chapter  8
An ‘Ice Age settling on the Roman Empire’: Post-Roman Butrint between Strategy and Serendipity
Pages 36

Butrint, ancient Buthrotum, is situated 3 km from the Straits of Corfu on the Vivari Channel at the south end of Lake Butrint in Albania (Figure 8.1). With its fertile coastal niche extending 10 km into a mountainous valley and with access to legendary amounts of sh in Lake Butrint, it appears to t the stereotype of a Mediterranean coastal location dened by Horden and Purcell in their inuential Corrupting Sea (2000). But did the city of Butrint and its valley – connected to one of the main arteries of the Mediterranean – outlive

Figure 8.1 Butrint in its region

antiquity, to continue in the Middle and Later Byzantine eras largely unaltered as a community? Or did it experience signal changes in its urban character with the end of antiquity, involving urban disintegration and abandonment and, ultimately, with the tenth-century revival of Mediterranean trade, urban regeneration? anks to extensive surveys and large excavations providing a rare modern and sizeable sample of the changing topography of this ancient and medieval town, it is possible to evaluate in detail the architecture and material culture over the course of the immediate post-Roman phases.