The Ancient City of Olympus or Our Great Loss

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Different stories and realities in time. If you are looking for the number of archaeological expeditions after the 90s, it is zero. If you’re looking for writings or anything else about Olympus, it’s zero.

1. When Burhan Dautaj assembled the work team of archaeologists, he came down from the village with three different names on his page of history.

First name taken from his early age: Olympe. During the period of King Zog, a new census was undertaken to replace villages with Slavic names. Olympe appears in this list with number 52 – Mavravë – Fitore. It would be called Victory. Mavrovë is its Slavic name, where many villages in the province of Labëria were Slavized with names such as: Gumenicë, Drashovicë, Lepenicë, Brataj, Vodicë. Thus, this ancient city about 18 km from Aulona has been named since antiquity: with three names: Olympe, Mavrovo, Fitore. Currently, instead of choosing one of the two, either Olympe or Fitore, surprisingly young as a black shadow, the Slavic name still remains: Mavrovo.

2. Where were the excavations concentrated and what did they bring as a result Searches began at two points: writes Burhan Dautaj, the head of the expedition – inside the surrounding walls of the city at the southernmost tip of Rretun peak and in the necropolis.

From the northwest, it is interrupted by the pedestrian road that connects the neighborhood of Ymeraj with Cakallovaj, until it joins the tract at point C. slightly faded. In its facade, the transverse stones that reinforce the internal structure of the wall can be distinguished. Here the wall makes a right-angle turn, to climb up the western slope of the hill, it is interrupted by the pedestrian road that connects the neighborhood of Shahaj with Cakallovaj , to connect with the tract at point D. The tract with a length of 21 m, a height of 3.25 m and a width of 2.80 m has been preserved in relatively good condition, with the exception of its middle where there are cracks and erosion from the foundation. The wall is built of limestone and pumice stone blocks, partially made with trapezoidal and quadrangular faces that are hollowed out in their visible part. The blocks have the following dimensions: 0.62 x 0.46 m; 1.08 x 0.60 m; 1.60 x 0.60 m; 1 .80 x 0. 60 m. The rows are generally in straight lines with some scaling that was apparently imposed on the builders, also by the great slope of the terrain. Starting from the bottom in the third row, there are transverse stones placed at different distances that move from 2.85 to 3 m. The foundation raised from unworked blocks where the traces of their extraction from the quarry are clearly visible, is left as the soles with an exit 0. 15-0. 20 m from the wall. From the corner where the tract takes a turn from the east, the wall with a length of 23 m has undergone a reconstruction that goes all the way to the foundation. In the place with the toponymic name “Cezma e plaka”, the height of the wall according to the archaeologist, Burhan Dautaj, “reaches four rows of stones, while further it reaches the height of 6-7 rows.

3. Castle in Mavrovo village, cultural monument

The ancient city of Olympe is registered as a cultural monument: The castle in the village of Mavrovë, 1963. We found its walls 285 m above sea level. Below is the Shushica, which flows for about 85 km and flows into Vjosa. Next to it is the village of Lapardha. Down in Sirokëmbe there are fields up to the bridge in Sklap. There are centuries-old olive trees. From the 88s, I met the archaeologist Llambi Durolli in Mavrovo. From the village school we went down to the road. The lamp told me about the early settlement and its currency. In the course of Shushica there is also a settlement like Cerja about 60 km from the city of Aulona and it served more as a fortified center for the control of the roads that protected from the distance. Archaeologists say that an Illyrian population has lived right here since the Bronze Age. However, what attracted us more than the Mavrova castle. The road was improved from the center of the village to the Çakallovaj neighborhood where we encountered the first traces of the castle. The castle extends over a large area of ​​about 13 ha. Taken inside the Hoxhaj house. A local resident showed us the big stones. P. Hoxha. He is the only one left of the inhabitants who have come down to the city. The surrounding wall is overgrown with vegetation. The walls inside Hoxhaj’s apartment remained intact. The name Olympe, the city is thought to have taken from the daughter of King Pyrrhus, Olympias. This variant was first proposed by the archaeologist Hasan Ceka, Olympe was identified by the archaeologist Burhan Dautaj, who during the excavations carried out in the 1960s found eight coins with the inscription Olympiastan. Olympus reached its greatest development in the years 229-148 BC. with the issuance of coins, which were used only within the economy of this city. They had symbols similar to the coins of Apollonia, Amantia and Bylis. It is interesting that the ancient authors are silent about the presence of this city, which is found only in Stefan Byzantini, who mentions it in his work.

4. No visitors are known in this ancient city

There is almost a great oblivion. Permanent. And a definition. No visitor has set foot in this ancient city. Olympe is not included to visit. Olympe has not been cleared of vegetation for 50 years. It is not maintained and it is not known where the ancient city begins and ends. There is no guide. There is no record of the number of visitors over the years. Apart from the surrounding wall of the city, the necropolis and other archaeological discoveries have been erased and disappeared from the map. If you have to search the necropolis, you will find only 5-6 stones and a sign of a former pit. If you’re looking for the number of visitors, it’s 0. If you’re looking for the number of archaeological expeditions after the 90s, it’s 0. If you’re looking for writings or something about Olympus, it’s 0.

If you are looking for interest in this archaeological area, it is zero!

Simplifying the question: Do you know who the ancient city of Olympia is? Its surface is 13 ha. “Rethuni Castle” is the surrounding wall of the ancient town. Burhan Dautaj, during excavations in the 1960s, found eight coins with the Olympiastan inscription. One of these is Olympia, another city of Koinon Amantia, the ruins of which are located in today’s village of Mavrovo, on the right side of the river Shushica, where the river flows. A fortified town with a focus on the course of the Shushica River, as well as the early but contemporary settlement of Cerja in Smokthina. Archaeologist: S. Anamali: The evidence brought by Ugolini that there are no other ancient ruins in the vicinity of Ploce, cannot be used as an argument today; in the years after the liberation, the remains of three other fortified cities were discovered around Ploce, contemporary with that of Ploce, namely in Matohasanai to the east of Ploce, in the valley of Vjosa, in Cerje (Brataj) in the south and in Mavrove, in the west , both in the valley of Shushica…

This is the city Olympe or “our great loss”.

GËZIM LLOJDIA

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