The Neolithic in Albania
The Neolithic culture in Albania is very broad and has been studied intensively beginning from after World War II. "During the Neolithic Age (7000 to 3000 years BC) Albania's territory has been widely inhabited. This is proved by tens of settlements discovered, which were set up on fertile fields and terraces close to rivers and caves." (Cultural Heritage) "Excavations carried out at Maliq, Dunavec, and Vashtemi (Korce), at Kamnik (Kolonje) Cakran (Filer), and Kolsh (Kukes), and surface explorations at a number of sites in other parts of Albania [...] bear witness to a life of intense activity continuing throughout the Neolithic period even in the interior of the country. They show too, a degree of cultural development remarkable for the time, not confined with narrow bounds but having associations with contemporary civilizations both near and far. The territory of Albania was penetrated at this time by cultural elements from various sources, which influenced its Neolithic civilization."(Ancient Cambridge History 190) Because of its geographical location, in Albania during this period different elements from different cultures interconnected with each other forming a diversity of geographical groups that had a predominance towards "the Aegean and the Central Balkans or towards the Adriatic zone."(Cambridge Ancient History 191) "Some painted wares found in Dunavec, Cakran and Maliq, imported from Dimini culture in Thesaly (Greece), appear to be of a special value. They are the first proofs of exchange between our country and the most advanced civilisations of the southern and eastern Europe during the Neolithic Age."(Cultural Heritage)
Sites and Habitations:
"The territory of Albania, though having a predominantly mountainous relief, has been relatively very populated during the periods of the Neolithic and of the Eneolithic. In the surface of 28.000 km2 there have been found tens dwellings among which 27 are being excavated systematically." (Cultural Heritage)
"In this period, settlements are usually found on river banks (Dunavec and Maliq), on river terraces (Kolsh), on plains and plateaux surrounded by territory rich in game (Cakran, Vashtemi, Podgorie), on small elevations between raised banks, in conditions favourable to the arable and pastoral economy of the period (Cetush and Gradec in the region of Peshkopi). Late Neolithic period have also been found built on small hills which were not only endowed with natural defences but were also partially fortified with stone ramparts, as in the Kamnik settlements. Caves, which formerly provided the principal shelters for hunters and food-gathers, continue in use as dwellings in the Neolithic. Such are the caves of Velce (Vlore) and Tren (Korce).
Some pile-dwellings are known of this period also (Dunavec).
As far as we can ascertain, it seems that the most usual form of Neolithic habitation is built at ground level with one or more rooms." (Cambridge...