Archaeologists searching the mountains of northern Albania for traces of Ottoman-era fugitives were surprised to find something much older: the ruins of a Bronze Age fortress, dating from around 800 BC. The walls were made of boulders assembled without cement, using the "Cyclopean" technique found in the ancient Greek kingdom of Mycenae.
According to Michael Galaty, the US researcher who led the expedition, the discovery shows that the area, one of the most remote in Europe, has been in use for thousands of years. At the time the fortress was built, Illyrian kingdoms were active along the Adriatic Coast, while Greece was emerging from the ancient Dark Ages. Galaty's team says it is not yet clear who may have lived there.
Writing at peshkupauje, Krasta suggests there is much more to be discovered. "Very interesting indeed!" he writes. "When they dig in the north mountainous part of Albania they are going to find real treasures. At least at the end they showed that we had a civilisation as old as the one at Mycenae."
"I think that many theories that seem like jokes until now about the ancient origin of Albania will start to show up seriously!" Krasta adds.
Berti comments: "This discovery is not strange at all. It is rare only in Albanian lands, but Illyrian cities of this style from this period of time exist in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first Illyrian cities built in this style found in Croatia date from the 12th century BC. "
"On Albanian territory the oldest ruins discovered date from the 6th century BC," he adds.
Pjer believes that ancient Illyria "progressed in the same way with the countries around it, not to say that they had a higher level".
"After all, the Romans where the ones that were taking their sons to study in Illyria (Durres/Durrah). This was the testimony that the Roman writers from that period of time gave us -- 2,000 years ago."