February 17, 2020

The popular view of archaeology is that it is done and dusted on the ground, in the trench. Nothing is further from the truth. Analysing the results, then publishing these is the real labour – often as not a labour of love to entice those who enjoyed a summer in an exotic location to knuckle down and write.

Well, the Butrint Foundation had a bumper year in 2019. Four heavyweight volumes we...

September 2, 2019

Twenty five years since we crossed to begin our excavations at Butrint in Albania and had our excitement dashed by our Albanian colleagues who, to be fair, really could not grasp who we were. They were in shock at the end of Enver Hoxha’s regime and we were neo-liberals out-of-time.

In time, over nearly two decades, we prevailed, all together, thanks to the support of our donors - Jacob Ro...

April 2, 2018

I learnt of Dame Drue’s death aged 103 on Friday. I only knew her slightly, the head of a great literary foundation, with a scrutinizing eye and a gentle manner. She had a great reputation for her support of writers and a special interest in Italy as well as Scotland. Suffice it to say, her generous support for the Butrint Foundation and our work in Albania was quintessentially her.

 Excav...

August 25, 2017

Back in Albania for meetings about the future of Butrint and to see the excavations along the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project. Butrint is astonishing: between 3000 - 5000 visitors when I arrive. Quite astonishing. No less astonishing are the Abkons excavations along the pipeline. The quality of the excavations and recording of the two digs I saw – near Berat and near Korça – respectively,...

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