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Ancient Ceramics Hamper Major Gas Pipeline in Albania

Find underlines that much of the country’s rich cultural heritage remains to be discovered.

12 May 2017

The discovery of an ancient settlement in Albania spanning more than a millennium has put the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline on hold.


The site was found during work to clear the route for the pipeline in the village of Turan, near Korca in southeastern Albania, TAP, the company building the pipeline, announced Wednesday. Work is expected to resume within a month, after a rescue operation is completed, The Associated Press cites the company as saying.


TAP cultural heritage experts said ceramics found at the site indicate it was occupied from the early Iron Age in the 10th and ninth centuries BC to the late Roman period of the fourth to sixth centuries AD, the Tirana Times reports.


Apartment buildings of various ages surround the Byzantine forum in Durres. The ancient city controlled the western end of a major Roman road; today, its port is the busiest in Albania.


“Our teams continue to monitor and recover all cultural heritage elements across our route, in line with our cultural heritage management plan, EU legislation and industry best practice,” TAP’s senior advisor for cultural heritage, Neil Fairburn, said.


More than 30 archeologists and cultural heritage experts monitor work along the pipeline route, which will eventually stretch from Azerbaijan to Italy.


Last year TAP contractors turned up an ornately carved capital from a sixth-century limestone column in southern Albania.


“The TAP discoveries unveil the rich cultural heritage in Albania, a gateway to the Mediterranean boasting a mix of Illyrian, Roman, Greek and Ottoman civilizations,” the Tirana Times says.



  • The 215-kilometer Albanian segment of the pipeline is expected to be complete in 2019, and the first deliveries of Caspian gas to Europe are expected in 2020.


  • Russia’s Gazprom has expressed an interest in a link between TAP and the second line of TurkStream, a pipeline that will deliver Russian gas to Turkey and Europe, John Roberts, a senior fellow at Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center, told the Turkish news agency Anadolu.


  • Gazprom recently begun construction of the offshore section of TurkStream in the Black Sea near the Russian coast.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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