on in the rest of this report.

Close to the road and near an abundant water-source now tapped by pumping stations, Site 015 is a very attractively located site. It is now intensively farmed, divided into small vegetable plots and sheep enclosures. A new building was being erected as we worked; ditches dug at the top of the site indicated that the foundation stones were coming from ancient walls. Two small finds of interest were a mill-stone fragment and a bronze coin showing Artemis on the obverse and a spearhead on the reverse with the legend APEIR-WTAN. This was minted by the Koinon of Epirus and can be dated to 234-168 BC.

While the analysis of post-Roman material needs refinement, three areas of the valley produced Early Modern material. On the slopes to the northwest of M. Portë s a scatter of Ottoman pottery was found. Also in fields on the outskirts of modern Shtyllas some sherds of Early Modern pottery were recovered. This suggests that Shtyllas (mostly built in the 1950s as a confined village for the government's political opponents) has earlier origins than previously thought.

Most significant for the Early Modern and Modern periods, however, are the discoveries we made at Site 013, the destroyed church of St. Ilias (Shë ndë lli). This church, razed in 1967, seems to have been almost entirely built of re-used material from the site of the Apollonia. Roman bricks and Hellenistic tiles are strewn across the site but, despite a detailed revisit, we could find no traces of ceramics of earlier periods. While the exact dating of the green-glazed pottery found at the site needs further refinement, it is possible that the origins of the church lie as far back as the 17th or 18th Century AD. Magnificent oaks surround the low mound of the church.

Fig. 4. Architrave Block at Destroyed Church of Saint Ilias Near Shtyllas.

The most spectacular piece of "spolia" at the site is the large decorated masonry block from Apollonia. This has now become the centre of religious worship at the site, as we observed one Sunday when two villagers from Shtyllas came and venerated the block, lighting candles and covering it with fresh flowers. As they left they also placed sherds on tree stumps near the church. On other revisits we discovered articles of clothing and money also left at the site. Interestingly, when we questioned some of the worshippers, it turned out that both Christians and Muslims considered it a sacred place.

Legacies of the Communist period, like the destroyed church, were visible wherever we went. The effects of centralised farming could be seen, although rapidly being obscured by individuals farming their private parcels. Figs in the east of the valley are planted in long straight rows along the roads while the macquis in the centre of the valley is apparently all that remains of an oak plantation harvested in 1988 for mine props. Military remains were particularly noticeable. In the east of the valley the ground was littered with "bajonetas", spikes designed to repel parachutists. Derelict bunkers were being exploited in a variety of ways; broken up to be used as fenceposts or reused as sheep and cattle folds. Archaeological remains in the making!

A major question about the Shtyllas valley is how it related to the site of Apollonia. While the settlement pattern of the Kryegjata valley is clearly heavily influenced by the demands of its great neighbour, the Shtyllas valley seems to reflect a much more balanced rural system, where the ceramics, tiles and coins indicate a strong commercial tie to the city, but the settlement pattern is structured by demands of agriculture that still continue today.

The availability of water was raised as a major concern by a number of the farmers we met. In the east of the valley deep drilling is required, while in the centre of the valley water spouts from the St. Ilias spring and still trickles from Site 010. The concentration of sites in the centre of the valley is notable. Heuzey and Daumet noted in 1861 that the valley was famous for a spring dedicated to St. Anne. Although the dedication may have changed to St Ilias, their recognition of the importance of fresh water in this region still seems significant. The maintenance of an agricultural regime based both on herding and cultivation makes ridges a perfect setting for settlement. Sites 001, 002, 009, 014 and 015 are all positioned on ridges midway between highland pastures and lowland fields. The huge flocks of sheep, goats, geese and cattle we saw being moved around the valley pay witness to the continuance of this tradition.

As Site 015 makes clear however, no rural system is entirely self-supporting and communication with outside markets remains a key requirement. All the sites investigated are within easy reach of major tracks and Site 015 particularly is orientated towards the road at an important three-way junction (although none of the roads, as we noted on our long morning journeys, go directly towards Apollonia).

Investigations by Team B in Areas between Kryegjata and Radostina[6]

Team B surveyed 153 tracts, amounting to 1.438 square kilometers (an average of slightly less than 1 hectare per tract). Four previously unrecorded sites were identified (003, 004, 016, 017), and concentrations of tumuli and graves were located outside the main Apollonia necropolis, as, for example, at k. Kripë s (Site 005, "Salt Hill") and along the ridge above and to the east of Kryegjata village (Site 006). In addition, two days were spent systematically collecting four sites (004, 005, 006, 016). Average tract visibility was 45%, but tracts were typically covered either by macquis or recently cut wheat; thus, visibility varied between two extremes depending on vegetation type.

Difficulties with visibility aside, Team B managed to produce interesting results. One of the most important discoveries made by Team B concerns the Paleolithic occupation of the region. During pre-survey reconnaisance, a number of flakes and cores were noticed in the bed of a field road in the northern portion of the study area. Subsequent systematic survey of the road and its adjacent tracts revealed an extensive Paleolithic site (designated Kryegjata B), associated with red alfisols (i.e., Red Beds). An additional Paleolithic site (Kryegjata A) was discovered along the road below and to the south of the main necropolis (in the western portion of tract B-027). Site B has produced stone tools of Middle (both Mousterian and Levallois type) and Upper Paleolithic form, as well as several Mesolithic microliths. Importantly, the complete reduction sequence appears to be represented at Kryegjata B. Does Site 003 represent a Paleolithic homebase?

Furthermore, Paleolithic material was collected in tracts throughout the whole study region (in areas examined by both Team A and Team B). Apparently the hinterlands of Apollonia were extensively used during the Paleolithic. Further survey will help to explain the nature of the exploitation of the region during Paleolithic periods. For instance, are there identifiable differences between Middle and Upper Paleolithic patterns in artifact distribution? Are there differences by site or tract in tool type and manufacture that might correlate with function or "tribal" affiliation? Work with the project geoarchaeologist (and, potentially, a paleo-botanist) may help to determine whether Paleolithic sites exploited different environmental niches.

Another previously unrecorded site that was systematically syrveyed and collected is k. Ullirit (Site 016, the "Hill of Olives"). K. Ullirit appears to have been the location of a Classical/Hellenistic (4th-3rd century B.C.) building, perhaps a small farmstead. This site is especially interesting since, although small Hellenistic sites are ubiquitous in the study region, sites of Classical date are conspicuously rare in comparison to other parts of the eastern Mediterranean. Site 016 is, in fact, the single example of a Classical habitation outside the city walls of Apollonia. What accounts for the absence of dispersed regional habitation during the Classical period? Continued survey in the hinterlands of Apollonia can surely help to answer this intriguing question. Furthermore, were there native Illyrians living in the vicinity of the Greek colony and yet not within its walls?

Tumuli, sarcophagi, and graves, in use during the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods, were surveyed and mapped in great numbers in what is traditionally thought to have been the main necropolis serving the city of Apollonia (roughly tracts B-001--008 and 019--026). However, significant numbers of graves were also located in areas well removed from the main necropolis: at Sites 005 and 006, mentioned above; and, for example, tract B-057 (an area of high ground located along the gravel road to Radostina); tract 16 (along the ridgetop east of the main necropolis); and tracts B-089--090 (on the southern, terraced slope of k. Ullirit). As was made clear by various early travellers to Apollonia, and by several Albanian and foreign archaeologists, burials are to be found throughout most of the valley system east of the city walls of Apollonia. Intensive survey can help to define more exactly the extent of these features in the general vicinity of the ancient city, particularly those that lie outside the known boundaries of the main necropolis.

Site collections of two large, previously unrecorded, tumuli (Sites 005 and 006) further indicate the very complex nature of these burial monuments. Both mounds were measured and divided into quadrants, from each of which were collected a sample of diagnostic ceramics. As expected, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic forms were identified, but proto-Urban pottery (tract B-055) and Roman tile were also present. In addition, ceramic types typically not associated with graves--such as cook pots, cover tiles, and Hellenistic bricks--were identified in great numbers at both sites. Additional surface collection of tumuli may help to explain such unexpected results.

Site 004 is a small, yet dense, ceramic scatter located near k. Kripë s. Two periods are represented at the site: there is a significant Hellenistic presence and an Ottoman occupation, indicated primarily by glazed wares, as well as brick and tile. As described above, small sites of Hellenistic date are quite common in the study region, whereas those of other periods are scarce in comparison. Further survey in the region should help to explain such diachronic differences in settlement. For example, do regional patterns of settlement, as reconstructed through intensive surface survey, reflect changes in the nucleation and dispersion of population through time, or do they represent oscillations in regional population levels? Do changes in regional settlement patterns correlate significantly with events described in historical texts, such as the founding of the Greek colony at Apollonia or the Ottoman occupation? Did environmental factors, such as soil erosion or availability of water play a role in changes in settlement?

Several difficulties were encountered in surveying the Team B area. For example, many parcels of land were planted with wheat and could not be intensively surveyed; hence the numerous gaps in the tract map, especially compared to that of Team A. These holes can conceivably be filled in future years, perhaps later in the month of June as fields are harvested. In addition, it was often difficult to accurately map discontiguous tracts. The maps used in the field were produced in 1983 and many features of the landscape, such as roads, have changed. Furthermore, field maps were 1:25,000 scale, copied and enlarged to 1:10,000, thereby producing a certain amount of measurement error. Access in the field to 1:10,000 scale contour maps can be expected to facilitate more accurate mapping of tract boundaries.

There are also concerns that should be raised with regard to the preservation and conservation of archaeological resources in the Team B area. Burial monuments, especially graves and sarcophagi, have suffered extensive damage at the hands of looters. Archaeologists writing early in the 20th century describe the robbing of graves, but clearly many in the region, especially tile graves, have been only recently disturbed. Additionally, erosion and construction, of roads, for example, are also taking their toll on archaeological sites, especially at Apollonia's necropolis. Survey can indeed, as mentioned above, help to identify sites in need of protection or the immediate attention of the Institute of Archaeology.

In addition to the questions and concerns mentioned in the previous paragraphs, other areas in the Team B region should be targeted for future survey. For example, early travellers note a possibly Medieval monastery, once located somewhere near Havaleas. Investigation of the region to the south of the modern-day town might help to locate this site. The area of steep terraces between Kryegjata village and the temple at Shtyllas, situated just below the Apollonia city walls, might also be expected to produce interesting survey results. How far to the south of the main necropolis does burial activity extend? Is there evidence in this area for ancient habitation? Finally, survey may help to explain the relationship in the past between the valleys of Kryegjata, Shtyllas, and Levan. Are their occupational histories different, one from the other, or are they the same?

Earth Sciences in 1998[7]

In 1998 Dr. Eberhard Zangger, an independent geoarchaeological consultant residing in Zü rich, Switzerland, visited our project for one week. In his time at Apollonia, Zangger examined landscapes in the Fier-Apollonia area, including parts of the lower Gjanice and Vjose valleys. Zangger also spoke briefly with local Albanian geologists, including Professor Yzedin Sadikaj and Dr. Stavri Dhima, director of the Oil and Gas Institute in Fier. He also met with Dr. Vilson Silo, director of AlbSeis, the governmental agency charged with drilling wells and cores.

On the basis of his experiences this year, Zangger made the following suggestions regarding possible programs of geoarchaeological research that our project might support in the future:

a) a minimal geoarchaeological study of the Apollonia area should include mapping of soils and a systematic evaluation of the extent to which they have been eroded (a preliminary assessment suggests that only 10-20% of the overall surface in the Fier district has been eroded). Soils in the areas near to Apollonia that we investigated this summer, are particularly stable, but farther south, in the areas around Gorishova, the flysch bedrock is easily eroded.

b) a more extensive study would add geophysical and botanical components to the geoarchaeological program, including palynological and macrobotanical studies.

c) a still more ambitious project would examine in detail the development of the coastal plain west of Apollonia. This research program would require analysis of remote-sensing data and the drilling of dozens of cores with a power drill.

Processing of Finds[8]

A small museum for daily processing of finds was established in a well-lit room next to the library of the Apollonia dig house. Finds were washed after field work each day and left to dry overnight. The objects were collected the following day, then strewn, sorted, and labelled in the museum. All artifacts collected from tracts (parcela) were assigned a catalogued pottery number. In the case of sites, only especially diagnostic items (e.g., rims, bases, handles, and decorated body sherds) were selected for numbering; the remaining pieces were grouped together according to their fabrics. Skender Muç aj then catalogued the pottery with the help of a scribe. All non-ceramic objects were immediately given a small find number. Small finds were then described by Muzafer Korkuti, with assistance from Mentor Mustafa. After the artifacts were catalogued, certain of them were selected for drawing and photography: these were removed from their lots, recorded, and transferred to the expedition's artist (Ilir Zaloshnija) or photographer (Nermin Më rtiraj). The remainder of the objects from the tract were then bagged and grouped according to the team that collected them and their tract number. In contrast, all small finds were stored together in the order of their Small Find number.

Data Entry and Manipulation[9]

In 1998, the project had at its disposal three networked Macintosh Powerbooks, an external ZipDrive, a digitizing tablet, and a portable printer and scanners. This hardware made it possible for us almost instantaneously to convert into electronic form almost all records.

Descriptions of pottery and small finds from tracts and sites, recorded on preprinted forms, were transferred daily into a Filemaker Pro database, shared among the three CPUs. Prior to the start of the season a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the Apollonia area was prepared.[10] As tracts were defined each day in the field, they were initially mapped on a paper basemap at 1:25,000 scale; on return to Apollonia the outline of each tract was then digitized into a a GIS database.[11] The integration of maps and artifact databases made it possible in the course of fieldwork to generate maps showing the distribution of finds of various types and dates. In addition, separate electronic databases were maintained with digitized copies of drawings both of sites and artifacts and an extensive collection of photographs created with a digital camera.

Overview of the Results of the Project in 1998[12]

Although only a very small sample of the hinterland of Apollonia has been investigated thus far by our project, several interesting patterns seem already to be emerging from the study of finds brought to Apollonia for analysis. Results also appear to contrast in a number of ways with those of the bulk of intensive surveys that have employed methods similar to ours in Greece, Turkey, and Crete.

Most surprising was the abundance of Middle Paleolithic, Upper Paleolithic, and Mesolithic finds discovered by both teams. Indeed, our finds this summer represent the only documented discovery in Albania in the past fifty years of pre-Neolithic artifacts in open-air contexts; they also represent the first artifacts of these periods ever to be recognized in central Albania. In addition, Kryegjata B (Site 003) may be the most extensive Paleolithic station yet discovered in the country. Finally, Paleolithic finds seem to be relatively common, in marked contrast with the results of surveys in the Greek Peloponnese: single artifacts were found in a number of locations other than in the main concentrations at Kryegjata B and Kryegjata A (Site 017). Such a widespread distribution of Paleolithic artifacts at open-air sites begs comparison with the results of surveys by Runnels in the Peneios Valley of Thessaly and in eastern (Turkish) Thrace.

Fig. 5. A Paleolithic Find.

We have so far recognized only a few finds of the later prehistoric periods. It is clear, however, from the discovery of a Neolithic stone axe[13] and a few sherds of Bronze Age pottery that the areas around Apollonia were not entirely deserted in the millennium before the establishment of the Greek colony. As we expand our coverage in coming seasons these results will have the potential to shed further light on significant issues regarding relations between native Illyrians and the Greek colonists.

Our preliminary results already suggest, however, that there was first a significant human presence in the landscape in the immediate vicinity of Apollonia after the establishment of the Greek colony. The largest quantities of Archaic and Classical pottery we have found are associated with graves in the cemeteries of the Kryegjata valley, although smaller amounts are present in other locations, including the valley of Shtyllas. In the Hellenistic period, finds were still more plentiful: indeed, Hellenistic finds were ten times as common as Classical in the areas we examined. An intensively occupied and cultivated Hellenistic landscape of the sort implied by such a pattern contrasts markedly with the results of virtually every regional study so far conducted in Greece or western Turkey. In those studies it has been found that the Classical period, especially the late Classical period (first three quarters of the fourth century B.C.), was a period of maximum expansion in rural settlement, whereas Hellenistic and early Roman landscapes appear to have been comparatively vacant. Finally we hope to have made in 1998 a small contribution to the inventory and preservation of significant archaeological monuments by mapping and recording finds from many of the burial tumuli in the areas between Kryegjata and Radostina.

There are other interesting contrasts between our results in 1998 and those of other surveys that have been conducted in nearby areas of the eastern Mediterranean. For example:

1) In almost every survey in Greece, sites of Late Antiquity (4th-early 7th centuries A.D.) have been among the most plentiful recorded. Finds of these centuries are thus far completely absent from our collections;

2) Similarly, finds of the Middle Byzantine period (11-13th centuries A.D.) are noticeably missing in the areas we have examined, whereas small sites of this date have been found to be extremely common elsewhere in the southern Balkans.

It is, on the other hand very encouraging that we have been able to identify substantial concentrations of pottery of the Ottoman period at two sites. Further analysis of these finds should allow them to be dated more precisely.

The results briefly sketched above suggest that in certain periods, at least, patterns of rural settlement in Albania may have been rather different from those in areas of the Mediterranean that have previously been the targets of intensive surface survey. If the results of this season are supported by those of coming years, one of our most engaging challenges will be to explain these differences.