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Antigonea Archaeological Park, Albania

Antigonea Archaeological Park, Albania
Antigonea Archaeological Park, Albania
Antigonea Archaeological Park, Albania

Excavations conducted by Albanian archaeologists in the 1960s near the modern village of Saraqinishte led to the identification of the fortified city of Antigonea.

The identification is based on the discovery of fourteen bronze tesserae with the inscription "Antigoneon," found in one of the houses dating from the Hellenistic period. The site is located on a hilltop on the east side of the Drinos valley.

One potential founder of the city is Antigonos Gonatas, King of Macedonia; another and more widely accepted version is that Pyrrhus, the Molossian king, built the city in 296 BC in honor of his wife Antigone.

The city flourished until 167 BC when it was destroyed by the armies of Aemilius Paullus, who took revenge for the damage inflicted on Italy during the Pyrrhic War.

Antigonea lies on a hill about 600 meters above sea level and was at one point completely encircled by a fortified wall estimated at four kilometers in circumference, with the city's spread covering 35 hectares.

The Agora of the city has been excavated and a Stoa, 59m long and 9m wide has been brought to light.

Coins from various city states have been found in excavations, arriving from Korkyra (modern Corfu), Apollonia, Dyrrachium, Oricum, Ambracia and also the Epirote League.

Most of the coins are made of bronze but a few silver coins have been found as well. Mosaics dating from the 5-6th centuries CE are visible in the remains of a Palaeo-Christian Basilica, unearthed during excavations in 1974.

The site is relatively remote and unspoiled, so visitors can enjoy a quiet and restful visit amongst the ancient stones and quiet countryside.


Hours Open: Weekdays 8:00-16:00h, Weekends 09:00-15:00h
Visitor Fees: 200 lek adults, 100 lek for students and disabled persons, free entry on last Sunday of every month except June, July and August

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17 July 2024