Cretan Amphorae from Albania (IV – VII Century AD)

Skender Bushi


Archaeological excavations carried out in the recent decades in many sites of Albania have enriched the repertory of east Mediterranean amphorae dated from 4th – 7th century. The results obtained provided significant evidence on their typology, distribution, chronology and their origin. These discoveries have stressed the importance and the role of our territory during this specific historical period, marked by the initiative of the emperor Justinian I (527 – 565) for the restoration of the lost territories of the empire. The presence of east – Mediterranean amphorae is attested in numerous urban centers and religious building such as the cities of Butrint, Onchesmos, and the monument of 40 Saints, Durres, Shkodra and Lezhë; also a significant number comes from the contribution of the subaqueous investigations across the Albanian coastline, mainly in the area between the Bay of Vlora and Saranda and the exploration conducted in the Bay of Durrës. A small quantity of this category of amphorae is represented by fragments found during the excavations in other minor archaeological sites. Because of their relatively modest representation in the Mediterranean contexts, different types of east – Mediterranean amphorae, which show a remarkable presence in our territory, have been subject of individual studies, as in the case of the LRA 10 (Adamsheck RC 22) and the study devoted to the LRA 8 (Samos Cystern Type).

Keywords: Cretan amphora, Albanian coastline, exploration, archaeological sites, etc.

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