Ancient Albania palafit village could be Europe’s oldest settlement 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 8, 2023 10:14

Ancient Albania palafit village could be Europe’s oldest settlement 

Story Highlights

  • Archaeologists start unraveling Europe's ancient past after finding an 8,500-year-old site on the shores of Lake Ohrid.

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TIRANA, Aug. 8, 2023 - In a groundbreaking archaeological discovery, Albanian and Swiss researchers have unearthed evidence of a prehistoric settlement in southeastern Albania that predates anything previously known in Europe. 

The Lini palafit village, located on the shores of Lake Ohrid near the picturesque town of Pogradec, has been confirmed to be over 8,500 years old, making it the oldest known settlement in the continent. Palafits are ancient dwellings built on piles over a lake.

-The excavation and its implications-

Led by renowned archaeologist Albert Hafner from Switzerland’s University of Bern and esteemed Albanian archaeologist Adrian Anastasi, the team of researchers embarked on a remarkable journey through time. Their findings have illuminated a remarkable chapter in Europe's ancient history, reshaping our understanding of early civilizations.

The Lini palafit village is unique in that it was built on stilts above both land and water, a testament to the resourcefulness and ingenuity of its ancient inhabitants. These early settlers are believed to have practiced agriculture as far back as 8,000 to 9,000 years ago, significantly earlier than previously known agricultural developments in the region.

-A trailblazing settlement-

Speaking to reporters at the site, Hafner expressed his amazement at the sophistication of the Lini village, suggesting that its agricultural practices might have influenced the development of agriculture in Italy and the rest of Europe. The implications of this discovery are monumental, raising intriguing questions about the migration patterns and cultural exchanges that may have occurred during this era.

Anastasi also shared his excitement about the ongoing excavations and their potential to shed light on the reasons behind the choice of the lakeside location for the settlement. 

Why did these ancient people decide to dwell on the shores of the lake, and how did their way of life evolve over time? The answers to these questions could rewrite the history books.

-Preserving the past, welcoming the future-

To ensure the preservation of this remarkable archaeological treasure, the Albanian and Swiss researchers are collaborating closely. Their partnership has become a shining example of international cooperation in the field of archaeology, uniting efforts to study and protect cultural heritage.

Moreover, the team is exploring innovative ways to engage the public and spread awareness about this ancient marvel. With modern technology at their disposal, the researchers aim to create digital reconstructions and virtual tours of the Lini palafit village. 

This ambitious initiative seeks to attract history enthusiasts and tourists alike, enticing visitors to embark on a journey through time.

Ambassador of Switzerland to Albania Ruth Huber expressed her joy at being a part of this significant endeavor, and she envisions these discoveries as a potential bridge that connects tourists from Switzerland and other parts of Europe to Albania's rich historical heritage.

-The future of Lini-

As the excavation progresses, the researchers anticipate uncovering more hidden secrets from the depths of Lini. Each passing year brings forth new surprises, igniting a sense of wonder and excitement among the archaeologists involved.

The Lini palafit village is not only a testament to the remarkable achievements of our ancestors but also a glimpse into a long-forgotten past that shaped the foundations of modern Europe. 

Through the dedication of these archaeologists and the support of their nations, the enigmatic Lini settlement will continue to inspire curiosity and admiration for generations to come.

The discovery of the Lini palafit village opens a gateway to the ancient European past, allowing us to glimpse the fascinating world of our forebears. With ongoing excavations and the application of cutting-edge technology, the tale of Lini is far from over. 

As we patiently await the unveiling of new revelations, one thing remains certain – the echoes of our ancestors continue to resonate across the ages, offering profound insights into the origins of European civilization.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 8, 2023 10:14