Butrint, in southern Albania, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was originally excavated by an Italian mission under Luigi Ugolini in the 1930’s and the Albanian Institute of Archaeology. Since 1993 an Anglo-Albanian archaeological mission has been working at the site.
Butrint is in many ways a microcosm of the history of Adriatic and Ionian seas with appearances by every major historical player from the Illyrians and Greeks to the Venetians, Turks and Napoleonic French. The project has focused on elucidating the transition from classical antiquity into the middle ages excavating a large late antique domestic residence, the colonial suburb of the city and an extra-urban villa complex that ultimately evolved into a small monastic complex.
More than this though, the Butrint project has been the proving ground for a new generation of Albanian archaeologists and the centre of a recently created national park tying the archaeology to the needs of a developing European country.