Albanian archeological expedition in search of the Roman hippodrome of 'Dyrrhachium'

Albanian archeological expedition in search of the Roman hippodrome of 'Dyrrhachium'
Archaeological excavation in neighborhood 11 in Durrës
 The archeological expedition that started a few days ago near to the former park "1 Maji" in Durrës, is expected to shed light on one of the most interesting periods of city life about 1600 years ago.

The discoveries of the last 20 years that prove neighborhoods built in the Roman period and Byzantine fortifications very close to this territory are clear evidence of the archaeological and historical wealth of the area.

Albanian archeological expedition in search of the Roman hippodrome of 'Dyrrhachium'
Brikena Shkodra leading the archeological excavations in neighborhood 11 in Durrës
Brikena Shkodra, who leads the excavations, told BIRN that in the relief of the ancient city this is the most horizontal terrace and its cultural strata are quite rich.

Right next to the square that is being excavated in the gardens, the famous archaeologist Vangjel Toçi 50 years ago discovered the traces of a Roman road.

Almost simultaneously, archaeologists Fatos Tartari and Halil Myrto have documented data from a Roman neighborhood.

The whole triangle from the Palace of Culture in the center of the city to Rruga e Dëshmorët in the north is the area with the greatest intensity of archaeological discoveries in Durrës.

The territory located between “Aleksandër Goga” street and “Dyrrah” boulevard is known as neighborhood 11 and it is there that the Circular Forum of the Byzantine period came to light, as well as the Pots of the 1st-2nd century AD.

Albanian archeological expedition in search of the Roman hippodrome of 'Dyrrhachium'
Discovery at the ‘1 May’ garden already covered by the foundations of a palace
Very close to this, 100 years ago has been discovered the mosaic known as "Beauty of Durres", which is currently located at the entrance of the National Historical Museum in Tirana.

"The circular forum was opened in the late 1990s, after a massive excavation," said Shkodra, according to whom, together with the Pots of the Roman period, these are the only monuments that were completely unveiled to the public.

"We believe that this territory still hides the ancient Hippodrome of the city," added the Durrës archaeologist, who has been working for two decades in the territory of neighborhood 11 and in almost every excavation has discovered important elements of civic infrastructure belonging to the 4-5 century. 

Marble floors proving the presence of Imperial Pots; fragments of water supply that distributed water to the urban space; further a partially discovered structure are just some of the discoveries of Shkodra, which claims that it still does not know what their full function and form is.

"Surveys have been isolated due to numerous constructions and intensive urban development, and we fail to understand the transformation of this area over the centuries," explained Shkodra, who recalls that in some cases the opening of the foundations for the construction of palaces was done without the presence of archaeologists.
Albanian archeological expedition in search of the Roman hippodrome of 'Dyrrhachium' Albanian archeological expedition in search of the Roman hippodrome of 'Dyrrhachium' Tuesday, September 14, 2021 Rating: 5
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