The machine operator on site identified the object early on in the excavation process and works were immediately stopped. The project’s cultural heritage experts were called to investigate the archaeological discovery and the wider area. At the same time, the responsible government authorities were informed of the finding.
Initial investigation on site showed that the object was an isolated find, not part of a larger archaeological context. Nonetheless, the discovery offers new evidence on the region’s important role in the diffusion of Christian religion as well as Christian monuments in late antiquity.
TAP is very sensitive when it comes to protecting and preserving the cultural heritage of the areas along the pipeline route. Cultural heritage experts and archaeologists will be active throughout the entire pipeline construction period, monitoring works on the ground. Employees and contractors are informed and trained on steps to take in case of an archaeological chance find. This occurrence reinforces the efficiency and commitment of the entire organisation to protecting our host countries’ cultural heritage.
The column capital was consigned to the Albanian authorities for further examination as well as establishing a new home for the artefact to be displayed.