The Forum in the ancient city of Butrint has never been conclusively identified, but is thought to have been in the unexcavated area that lies between the theatre and the so-called Gymnasium.
During the archaeological excavations of 2004, the remains of a flight of monumental marble steps that had led from the pavement of the forum to the threshold of the tripartite building were revealed, together with traces of an opulently decorated room with a marble pavement. This room was apparently abandoned by the 3rd century, after which it was used as a marble workshop. Over 80 kg of marble flakes were recovered, together with broken pieces of sculpture – evidence of the re-working of classical statues on a large scale. A fragment of togate shoulder was found to be part of the monumental statue found in 2003.
Although the forum excavations were limited in scale, the information derived from them is of immense value. The use of such an important area of the forum for marble working suggests that the importance of the public centre of the town had declined and that the public areas of the city were losing their monumentality from the 3rd century onwards. The ceramics found there indicate that this was the earliest possible date for changes in the area.
- Richard Hodges - ICAA-International Center for Albanian Archaeology / IWA-Institute of World Archaeology, University of East Anglia
- David Hernandez - University of Notre Dame
- IWA - Institute of World Archaeology, University of East Anglia
- Instituti Arkeologjik Tiranë (Albanian Institute of Archaeology)
- Butrint Foundation
- Packard Humanities Institute
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