The ancient walled town of Butrint sits at the crossroads of the Mediterranean. In its heyday it could command sea-routes up the Adriatic Sea to the north, across the Mediterranean to the west, and south through the Ionian islands. It also controlled a land-route into the mountainous Balkan interior. For much of its long history it occupied a hill on a bend in the Vivari Channel, which connects the Straits to the large inland lagoon of Lake Butrint. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992, Butrint covers an area of around. 16 ha, but geophysical survey has shown that at times it was almost twice this size. The site itself is made up of two parts: the acropolis and the lower city. The acropolis is a long narrow hill, whose sides are accentuated by a circuit of walls that separate it from the natural and artificial terraces gathered around the flanks of the hill. The lower city occupies the lower-lying contours down to the edge of the Vivari Channel. This book brings to life this extraordinary Byzantine town, with chapters on the historical sources, various aspects of the archaeological excavation and survey, finds of pottery and environmental remains.
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