antigonea

The Ancient city of Antigonea

The Ancient city of Antigonea which has the status of the Archaeological Park lies on the east side of the Drinos Valley, near the modern day village of Saraqinishtë. The ruins of an extraordinary wall, which measures approximately 4 km in length, surround it.

Until recently the significance of the site was unknown. Excavations spanning the last fifty years, however have positively identified the site through the discovery of a bronze tesserae inscribed with the word “ANTIΓΩNEΩN”. Unearthed coins from many once powerful regional economies hints at the thriving trade that once fueled this civilization.

The historical origins of the city are unclear, but literary sources suggest that Antigonea was founded either by King Antigonos Gonatas of Macedonia, or, more probably, by the Molossian King Pyrrhus around 300 BCE. Several other prominent features grace the landscape of Antigonea. Near the central agora, an impressive stoa with a covered walkway measuring 9 x 59 meters has been excavated. An early-Christian basilica with a triangular design dating back to the 6th century CE boasts extensive mosaics depicting a variety of historical subjects.
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Saraqinishta

Saraqinishta (Albanian: Saraqinishtë) is a small village in the municipality of Antigone in the district of Gjirokastra in southern Albania. Saraqinishta lies 726 m above sea level. The village is located approximately 14 kilometers east of Gjirokastra in the hills below the Lunxhëria – mountain ridge , which culminates above the village in a 2156 meter high peak .