Poster session 4.5

Sabina Veseli (Center of Albanian Studies)

A reassessment of the small necropolis of III-IV centuries AD of Zgerdhesh (Albania)

The ancient city of Zgerdhesh is situated in the central Albania. The city starting in the IV-III centuries BC, has known the more prosperous period in the III-II centuries BC, representing one of the most developed sites of the Illyrians. The city lost its importance during the Roman period, and only a small proto byzantine chapel was built in the peak of the hill.

This poster will reconsider a small necropolis of III-IV centuries AD discovered in Zgerdhesh. The material culture is similar with other necropolis from Albania and it is dominated by plain pottery productions, arms, working tools and costume elements. The historical context comprises a period of crisis and upheavals with the invasion of the barbarians in the Roman Empire, which contributed a lot in the refortification of many ancient cities in Illyria, which does not seem the case for Zgerdhesh as its geographical position did not offer very good conditions for protection.

The archaeological evidence and the inventory of the tombs which consists of elements of soldier’s costume and arms supports the theory that a small garrison of roman soldiers was set up in the site or for the presence of civilians servings as militaria whom were responsible for the protection of the roads leading to the main cities as elsewhere in the empire.