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Orikos - première colonie grecque en Adriatique?

Applicant Descoeudres Jean-Paul
Number 120302
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Département des sciences de l'antiquité Faculté des lettres Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Archaeology
Start/End 01.08.2008 - 31.03.2011
Approved amount 285'041.00
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Keywords (13)

Albania; Euboeans; Urbanism; Adriatic; Archaeology; Colonization; Greeks; Illyrians; Interrelations; Mediterranean; Orikos; Trade; Euboean

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Laysummary: In briefOrikos, endowed with one of the best harbours along the Balkan coast of the Adriatic Sea, remains one of the very few important Greek colonies in the West of which virtually nothing is known. The project aims at identifying its earliest occupation in collaboration with the Albanian Archaeological Institute.SummarySituated in the southern corner of the Bay of Vlore in southern Albania, Orikos, boasts one of the best harbours along the entire Balkan coast of the Adriatic Sea. We possess a detailed description of it by Julius Caesar whose naval forces used it during the Civil War.Considered by ancient writers to be a Greek, and more particularly Euboean, foundation, Orikos occupies a key position in the Adriatic: it constitutes with Otranto on the opposite side of the Straits of Otranto a convenient link between the Balkan and the Italic peninsulas, and offers at the same time a safe place to ships sailing along the Illyrian coast. The valley of the Dukati river which forms its hinterland is very fertile in its lower part and must have produced significant agricultural surpluses in ancient times, whilst its upper reaches give access to another much sought-after ressource, timber.AimIn a first phase, the projects aims at carrying out a number of trial trenches both on the site itself and in the nearby cemeteries, in order to date the earliest occupation of the site and identify its inhabitants. The work is part of an international and multidisciplinary programme which is coordinated by the Albanian Archaeological Institute.SignificanceThe site is certain to produce plenty of information about the early contacts between Greeks and Illyrians, the discussion of which has hitherto tended to concentrate on Epidamnos (Dyrrhachium) and Apollonia. Its archaeological investigation is therefore more than likely to significantly contribute to the knowledge of Greek colonization, a phenomenon that forms the very basis of western civilization. At the same time, the project provides a unique chance for young Swiss researchers to join an international team working in an area that has so far received little attention, simply because of political difficulties unrelated to its considerable scientific and environmental potential.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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