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Late Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Late Bronze Age Fortifications in Southeast Albania

Froseda Angjellari Tola


The phenomenon of the fortification of a settlement is not uncommon in southeast Albania. For many centuries, especially during the last 3000 years, the construction of a stone wall around a settlement has been the main type of protection for the population of the main cities and towns in the region. But this phenomenon did not start in the last 3000 years. In fact, it is far older, documented at least in the Late Neolithic period. Until the Middle Bronze Age, this phenomenon was still a rare event with archaeologists documenting in only two cases (Kamnik settlement that belonged to Late Neolithic and Maliq settlement, where the fortification was dated in the first phase of the Chalcolithic). Only during the Late Bronze Age, due to social and economic developments that affected the population, this type of construction became widespread in the region. From the Late Neolithic until the end of the Late Bronze Age there are identified at least seven fortified settlements in southeast Albania (besides the aforementioned Kamnik and Maliq, five other settlements, Blacë, Symizë, Luaras, Bejkovë, and Barmash belong the Late Bronze Age). They belong to different typologies, not only when it comes to the material with which the walls were built but also to the planimetry, architecture, geographic position of the hills where they were constructed and intensity of human life inside the settlement they protected.

Keywords: Fortifications, Late Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Late Bronze Age, southeast Albania, Illyrians.

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