An Albanian-French archaeological dig in the Byzantine Forum of Durres has yielded a fascinating find, believed to be a bronze statue of the goddess Artemis.
The discovery was made by a team of French and Albanian archaeologists this week.
“The object needs cleaning, treatment and conservation but it is clear we are dealing with a female character. In terms of the features and clothing, she could be the goddess Artemis, which link to the famous sanctuary of Durres for which there are ongoing study projects,” French archaeologist Catherine Abadie Reynal told Euronews.
There were another two fascinating findings at the site, discovered in recent days.
“We have managed to capture the levels of the Roman period, more specifically there are two layers of dwelling from the II and III century AD. Both apartments were destroyed as a result of massive fires, and you can clearly see traces of burns that have destroyed the apartments. Frightened by the flames, the residents could not take the objects of daily use with them” said Reynal.
The excavations resumed recently after two years of interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It first started in 2012 and its aim is to better understand the history of ancient Durres.
The forum was the historic centre of the ancient city of Dyrrhachium and once housed a market but also possibly a statue in the centre with other activities held within it. It is considered one of the best examples of Late Roman and Early Byzantine monuments in the country and strongly resembles Constantine’s curved forum in Constantinople which was sadly destroyed in 1204.
It is also known as the Byzantine Market.