The Excavation of the Prehistoric Burial Tumulus at Lofkënd, Albania
Publication Date: 2014
The burial tumulus of Lofkënd lies in one of the richest archaeological areas of Albania, ancient Illyria, home to a number of burial tumuli spanning the Bronze and Iron Ages of later prehistory. Some were robbed long ago, others reused for modern burials, and a few excavated under scientific conditions. Modern understanding of the pre- and protohistory of Illyria has largely been shaped by the contents of such burial mounds. What inspired its systematic exploration by UCLA was more than the promise of an unplundered necropolis; it was also the chance to revisit the significance of this tumulus and its fellows for the emergence of urbanism and complexity in ancient Illyria. In addition to artifacts, the recovery of surviving plant remains, bones, and other organic material contributed to insights into the environmental and ecological history of the region. The analysis of all the skeletal remains, inhumed and cremated, enhanced knowledge about the demography and human population in this region of Albania.