Hill-Fort Sites and Tumuli in the Shkodra Plain Region of Northern Albania: A Geospatial Perspective
Lambert, Dora Jane
AdvisorRodgers, John C., III
CommitteeGalaty, Michael L.
Ambinakudige, Shrinidhi S.
The objective of this research was to determine the environmental and social factors that led to the shift of settlement patterning from agro-pastoral in the late Neolithic to hill-fort sites at the turn of the Early Bronze Age and why burial mounds (tumuli) were erected further than anticipated from corresponding hill-fort sites in the Shkodra Plain region in Northern Albania. Geospatial techniques were used to examine 168 tumuli and seven hill-fort sites. These were mapped to examine visibility, viewshed, slope, and potential prehistoric networks. Based on the landscape visibility GIS results, it was found that hill-fort sites and tumuli were part of an social landscape that thrived on trade. It was determinable that the shift of the social landscape was related to Northern trade routes and probable changes in paleo-lake levels. This new evidence provides insight to Albanian prehistoric culture and has implications to related studies in the Balkans.