Amantia the ruins of an ancient city is a cultural monument located in the district of Vlora, Albania
Its name was mentioned for the first time in the 4th century BC. The empire was founded at the end of the fifth century BC. It is located on a hill and is fortified with walls. In the 3rd century BC, the city was economically strengthened and issued its first coins. In 268 BC, the city cut off its currency. There are still traces of Aphrodite temple, theater and stadium.
As soon as it enters the valley of Shushica, southeast of Vlora, between the hills that lie at the foot of the Kudhajë Mountain, to draw attention, a lonely rocky peak, which rises high as a large cone. Another rocky peak, seen from the east, coming from Tepelena. The two rocky peaks form a ridge, which extends nearly 1 km. northeast-southwest direction. Its highest peak is 613 metres above sea level and located in the northeast corner. Above this ridge and around it, the houses of Ploce village are scattered. In this ridge and below, various ruins of an ancient settlement, that of Amantia, are preserved.
Amantia developed as a town on the top hill and on its terraces. In ancient times, the upper plateau of the hill was surrounded by fortification walls. The city ran out of these walls, around the Acropolis.
This has caused Amantia not to have the appearance of other Illyrian cities.
It is connected with the valleys of the Vjosa and Shushica rivers and the ancient roads that pass through them. This position caused Amantia to become an important node in trade relations between the southern coast of Illyria and the interior provinces.
In the IV century BC. Amantia began to evolve as an important slaveowner center, taking in the III-II century p.e.s. the look of a truly ancient city. It remained as such by the end of the century. I p.e.s. In imperial times, Amantia loses its importance to someone. At the end of antiquity it is mentioned as a bishopric center, but in the Middle Ages it disappeared as a city.
The first searches to identify Amantia ruins began in the nineteenth century. XIX. Since the first trace it was located in the ruins of the Nivica village of Kurveleshi by Pukvili. There were also other locations (Vajze). But later it would have dominated the idea that Amantia should be sought in Ploce and not elsewhere. From systematic exploration and digging, it was discovered that Amantia has been an important center of this region of South Illyria and has for a long time had a vibrant economic and social life and an advanced material and spiritual culture.
Written sources about Amantine and Amantes
The written sources for Amantine and Amantas are limited and fragmented. According to ancient ancient authors, Amantia belonged to Illyria and the Amants were Illyrians. After 148 Amantia was part of the province of Macedonia. In another partition of the provinces of the Roman Empire in the Balkans, II e. s. Amantia belongs to the province of New Epirus. There is no historical event. We are told that Amantia joined Caesar in the war against Pompey, or many centuries later, under its walls rebuilt by Justinian, the Byzantine army fought against the Saracens. Understandably, all of this is very little for a city like Amantia, who had a thousand-year-old life. One should be aware of the loving-kindness and the knowledge of the Amantines as Epirus. In the IV century BC Amantia is known as an Illyrian city. But beside Amantia there was also a province called Amantia, which stretched to the seashore.
According to P. Skylaks, amants are cheerful by the crowds and Amantia is not a Greek city; Greek cities are Apollonia and Epidamni. Pliny, called Amantas barbarians . For S. Bizantin ,Amantia was the province of Illyria. Somewhat clear are the boundaries of the territory inhabited by the Amantes. In the Keranune Mountains they were confined to the caon. Their southeastern neighbors were the atintans, while at the east there were bastards. In some reports, the two cities Bylisi and Amantia are always mentioned together, which implies close ties between them, without excluding common origin. The text of P. Skylaks made some corrections. Thus the title "Illyrians" was replaced with the title "taulants". Accepting the title "Taulants" is accepted the view that Amantia as a province and city was at that time under the dependence of the Illyrian state.
Events such as the passage of Apollonis of Dyrrah, under the dependence of the Illyrian state and putting Pyrrhus with the force of arms on the throne of the molose kingdom by King Glaukia, reinforces this thought.
With the weakening of the Illyrian state, and with the empowerment of the state of Epirus, at the time of the Pyrrhus rule, Amantia became part of the Epirus state. For two centuries the resources for Amantin are silent. Most likely, after 168 BC, Amantia would become independent starting and cutting coins by the name of its residents. Amantia remained independent even later. This is also confirmed by the fact that Amantia is in the delphic list of theorodok, dated in the years 220-189 BC.
In the nineteenth century. BC. Amantia, if had not maintained full independence, enjoyed at least an internal autonomy, which it continued to have in the twentieth century. BC.; as evidenced by the monetary cut of this time. This privileged position of Amantia shows that this city, like Bylis and Apollonia, kept the side of Rome, during the wars against the Illyrian state, that of the Macedonians. There is another possibility, the Amants were part of a coma (koinon) tribes and towns of this area, the top of which was the ballads, perhaps for a while and the athens.
In some written sources of ancient authors, in relation to the cities of Southern Illyria, there have been preserved legends of the gray journeys, which the Amants make ablaze, the ballads make them myrmidones and orcs, the jumble. Identifying amants with abants is not easy. Lykofroni, in his poem Aleksandra, has brought Eleferon, the legendary mayor of Abantas, into the lands of amantia, but without identifying the Abants with the Amants.
- Byzantine has attempted to explain the loving bond and Amantia-Abantia by explaining that letter b is turned into m by the "barbarians". This conversion caused Kalimach, in his work, to use the name Amantia instead of Abantia. Below he says that Amantia is the province of the Illyrians, but its inhabitants call it abaca. Another version of the legend is given by Pausania, in his "Hellada Description" work. He shows that in Olymbia, in the place called Hipodam, there was a sculptural monument dedicated to Zeus by the Apollonians. This monument was erected by the latter after the victory against abants, with a tenth of the spoils taken to their town Thronion. In this inscription, the Amants are called envelopes, claiming that they originated from the time of the Trojan War.
The excavations that were carried out could have brought to light historical data on Amantia's existence. The cycle of centuries preserved a whole civilization that was already ruined, with remains of the acropolis, stadium, temple, and supporting walls. Monuments as major architectural works emphasize and at the same time remain evidence of the existence of an important civilization in Southern Illyria.
Amantia had fortified only the acropolis, the top of the hill. S. Anamali gives an account: "The upper rocky plate on its various slopes has forced the builders to fit the walls, the construction technique and their directions in accordance with the site." This means that the wall circles according to the relief of the hill. It remains to be appreciated his construction technique.
The rock was worked with the aim of placing the blocks, realizing the linkage to the side pages and creating an external, straight and vertical page. The stones that have been a part of the wall have been engraved in different sizes and shapes (parallel, polypole or trapezoidal). The bleak purpose of the hollow blocks has been a solid and good wall. When the wall was placed on the ground, parallel blocks with horizontal, vertical, right-handed joists were used. While the wall was placed in the rock, the shape of the blocks was polygonal. Despite the shape of the blocks, the wall has been erected at one time and constructed with the same technician. What makes you more impressed is the use of high technology and the careful handling of the blocks.
When was the acropolis set up? From archaeological finds, data and wall construction techniques it is thought to belong to the first half of the IV century BC This is a time when South Illyria was involved in an economic boom. It is difficult to determine how long the acropolis served the city and to which some small restorations belong.
It is most likely that the Acropolis of Amantias after Caesar's wars with Pompeii was no longer used for protection. Acropolis walls and why not in good shape constitute a fortification complex of interest for the recognition and study of the fortification art of the cities of Southern Illyria.
Along the coves, in the "Gropa E Kovacit ", was born an ancient stadium of 300 seats. The stadium is the most preserved monument located about 150 metres outside the surrounding walls, east of the city. Part of it was discovered in 1949 during an archaeological expedition. During the exploration, some stones were fixed on the ground and staircases. What is noticeable is the positioning of the stadium. This shows the skillful use of the city's mountain lovers. The hill and the square responded well to the builder's request. The sloping, sloping, sloping stairs were followed by a 12.50m wide runway, stored about 55m. On one side, it was supported on the 17-degree hillside, while on the other side, erected on a soil filling was only 8 degrees.
On the south side of the city, about 200 m off the surrounding walls, the base of an ancient temple was discovered. He was a peripter of the Doric order, measuring 12.5 m and 6.75 m. The temple was small surrounded by pillars.
Archaeologists think that the temple was built there by the III century BC. And continued to be used even in centuries I AC .During the late antiquity, near the ruins of the temple, a paleochristian basilica has been erected with its materials.
Amantia tells of a good tradition of building the terraces on the terraces. Because of the position, the Amantes expanded the hill slopes and supported them on the walls. Such supporting walls are at the place called "Peçi Lëmi" where the ruins of a temple and a church were discovered. The supporting walls in "Peça Lëmin" and the northern side of the Acropolis are strengthened and counter-productive. Between the supporting walls, it distinguishes the big wall on the northern side of the acropolis. This wall was not connected to the acropolis but served it.
In today's state, the large, controversial wall, seen in a length of about 41 metres its western arm, 9 Meters long, has no contraction; it is 2 meters wide and constructed from limestone blocks well aligned.
This wall is one of Amantias' beautiful buildings and proves the abilities of local builders. A second supporting wall was built under the large counterwall wall. This 6.10 meters raised wall was aimed at strengthening the slope of the hill.
The town's cemetery has been stretched mainly on the western side, on the main road that came from the bay of Vlora. The earliest graves have the shape of a sheet created with large stone tiles and date back to the first quarter of the IV century p.e.s. IV-III century belong to a large number of monumental underground graves with two covered rooms in the center. The second type of graves is rarely found, with only one environment.
- Paçi during his visit encountered a monumental tomb with two environments. Both facilities were built with limestone blocks and covered with limestone. Another monumental tomb is told by S. Anamali. It has a rectangular shape, only with a vaulted cellar. In the 1950 survey, four graves were discovered .
After the establishment Amantia gradually began to grow and evolve as an important sklavowner center. The full view of a developed antique city was taken in the III-II century BC and continued to remain until the end of the I century. during this period, Amantia recognizes a rapid development of productive forces, which is evidenced by literary, archaeological and archaeological records and extensive activity in the field of coinage. Archaeological excavations have accumulated a rich numismatic material. Like other Illyrian cities and provinces and Amantia cut off its currency with AMANTON legend.
The first type of coin is on the head of Athina's head with Corinthian helmet, while on its back is a hoof surrounded by a laurel wreath. The legend is placed up and down on the back of the backpack divided into two parts AMAN-TON. In the second type is used Zeus figure and lightning back symbol with a wreath. The legend is set up and down the lightning, AMAN-TON. Today we have 89 pieces of coins of this type. The third type is the head of Zeus and Diones and in the back a snake around a laurel wreath, and the legend. This tip comes in 7 variants and today we have 50 pieces. The fourth type-on site is Artemisa with raised hair and tied back. The flame is placed on the back with a laurel wreath, where on the left and the right side is placed the legend divided into four parts, AM-AN-TO-N. While in the fifth type we have the Dioskure's heads on the face, and on the back is placed a eight-beam star. The top and bottom of the latter is the carved AMAN-TON legend. The sixth type has on the page as the symbol of Artemis's head and the name of the prologue, while in the obelisk spine, on whose side is carved the legend AMAN-TON. Particularly of this type is the association of Artemis with the Apollo obelisk. Apollo's cult has never been widespread in Amantia. He has been and remained the main throne of the Hellenistic colony, Apollonia. This decision should have been born as a result of the new economic direction followed by Amantia after the events in Epirus of 168 p.e.s. he felt the need to connect economically and politically with Apollo. The date for commencement of the cut of the coins is taken in the year 230 BC and as a conclusion period is taken year 168 BC.Especially from a deeper study done by H.Ceka, as the starting period takes 260 BC and as a completion period does not take the year 168 According to the latter, from 268p.es until the invasion of Epirus by Rome, Amantia enjoyed a period of full economic and political autonomy. Even in this period, two new currency types are released. The Amantias coins were very similar to those of the Epirot League.
Archaeological finds and cult.
The earliest finds from Amantia, pottery and bronze figurines belong to the century. VI BC and relates to a protourban dwelling. While the ceramic findings belong to two groups: the findings of small containers with black varnish and various vessels. Other findings are considered tile, which are processed and belong to the workshops of the cities of South Illyria. In the graves are found two bronze nipples, pendant fibulae.
Also found were the bronze figures of local workshops: three female figures, three figures representing a warrior, three naked men's figures and three dressed.
We do not have much data on the state organization of Amantias except for four inscriptions. The latter are referred to by the council, the council secretary, and the councilors. A small stone slab discovered in Amantia is dedicated to the Vicarage. It is thought that the temple is dedicated to the latter. As well as the findings in the sculpture appear Pan-Silvani. This is presented with three nymphs. The relief finds are seen as Illyrian gods. God, according to Amantes, are protectors of shepherds, forests, and pastures.
The antique city of Oriku lies on the southwestern coast with the same name, at the foot of Karaburun peninsula. The archaeological site is located on a low rocky limestone hill at the end of a wooden scaffold dividing a small sundeck (Pasha-Liman). A canal, now turned into a marsh, connected the lagoon to the sea.
Archaeological research has been limited to Orikum due to the strategic importance of this archaeological site, which at the same time has been used and continues to be used as a naval base. Random finds around this area include art objects stored in the Vlora Museum. They include a two-headed hecate bronze triprosopos emerging from his shoulders. Some archaeologists think that this brass sculpture is related to the cult of Hecata, the goddess Cithonian of dubious origin. The epigraphic writings studied by La Bas reinforce the idea of Orikum's origins. The Italian archaeologist Domenico Mustilli recorded prehistoric striking objects near his home and hinterland, while a Celtic stone emerged from the excavations of the 1950s. The excavations of the 1950s were performed in a small theater or odeon hosting the southeastern hillside . The stone theater built in the 15th century with capacity of 600, and it is thought that at the time of flowering of the city it was used for theater plays and matches. The existence of this theater carries not only historical, archaeological, but also cultural values. The Orik Theater is the main monument discovered on the Paleokastra Hill. It overlooks the ancient stone carved staircases that lead to the Acropolis, part of the city's streets entering the 950-meter-long perimeter lake, water well, and so on. Underwater is a stone structure of 1.80 m wide, which is considered as the bank for the construction of ancient ships. In the ancient city of Orik has also been discovered part of an orchestra in the form of a half circle having a diameter of 9,55 m. There are four rows of chairs where the second and third rows have stone chairs and some of them have a double chair. The Odeon was constructed with spools, including blocks with inscriptions. All these clearly demonstrate the beautiful and accurate work of the builders of that time. In the ancient city of Orik is also discovered part of an orchestra in the form of a half circle having a diameter of 9, 55 m. There are four rows of chairs where the second and third rows have stone chairs and some of them have a double chair. The Odeon was constructed with spools, including blocks with inscriptions. All of these clearly demonstrate the beautiful and accurate work of the builders of that time. To go to the archaeological park of Orik, follow the road to the Pashaliman Naval Base, about 1 km after the block. On the left side there is an orientation table showing the direction to go to this archeological destination. You can easily go by car.
NATIONAL PARK OF LLOGARA
Llogora Park is located about 40 km southeast of Vlora city, on the spatial boundary between the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea. Near the Crater of Llogara meet woody with curious curves that feel the influence of the cores.
Pine Flag Llogara
Pine Flag, Llogora is located in the National Park of Llogara, slightly north of the same name, 910 meters above sea level. It has the shape of the flag as a result of the action of strong southeast winds. Pine belongs to the Pinus nigra type. The tree has a height of about 20 meters, diameter of the trunk 75 cm and age about 100 years. This monument has scientific, biological, aesthetic and tourist value. Some branches are drying out of natural factors.
To get to this monument, take the Vlora - Dukat - Llogora motorway until you reach the Llogora ridge, on the right of the road, after you have passed the tourist village.
After climbing the park , is the moment of the top of the Llogara hill , where the pines curtains open and you can see the beautiful Ionian Sea. This is one of the most beautiful moments , passing from green fresh natyre to reflection of the sun in the sea. Llogara hill , 1027 metres above sea level, offers great panoramas where the blue of the sea and the blue of the sky meet.
Nëpër gjarpërimet e rrugës, do mahniteni edhe nga majat e Maleve të Kanalit Keraune, ku spikat Maja e Çikës me 2,044 metra lartësi mbi nivelin e detit. Nga hedhjet me parashutë tek çiklizmi malor, të shumta janë sportet që praktikohen përreth zonës. Jo pak njerëz rikujtojnë episodin e emisionit të njohur të makinave Top Gear, i cili 7 vjet më parë inskenoi një ndjekje policie pikërisht në këtë rrugë skenike.
During the curves sloping road , you will be amazed by the hills of the Keraune Canal Mountains, with the peak of Mount Cika 2,044 meters above sea level. From skydiving to mountain biking, there are many sports that are practiced around the area. Not a few people recall the episode of the famous car show Top Gear, which seven years ago staged a police pursuit on this stage.
During the winter , the park offers spectacular view!