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This article provides a short report on a survey of the region to the east of the ancient city of Butrint, in south-west Albania. Centred on the modern villages of Mursi and Xarra, the field survey provides information on over 80 sites (including standing monuments). Previous surveys close to Butrint have brought to light the impact of Roman Imperial colonisation on its hinterland. This new survey confirms that the density of Imperial Roman sites extends well to the east of Butrint. As in the previous surveys, pre-Roman and post-Roman sites are remarkably scarce. As a result, taking the results of the Butrint Foundation's archaeological excavations in Butrint to show the urban history of the place from the Bronze Age to the Ottoman period, the authors challenge the central theme of urban continuity and impact upon Mediterranean landscapes posited by Horden and Purcell, in The Corrupting Sea (2000). Instead, the hinterland of Butrint, on the evidence of this and previous field surveys, appears to have had intense engagement with the town in the Early Roman period following the creation of the Roman colony. Significant engagement with Butrint continued in Late Antiquity, but subsequently in the Byzantine period, as before the creation of the colony, the relationship between the town and its hinterland was limited and has left a modest impact upon the archaeological record.
This essay describes the archaeology of the revival in the later tenth- to eleventh-century of the town of Butrint, ancient Buthrotum in south-west Albania. Based on the extensive excavations by the Butrint Foundation, all the elements (fortifications, town-planning, roads, property boundaries, dwellings, churches, wells) of a new urban centre are considered, as is its economy and its wider historical context in the southern Adriatic Sea.
This essay reviews the archaeology of a mid-Byzantine administrative central place – an aristocratic oikos – in the old Roman suburb of Butrint, Albania. Apart from illustrating the many aspects of the excavated evidence, consideration is given to Paul Magdalino’s ground-breaking essay on the nature of the Byzantine aristocratic oikos.
These words, published in the pages of Antiquity more than 20 years ago, belie the dark depths into which Albanian archaeologists were plunged with the transition to democracy during 1991–1992. Despite the long bread queues that characterised Albanian life before the Iron Curtain fell, Albanian archaeologists engaged in missions across the country—nearly 50 in 1988. The charmed life of Albania's archaeologists until 1991 is easily explained. Between 1944 and 1985, the dictator Enver Hoxha invested in archaeology to secure an Illyrian myth for an unstable republic, which, in 1913, was carved out of the western Ottoman Empire. The first generation of communist archaeologists was trained in the Soviet Union; they in turn mentored subsequent generations. As a result, with the advent of democracy, almost no archaeologist had first-hand experience of Western European or American archaeology. The few who had engaged with Western Europe (Neritan Ceka, Aleksander Meksi, Genc Pollo) changed careers and entered politics (Hodges 2014). After the first elections, the 1990s, bearing the bitter scars of communism, were exceedingly confusing and practically complicated for Albania's archaeologists. And yet the Institute of Archaeology has tenaciously held its place in Albanian society, and, under the leadership of the adroit Muzafer Korkuti (Hodges & Bejko 2006), and now Luan Përzhita, there has been a steadying direction that can be readily detected in this encyclopaedic volume arising from a conference held during the centenary celebrations of the Republic of Albania.
The Epirote port of Butrint (now in Albania) features significantly in the neo-Latin epic, the Carlias, by the Florentine Ugolino Verino (1438–1516). This poem was recast on the occasion of the invasion of Italy by Charles VIII of France, to encourage the young king to imitate his ancestor, Charlemagne, and undertake a crusade. This essay focuses upon the poetic description of Butrint in the light of recent excavations. It reconstructs the run-down character of this fortified Venetian town, as well as the material living conditions of its occupants in 1493. The essay considers how Verino's narrative was shaped by literary sources, rather than the actual circumstances of the port.
This short article considers the reuse of the Hellenistic period Dema Wall in the light of recent research at nearby Butrint, ancient Buthrotum, and proposes that the refurbishment coincides with the revival of the town at Butrint in the early eleventh century. The larger political context of this reinterpretation is briefly considered.
This article re-examines the topography of the late eighth-century monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno following a recent far-reaching reinterpretation of the ninth-century phases of the monastery. In particular, it proposes a hypothetical location for the monks' dormitory and a palace beside the river Volturno. As a result, it suggests the outlines of the first claustral plan for the monastery.
Researchers have previously assumed that common diving petrels (Pelecanoides urinatrix) have a limited sense of smell since they have relatively small olfactory bulbs. A recent study, however, showed that adult diving petrels prefer the scent of their own burrow compared to burrows of other diving petrels, implying that personal scents contribute to the burrow's odour signature. Because diving petrels appear to be adapted to use olfaction in social contexts, they could be a useful model for investigating how chemically mediated social recognition develops in birds. A first step is to determine whether diving petrel chicks can detect familiar and unfamiliar odours. We compared behavioural responses of chicks to three natural stimuli in a wind tunnel: soil collected from their burrow or colony, and a blank control. During portions of the experiment, chicks turned the least and walked the shortest distances in response to odours from the nest, which is consistent with their sedentary behaviour within the burrow. By contrast, behaviours linked to olfactory search increased when chicks were exposed to blank controls. These results suggest that common diving petrel chicks can detect natural olfactory stimuli before fledging, and lay the foundation for future studies on the role of olfaction in social contexts for this species.
Embedded piezoresistive microcantilever (EPM) sensors have been used in the detection of a variety of analyte species. EPM sensors utilize a tiny piezoresistive microcantilever partially embedded into a sensing material to produce a sensing element that is compact, simple, resistant to movement and shock, and suitable for remote sensing applications. In the current project, we have used sensing materials comprised of an immobilizing polymer functionalized with either target enzymes or antibodies to detect two biological agents, Bacillus subtilis and Diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP). DFP is used as a simulant for organophosphate nerve agents, while BG is a large bacterial spore used as a simulant for other bacterial spores such as bacillus anthracis. Sensing results are presented for both types of EPM sensors.