PAVILION OF ANTIQUITY
The Pavilion of Antiquity is located on the ground floor of the National Historical Museum. It is one of the most important pavilions and richest of artifacts. The represented objects start with the Late Palaeolithic period, where prehistoric culture is clearly evidenced in Albanian lands. Way of life is presented at settlement of Tren (cave of Korça), palafitte construction of Maliq (Korça) and close to agricultural soils. Among the collections of objects of Late Neolithic period are distinguished those of prehistoric dwelling of Maliq. In one of the pavilion’s showcases is found the collection of prehistoric pottery (painted ceramics discovered in Maliq and Kamnik of Kolonja city).
The objects displayed in other showcases belonging to the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. The features of the Illyrian people are formed during this period. Through showcase of Iron Age objects (1.100-500 BC), visitors create an accurate picture of the Illyrian ethnic consolidation. Cultural aspects appear better on women’s ornaments and weapons found in tumulus graves discovered in the middle valley of Mati, indicating that the Illyrian inhabitants were masters with high artistic level. “Devollian ware” discovered in the upper valley of Devolli river was widespread in Epirus, Macedonia, Thessaly up in southern Italy. The foundation of Greek colonies in 8th – 6th century BC, as Corcyra, Dyrrah and Apollonia affected the growth and development of the trade with Hellenic world and the influence of Hellenic culture in the territories of Illyria.
In the second hall of the pavilion, are exposed objects discovered in the provinces of Southern Illyria of the 4th – 3rd century BC. These objects testify Illyrian urban culture, which is developed in parallel with other Mediterranean cultures of the ancient period. Some of the objects clearly show the development of cities and Illyrian state. Illyrian cities turned into large trade centers and handicraft, minted their own coins and flourished art and culture. Sculptures from the school of Apollonia as “God Apollo” (4th century BC), are the most beautiful sculptures of the time. Objects of interest are: the mosaic “Beauty of Durrës” (4th century BC), personification of Vjosa river (3rd century BC), head of Artemis (4th – 3rd century BC), portrait of a man in limestone (5th century AD) and the objects of the Monumental Tomb, Pogradec (3rd century BC).
In the Pavilion of Antiquity are also exposed objects belonging to the Early Middle Ages. Particular interests represent the objects of “Koman Culture” (Puka city). Inventory of discovered objects and the type of Koman’s graves indicates a clear resemblance to Illyrian culture. Koman culture testifies the continuity of Illyrian-Arbëresh reflected in artifacts, toponymy and ethnographic objects. Therefore, the Arbër people were descendants of Illyrian population during medieval period.