Kamenica Tumulus is located in the side of the Kamenica hills in the southern side of the Korçë Plain. The excavations showed that the Tumulus of Kamenica represents the largest burial monument of its kind in relation to 200 tumuli excavated in Albania and neighboring Balkan countries.
The central grave, which dates back to the Bronze Age (13th century BC) is surrounded by two large concentric circles unlike any other tumuli discovered in Albania. The tumulus grew to 40 graves in the Late Bronze Age (1200-1050 BC) and to 200 in the Early Iron Age(1050-750 BC). The tumulus grew further until the 7th century BC until it took an elliptical shape with dimensions of 70 m X 50 m. During the excavation campaign more than 400 graves, 440 skeletons, and 3,500 archaeological objects were found.
Looters heavily damaged the site during the 1997-1999 period following the 1997 rebellion in Albania, which was followed by an interdisciplinary work performed in the 2000-2002 period by the Albanian Institute of Archaeology, the Albanian Rescue Archaeology Unit, and the Museum of Korçë and aimed at excavation campaigns.
The museum is a portico style building, made of wood. It includes panels with the history of the excavation. Of particular interest is the illustration of the surgery of a male cranium, performed in the 6th century BC, which shows the advanced medical knowledge of the community that lived in the area at that time. The museum also includes two replica graves with the original remains.
Recently archaeologists have also found in one of the graves the skeleton of a pregnant woman and her unborn child dating to 3000 BC.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.