The project will be very intensive and consist of two parts – a practical working part and a study part. The practical working part, which will be at different parts of the site, will last six hours per day. In the evenings and during the weekend, educational and cultural activities will take place.
The project aims to rehabilitation, archaeological rescue excavation and documentation of damaged funerary structures in the North-Eastern area of the necropolis. Interventions for their conservation are indispensable.
The intervention will consist of the removal of soil caused by the clandestine digging activities, the opening of a survey of the archaeological structures and their documentation.
Due to the violation of the “Tomb of the Jew”, some of its blocks collapsed. During the project the vegetation will be removed, the harm will be cleaned up and the architectural elements will be returned by anastylosis to their original places.
The stone cist graves will be cleaned of soils and documented in order to enable their later conservation. Brick-structure tombs located within the “Tomb 107” will be conserved.
The final objective of the project is not simply the rehabilitation of the necropolis and interventions for the conservation and the protection of monumental graves. The entire process of interventions will be carried out in accordance to the ongoing musealisation of the necropolis. The monumental tombs shall be better accessible thus to became an attraction for the visitors of the Archaeological Park of Amantia. For this reason, besides the interventions in the monuments, paths to the tombs will be created. At the end of the interventions, the entire itinerary will be equipped with orientation and explanatory tables.
ACCOMMODATION: shared rooms with beds, warm showers, toilets
The meals will be prepared together as they are part of the community life, what means that every participant will be responsible for the meal at least once during its stay. So it would be very nice if the participants could bring typical recipes from home in order to introduce each other to the preparation of food from all over the world.
The ancient city of Amantia has been one of the most important cities of South Illyria and because of the historical, archaeological, architectural and environmental values it has been declared as a First Category Culture Monument and it is one of the National Archaeological Parks of Albania. The ancient city ruins of the fortification of the Acropolis, the Ancient Stadium, the Early Christian Basilica and the Temple of Aphrodite as well as remains of other buildings have been preserved.
The trait of Amantia and one of its most attractive elements is the necropolis, rich in monumental tombs, dating back to the late 4th century BC. The ancient tombs of the necropolis have a wide stretch and are scattered across many hills which are surrounding the ruins of the ancient city. Most of them are tombs of “archway type” or of the ”Macedonian type”. A special grave type is the circular tomb called “Tomb 107”. Another special type is a monumental tomb characterized by burial on a rectangular or quadratic platform on which a Π-shaped superstructure is raised, which has been identified solely in the necropolises of Amantia and Bylis. Three specimens of this type of tombs can be found here, among which the most representative is the so called “The Jew’s Tomb”.
Due to their monumental construction and rich inventory, these graves have become the object of theft, illegal excavations and vandalism, starting from antiquity to nowadays. One of the most sensational cases was the violation of “The Tomb of the Jew” by unidentified persons, while archaeologists of the Tirana Institute of Archaeology were excavating the tomb to document it. This episode caused the termination of the archaeological excavation project of this monument, leaving it in a damaged condition. Also, the monumental “Tomb 107” which has been excavated and documented contains structures of several tombs, which are being damaged due to their exposure to atmospheric elements and are in risk of breakdown. In the North-Eastern part of the Necropolis there are also some simple cist tombs clandestine excavated, whose structures risk being damaged.
The history of Open Houses Network dates back to the mid-1980s, when a group of young people started to restore village churches in East Germany in voluntary work to protect them from decay. The engagement for these buildings united people who enjoyed the freedom these activities provided and who filled these rooms with life again in ways which by far exceed the craftsmen’s work done – through exhibitions, concerts, making music together or just sitting by the camp fire.
Meanwhile, rooms free of political and ideological pressure are no longer urgently required; however, places have become rare where people can meet without commercial pressure, free of bureaucracy and institutionalism, free of nepotism and the exclusion which it produces. What should be easy – to go somewhere in order to meet people and to work together – has become difficult. The tightrope walk between, on the one hand, public activities in a monetary and functional sense, and the retreat into private life on the other, is very difficult, and it requires a lot of power and permanent efforts to tackle red tape and financial restrictions.
Free spaces are less and less understood as common property, and are permanently being cut back. The idea of public property seems to have gone out of fashion, and places of common responsible work have become rare.
Open Houses Network tries to create and protect such spaces. In this process, we do not want to be the do-ers, but be people who have a vision, who want to initiate something, but who also are aware of depending on the co-operation of others. We understand our projects and events as offers – as offers to create space for commitment, for changes, for meetings.
In accordance to the above described focus on heritage European Heritage Volunteers, a branch of Open Houses, organises Heritage Projects.
Heritage Projects combine practical work for the preservation or restoration of a cultural or natural heritage site with an extensive educational part that gives the theoretical background for the hands-on works and provides deeper heritage linked knowledge. Heritage Projects focus on traditional handcraft techniques, on the revitalisation of abandoned monuments, on the restoration of historical parks, on the maintenance of cultural landscapes or on other related topics.
Some of the Heritage Projects are organised in the framework of the World Heritage Volunteers initiative. The initiative was launched as a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to mobilise and involve young people and youth organisations in heritage preservation and promotion. Since 2008 more than 200 projects at more than 100 World Heritage Sites in more than 50 different countries worldwide have been organised, in which more than 3,500 volunteers from over 70 countries have taken part. The European projects of World Heritage Volunteers are coordinated by European Heritage Volunteers.
Furthermore, European Heritage Volunteers initiates, develops, supports and mentors European Heritage Volunteers Partner Projects which are organised by heritage linked non-profit organisations in other European countries.
Read more about Heritage Projects on www.heritagevolunteers.eu.
Motivation letter related to the project and CV + photo required