Monday, July 13, 2015

The Shala Valley Project

The Shala Valley Project
Charles Watkinson, Mentor Mustafa, Michael L. Galaty, Antonia Young, Robert Schon, Wayne E. Lee, Ols Lafe,Zamir Tafilica
The Shala Valley Project (SVP) is an Albanian-American collaboration, led by Michael Galaty of Millsaps College in Jackson, MS and Albanian archaeologists Ols Lafe of the Albanian Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports and Zamir Tafilica of the Shkodra Historical Museum. The project was launched in 2004 and conducted fieldwork during the summers of 2005-2008. The SVP integrates interdisciplinary programs of intensive and extensive archaeological survey and excavation with geo-scientific, ethnographic, and (ethno) historical surveys, including archival historical research, in order to study the Shala fis ("tribe"), one of many northern Albanian fisi that survived intact into the 20th century and, to some extent, down to the present day. The goals of the project are twofold:
  • to produce a diachronic record of the valley's cultural resources, including both prehistoric and historic resources, that might help local administrators create a viable management plan
  • to study the effects of "isolation" on people who have always lived in a frontier zone at the edge of larger polities such as the Ottoman Empire and Albanian nation state
This digital archive was undertaken in conjunction with an electronic publication through the Linking Electronic Archives and Publications II (LEAP II) project, funded by the Mellon Foundation. The corresponding article is 'Fort, Tower, or House? Building a Landscape of Settlement in the Shala Valley of High Albania' by Michael L. Galaty, Wayne E. Lee, Charles Watkinson, Zamir Tafilica & Ols Lafe, which can be found in Internet Archaeology 27.

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