Located on the fertile coast of Epirus in present day Albania, Butrint (ancient name Buthrotum) was an important settlement in Hellenistic and Roman times due to its position on the route from Italy to mainland Greece down the Ionian Sea, its safe anchorage, inland access via Lake Butrint and its proximity to Corcyra (Corfu). Settled since the Bronze... [continue reading]
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A gate in the fortification walls of Butrint (modern Albania), 2nd century BCE. The lintel shows a lion devouring a bull carved in relief and was probably reused from an earlier 6th century BCE building. The gate was lowered in height in Roman times (c. 2nd century CE) to restrict access.
A gate entrance in the Hellenistic fortification walls of Butrint (modern Albania), 2nd century BCE. Constructed using large ashlar blocks with angled joins designed to minimise earthquake damage. Despite this precaution the large cracks on the left are the result of seismic damage.
A detail of the Hellenistic fortification walls of Butrint (modern Albania) employing large polygonal blocks. 2nd century BCE.
The inside steps descending to the 'lion gate' of Butrint, 2nd century BCE (modified 2nd century CE). The steep incline immediately after a fortification gate was an added defence to restrict access in case of attack.
Andrei Nacu & Steerpike
published on 26 April 2012
Map of the Roman Empire during 69AD, the Year of the Four Emperors. Coloured areas indicate provinces loyal to one of four warring generals.
A section of the Roman baths flooring at Butrint (modern Albania), 2nd century CE. The brick piles allowed for the circulation of warm air to heat the baths.
Remains of shop buildings in the roman forum at Butrint (modern Albania), 2nd century CE.
A segment of typical 2nd century CE Roman wall from Butrint (modern Albania). The wall is in the opus mixtum style which combined layers of opus testaceum (standard brick facing)with opus reticulatum (square-based pyramid blocks set in a diagonal pattern). Beyond its obvious decorative appeal the technique may also have allowed less-skilled labour to build more quickly.
Brick remains of the Roman stage buildings of the theatre of Butrint (modern Albania). The theatre was first constructed in the early 2nd century BCE and modified and enlarged in the 2nd century CE.