News & Opinion | June 22, 2018 5:00 am

Archaeologists Discover 2,000-Year-Old Lost City in Albania

Ruins of Illyrian kingdom's stronghold are untouched after being lost for millennia.

Bassania
A photo taken by photographer Talha Çakır in Shkodër, Albania, where the ruins of Bassania were found. (Wikipedia)

Archaeologists from the Antiquity of Southeastern Europe Research Centre at the University of Warsaw discovered the ruins of the 2,000-year-old lost city of Bassania in modern-day Albania. As part of the Illyrian kingdom, Bassania was formally an economic and military stronghold. It existed from 400 to 100 B.C. and contained numerous settlements and fortresses, one of which the archaeologists unearthed. They found ancient stones of a fortress guarded with large bastions and roughly 10-foot-wide stone walls and gates. These buildings were common in Hellenistic architecture. The team was able to confirm the age of the ruins by analyzing nearby coins and ceramic vessel fragments, which dated back to the time of the Illyrian kingdom, according to Atlas Obscura. 

The scientists discovered that Bassania was three times larger than ancient Shkodër, which was 70,000 square meters. It fell to the Roman invasion early in the first century.

“The reason could be that the city had ceased to exist so long ago that its name was forgotten,” wrote University of Warsaw professor Piotr Dyczek, of why it had gone undiscovered for so long, according to Atlas Obscura.