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Excavation

  • Prehistoric settlement of Sovjan
  • Sovjan
  •  
  • Albania
  • Qarku i Korçës

Summary (English)

  • The lakeside site of Sovjan was discovered in 1988 during the opening of a drainage channel on the western limits of the Lake Maliq. Since 1993 an Albanian – French mission has been carried out systematic excavation on this site. These excavations were concentrated on the western part of the site and have brought significant data on the site chronology. The analyzes of 22 C14 have demonstrated that the most ancient level of occupation is Neolithic (7th millennium BC) and the most recent one is Iron Age, 700 BC, period when as a result of the rising level of lake water the site was completely abandoned.
    The excavation confirmed the existence of local metallurgical activity on the Middle Bronze Age and Late Bronze Age levels. The Middle Bronze Age level is distinguished by the abundance and exceptional conservation of wooden structures and also by the richness and variety of the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental material. Apart from the wooden structure, an interesting one is also the large apsidal house, known as the ‘canal house’ with walls preserved to a high of 0.5 m, whereas, about 2m to the north of this house another structure, the ‘fisherman house’ has been identified. The Bronze Age levels gave abundant gray to black pottery materials, tools made of stone, bone or horn, clay and wood.
    The Sovjan excavations have thus provided the first direct data on wood – construction techniques, house plans, and space organization found in the Balkan during the Bronze Age.
    The archaeological investigations are complemented by a palaeoenvironmental program that intends to study the interaction of people in the basin of Korçë during the Holocene period. This study is still at a preliminary stage but nevertheless provides interesting result for the work at the Sovjan.

Director

  • Gilles Touchais - Université de Paris I
  • Petrika Lera - Instituti i Arkeologjisë Tiranë, Departamenti i Prehistorisë (Albanian Institute of Archaeology, Department of Prehistory)

Team

  • Anna-Maria Desiderio - Université de Paris X
  • Susan E. Allen - University of Boston
  • Carole Micouin-Cheval - Université Paris I
  • Georgia Kourtessi-Philippakis - Université Paris I
  • Michel Magny - Centre National Dela Recherche Scientifique
  • Oreste Decavallas - Université Paris I
  • Rozalia Christidou - Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique
  • Sandra Prévost-Dermarkar - Université Paris I
  • Vincent Dargery - Université Paris I
  • Armelle Gardeisen - Centre National Dela Recherche Scientifique
  • Gaël Piques - Centre National Dela Recherche Scientifique
  • Lluis Garcia - University of Barcelone
  • Béatrice Szepzetyski - Laboratoire Analyses Expertises Archéologie Oeuvres Art, Bordeaux
  • Éric Fouache - Université de Paris XII
  • Cécile Oberweiler - Université Paris I
  • Christophe Grenier - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et l'Environnement
  • Stéphane Desruelles - Université de Paris XII
  • Danielle Hureau - Université de Bretagne Occidentale
  • Uli von Grafenstein - Centre National Dela Recherche Scientifique
  • Amandine Bordon - Université de Besançon
  • Anne-Marie Lézine - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et l'Environnement
  • Céline Coussot - Université de Paris XII
  • Jean-Jacques Tiercelin - Centre National Dela Recherche Scientifique
  • Lionel Fadin - École française d'Athènes
  • Laurence Astruc - Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique

Research Body

  • Instituti Arkeologjik Tiranë (Albanian Institute of Archaeology)
  • Muzeu Arkeologjik i Korçës (Archaeological Museum of Korça)
  • Université De Paris I
  • École Française d’Athènes

Funding Body

  • Université De Paris I
  • École Française d’Athènes

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