Veliera Square Palms Damage Archeology and Violate Court Orders Render of Veliera Square.

For around 6 months, construction work has been progressing with high intensity from the morning to the late evening on the new Veliera Square in Durrës.

After the discovery of ancient walls, the persistence of citizens and archeologists forced the company that is executing the construction work not to completely destroy the age-old archeological heritage that was discovered.

On the left the location of an ancient grave. On the right a hole dug for a palm tree, with piece of ceramic visible. Source: Amfora.
On the left the location of an ancient grave. On the right a hole dug for a palm tree, with piece of ceramic visible. Source: Amfora.

Even though the foundations of the pillars were poured on top of the uncovered walls, graves were dumped into the sea, just like pieces of ceramic and cannonballs, and the entire surface of the ancient walls was covered in concrete, archeologists were able to complete a few archeological scans.

Today, the perimeter of archeological zone A is officially and legally “protected” through a series of verdict from the court of Durrës. But this has not prevented the construction firm from implementing the abusive project of the municipality, crossing the tape blocking off the area, and putting its spade in the archeologically rich underground.

According to one of the construction workers, “the holes that we’re opening are for the planting of palm trees and vary between 1–1.5 m in depth.” This seems rather deep, especially if we take into account that that depth was all that was needed to uncover the ancient city wall from the 5th–7th century CE, and several medieval graves.

As a result, the holes that have been opened within the protected zone, in which according to several court verdicts no construction work whatsoever is allowed, show ceramic shards, which may have been the result of the digging work.

According to the director of the archeological excavations, Dr. Asc. Eduard Shehi, the archeological scans have been completed. The archeologists are currently working on completing the documentation of their finds in order to present them to the National Council of Archeology, which will take a final decision.

From what we understand, the construction site is not under constant supervision of the archeologists, and as far as the guarantee offered by the courts in Durrës, that has been broken these days with the pickaxes and spades to plant some palm trees.

Previously published by Amfora.al.