Austria to conduct three archeological projects

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 7, 2018 12:30

Austria to conduct three archeological projects

Story Highlights

  • During a commemorating exhibition for the Austro-Hungarian presence in Albanian archeology, it was returned a copy of a funerary stele taken from Apollonia, and were announced three archeological projects from the Austrian Institute of Archeology in Albania.

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As the Austro-Hungarian contribute to Albanian archeology has met its first century old anniversary, Austrian and Albanian archeologists gathered in a round table to commemorate the contribution and discuss three new projects that will be conducted by the Austrian archeologists.

The first project will focus on the restoration, maintenance and archeological excavations at the castle of Kanina. The second project will be conducted at an ancient archeological site near Apollonia. The third project is the largest one and the most time-consuming, with an estimated lasting from 5-10 years, and which will take place along the river Vjosa.

The main purpose of these projects is the promotion of Albania and its archeological treasures.

‘’I think that Albanian will be worthily presented to Europe in this way,’’ said Sabine Ladstatter, director of Austrian Institute of Archeology.

The excavations projects at the castle of Kanina had faced a stopping of 50 years, and now will begin again after half a century. The director of the Albanian Institute of Archeology, Luan Perzhita, said that the Albanian government will be financially contributing to these projects undertaken by the Austrian Institute. The monuments near these sites where the projects will be conducted are already known by our government, however, the partners will give us a hand with more contemporary scientific tools for diggings and safeguarding.

Perzhita said that the projects will take place at different periods of time. In the Vjosa valley a special focus will be given in conducting concise documentation regarding the studies that will take place there. The areas it will cover will be in Apollonia, Tepelena, Shushica, etc..

‘’We will examine a territory, which will give us data about what has happened between the shore and the inner areas, the passing trails, starting since the prehistoric period, 7000 years before our era, coming to the principality of Arbanon,’’ said Perzhita.

A photo exhibition of the three areas was an additional part of this discussion. The history of Albanian archeology includes three developmental phases, the first taking place in the beginning of 19th century until 1939, a period which was dominated by foreign travelers and archeologists. The second period corresponds to the communist era  of archeology, from 1945-1990, and the third starts from 1991 until today, which takes a new phase of national archeology intertwined with foreign projects.

The Austro-Hungarian presence in Albanian archeology, cultural and historical heritage is evident at writings from Theodor Ippen from 1900 until 1908. In the writings we find the interest shown by the monarchy at the Northern Albania, with a description of monuments, churches and residences. Ippen was also appointed consulate general for the monarchy in Albania, and was a connoisseur of our country, its areas, language and traditions.

The second instance of Austro-Hungarian impact was from Paul Traeger Karl Patsch, who helped in raising the first National Museum in Albania in 1922. He also published in 1904 ‘’The Sandzak of Berat’’. His vast documentation of antic monuments from Berat, Myzeqe, Vlora, etc., with photographs, detailed layout and descriptions, is said to have incited the attention paid to our country from Austro-Hungary.

A photo and documents exhibition is taking place at the National History Museum, to commemorate the ‘’100 years of archeological excavations in Albania.’’ In this exhibition, the Ambassador of Austria to Albania, Johann Sattler, returned a copy of a funerary stele found in Apollonia in the 1920s. The original piece was taken in a period of riots during the first world war, then the object was bought and exposed at the Vienna Archeology Museum, and now a copy of the piece is given back to the Museum of Apollonia, open for exhibition.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 7, 2018 12:30