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Archaeology of Gjakova

Archaeology of Gjakova

Geographical location and favourable natural conditions for life and opportunities for development of traffic through the river valleys in what this area is rich in has enabled this region to continuously have population that lived in this region from most ancient periods until today.

This is proven by many incidental findings discovered between the two world wars and at later periods and most of which are unfortunately missing due to the lack of interest of the population and the non-existence of adequate institutions for the collection and preservation of our cultural heritage. 

However, cultural heritage and incidental findings have attracted many foreign journey writers and researchers starting from the XIX Century. Written proof to archaeological findings in this area was given by A.Evans, F. Kanich. N.Vuliq etc.
Intensive urbanization and the economic and residential facilities have introduced their foundations with overwhelming evidence of the cultural heritage from different periods. 

After the Second World War, the establishment of institutions for protection of cultural heritage (the Museum of Kosovo and the Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments of Kosovo) launched the first archaeological excavations in Rogovë Has and Suk Cërmjanit, which after a major disruption time continued after the war of 1999 in Tuma Rakovina 2001 Tuma in Moglicë 2002 and Rogovë in Has 2004.

During 2001 land reconnaissance was carried out within the project "Archaeological Map" of the valley of the White Drin with funding and initiative of the Tirana Archaeological Institute at the Academy of Sciences of Albania in cooperation with the Museum of Kosovo. 

The aim of the project was the creation of a part of the archaeological map concentrating mainly on the territory of the White Drin valley. In September of 2001 the project was developed in Gjakova with its 85 villages. 

Earlier research as well as the research from  2001 bring to us many points respectively discoveries of new centers in this region. 
These archaeological research within a relatively limited area also showed a density of ancient fortifications from late IV-VI AD century. as village Gexhë "Castrum" fortification or military fortress in Cermjan "Suka Cermjan" and fortress in the village Brigand,  which fortifications were completed with appropriate documentation scientific plan, topographic surveys and in some cases a more accurate assignment are done by digging polls. 

Gjakova municipality is rich in graveyards from the Iron Age tombs. Therefore, archaeological excavations have been mainly concentrated in their research. 

The first excavations in Gjakova were made since 1966 in the Rogovë Has  where they found two graveyards tombs in place called "fusha" and "Kaldrma".
According to the findings from diggings the graves belonged to the halshtati period. The graves have been associated with important archaeological materials,  a number of bronze needles, fragments of spiral bracelets, amber beads and a considerable number of fragments in ceramic were found there. Here we are dealing with a necropolis that was used during the Late Bronze period, the period of halshtatit, latenit period and until the early Byzantine period.

In 2004 in the same place four tombs were identified , sizes ranging from 18 to 35 m. and with a height 0.30 to 0.70 m. Inventory shows the social status of this area during that period. On the basis of the material found and of the analogies, tombs belong to the first phase of iron, respectively initial start of the first thousand-years BC.

Tombs graves were also discovered in other parts of the municipality during the years.
In Moglice village 3 km southeast of Gjakova in Erenik river valley, lays a hillside cemetery or burial tombs. Its height above ground is 2.10 m, and its diameter 24 m.

Moglicë graveyards in the village is of particular importance for the study of material and spiritual culture of the Illyrian population in the first phase of the Iron Age the medieval period to the traditions in the Middle Ages buried in tombs (hill graves).

In the region of Gjakova they are also found (tombstones), the area was addressed by N.Vuliq researcher Dr. Egjlale Dobruna – Salihu
According Dr.Egjlale Dobruna-Salihu in the region of Dardania stela constitutes by far the most numerous and widespread plastics sepulkrale during Roman times, so it takes its important place among the monuments of this character.
part of the findings are also memorials. 

Near the River Edge Erenik in place called 'rripe' in the 80s it was discovered a statue that represents the body of a man.  According to Dr.Exhlale Dobruna-Saleh it is sepulkral the character  is a rare specimen of this kind of work a complete sculpture in all of Dardania.  It is made of marble with a height of 116 cm, according to the author in this case we are dealing with a local work. It belongs to the start of III century.

A part of the findings and research in the 70s is also pitosi, which is stored in the city's Ethnographic Museum. Pitosi was found in the village Qerim near the town of Gjakova. 

Pitosi are large containers with different dimensions, they are used for food storage reservation respectively (wheat, corn, beans, etc.) They have spherical body with thick cylindrical lips and the relief  is decorated with wavery strips.

While in the 2013 in Cermjan region of Dushkaja, an altar was found by the residents of the village, believed to belong to the Roman period of II and III century.

According to researcher Masar Valla, the altar belongs to the antique period and is different from the ones found so far.

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