Ancient Illyrian rulers’ palaces discovered in Montenegro
TIRANA, Aug. – Polish archaeologists have discovered remnants of two royal palaces in neighboring Montenegro, who they believe could be the first known palaces of two distinguished rulers of Illyrians, the Albanians’ predecessors. The palaces which date back to more than 2,000 years belong to King Bardhyl and Queen Teuta, two IV and III century BC rulers of Illyria whose territory stretched from the northern Adriatic down to present-day Albania.
Bardhyl was a IV century B.C king and probably the founder of the Dardanian Kingdom stretching over Upper Macedonia, who during his reign managed to make the Dardania one of the most powerful Illyrian states.
Teuta, the Illyrian queen who reigned from present day Lezha (ancient Lissos), was allowed by the Romans to retain her throne in the Shkodra-Lezha region after surrendering in 227 BC.
Today, many Albanian men and women bear the name of Bardhyl and Teuta in their honor.
“This is a great and cardinal discovery, which abruptly expands knowledge about the functioning of royal power in Illyria,” Prof. Piotr Dyczek told Science in Poland portal.
“All the data we have obtained indicate that we have discovered a Hellenistic palace complex of the rulers of Rhizon. These are the first structures of this type uncovered in the area of Illyria, which could belong to King Ballaios [Bardhyl] and Teuta. Until now we did not even know whether such structures existed,” said Prof. Dyczek who led the research by the Antiquity of Southeastern Europe Research Center of the University of Warsaw.
Archaeologists have found evidence the building was burned down during a violent attack.
Polish researchers say the Palace building was unfortunately destroyed and looted in ancient times, and the surviving remnants of walls razed to the ground in the early twentieth century when a sawmill was built in this part of Rhizon, an ancient settlement located near today’s Risan in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro.
Polish archaeologists of the University of Warsaw have also been conducting excavations in the northern Albanian region of Shkodra in the past six years, discovering medieval burials, Hellenistic buildings, vessels from the Roman period as well as Turkish baths.
Albanians are considered direct descendants of the ancient Illyrians.
Albanian is a language of the extensive Indo-European family showing no particularly close historical affinity to any other language or language group within the family.