During works for clearing the pipeline’s route, TAP uncovered the remains of an ancient settlement near the Turan village in Korce, Albania.
“According to the preliminary assessment undertaken by TAP Cultural Heritage experts, this is an open-air settlement spanning from the early Iron Age (10th – 9th centuries BC) to the late Roman period (4th – 6th centuries AD), as suggested by the wealth of ceramics recovered at the site,” said the message. “During the Middle Ages (XII – XV century) the site was used as a cemetery, overlying the original site.”
The TAP contractor immediately suspended works when the archaeological finds were observed, and the Archaeological Service Agency (ASA) was notified.
“The ASA representatives undertook an assessment of this chance find, then the National Council of Archaeology initiated a rescue excavation, currently undertaken by a team of professional archaeologists,” said the message. “The area is closed off and TAP construction works are expected to resume within one month, once the relevant institutions conclude their report.”
TAP is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union. The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.
The pipeline will connect to the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy’s south.
TAP will be 878 kilometers in length (Greece 550 kilometers, Albania 215 kilometers, Adriatic Sea 105 kilometers, and Italy 8 kilometers).