Archaeologists in Korca in the southeast of Albania have unearthed one of the largest ancient cemeteries in Albania. In Turan, which sits in an agricultural valley surrounded by the Morava Mountains, excavations reveal 1,000 or more layered burials.
Reports from the dig suggest that several of ceremonial burials are richly appointed. The excavation by a team of archaeologists has uncovered burials and artifacts from Neolithic times, the Iron Age, late Roman times, and the Middle Ages. Under the bottom layer are traces of a rare Neolithic settlement demarcated by holes in the ground that supported the now-rotted wooden skeletons of small huts.
The scientists discovered 20 Neolithic sites in Albania, dating roughly from the 7th to the 3rd millennia B.C. Some of these are the earliest farming settlements in Europe. This most recent discovery came about when workers digging a pipeline stumbled across the cemeteries. Interestingly, no traces of the settlements these cemeteries served have yet been located, but Pojani said it’s easy to see why people through the ages chose to live there.
The recent finds include grave goods included rings, bracelets, earrings, amber and glass beads, gold coins, lots of pottery — including local copies of 11th or 10th century B.C. wine jugs popular in neighboring Greece —
Turan, which lies about 180 kilometers (110 miles) southeast of the capital Tirana, is the most important 30 sites discovered since the laying of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, or TAP, that will bring natural gas from Azerbaijan through Turkey, Greece and Albania, and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy.
The Turan site has been in use for almost 2,000 years, and the cemeteries date back to 700 B.C. The archaeologists hope that the burials will help them answer questions about who these people were and their relationship to other settlements.
Earlier this year Polish archaeologists discovered over 2,000 years old lost city of Bassania in Albania. This fortress city was believed to have been destroyed by the Romans in the last battle against an Illyrian king,