Albania Discovers Ancient Archeological Settlement, Halts Gas Pipeline Construction

By Regin Olimberio | May 14, 2017 07:16 PM EDT

The works on a massive pipeline in eastern Albania took a halt after diggers discovered an ancient settlement. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline Company decided to suspend their works for a month while experts and archeologists study the relics that dates back to the iron age. Trans Adriatic themselves hired experts to help with the study, especially in areas where the pipeline would traverse.

The primary mandate of the team is to ensure that nothing of archeological importance will be damaged. Senior cultural advisor Neil Fairburn said that they are looking into a win-win situation where the pipeline may proceed unhampered while the archeological works go on. He also stressed that the rescue, conservation, and protection of Albania's cultural heritage can continue without resulting in unnecessary delays to either project.

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According to the contractor who stumbled upon the site, they discovered a huge deposit of ceramics and other earthenware. They surmised that it could be somewhere between the 10th and the 9th centuries B.C., more conservative estimates placed the archeological find in the late Roman period of 6th and 4th centuries. The diggers immediately alerted the Albanian authorities who took over in an instant, reported.

Albania is known to have housed several ancient sites and archeologists suspect that there are others yet to be discovered. The latest discovery is apparently an open-air settlement, centuries before it was used as a cemetery. By the Middle Ages, there were several activities that overlaid the original site, according to See News.

Meanwhile, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline stressed that the archeological discovery did not really hinder their project timeline. The project traverses 215-kilometer in Albania and is expected to finish by 2019. This also includes the overall 878-kilometer pipeline that runs from Azerbaijan to Turkey. At any rate, the pipeline is not going to deliver 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe until 2020.

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