Gilles Touchais , Pétrika Léra , Cécile Oberweiler (Dir.), Sovjan : village préhistorique lacustre d’Albanie sud-orientale (RAFAL, 5), École française d’Athènes, 2024. ISBN : 978-2-86958-591-1.

The first volume in the final publication of the Franco-Albanian excavations led between 1993 and 2006 at the prehistoric lake-dwelling settlement of Sovjan, this work provides a general presentation of the site, its environment, and the main results of its exploration. It opens with a summary of the paleoenvironmental research carried out at the site, but also in the whole Korçë basin, in parallel with the archaeological excavations. Next comes a history of the Sovjan excavations, placed in the context of the history of Albanian archaeology since the mid-twentieth century. The core of this work is a detailed presentation of the occupation phases of the settlement, from the dawn of the Neolithic period to the first centuries of the Iron Age; the sequence, which covers nearly 6 millennia, is based on data from stratigraphy, architectural structures, artefacts, and on a series of absolute dates defined through radiocarbon dating, but also —for the final phase of the Early Bronze Age, to which the remains of well-preserved wooden constructions are associated— through dendrochronology. The final chapter aims to place the settlement of Sovjan in its local, regional and supra-regional context for each of the periods of its long occupation.

Gilles Touchais, a former member of the EFA, is Professor emeritus at the University of Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne, where he held the positions of lecturer (1990-1997) and then professor (2002-2012) of Aegean prehistory, as well as director of the Doctoral School of Archaeology (2005-2010). A specialist in the Neolithic and the Bronze Age periods in the Aegean-Balkan region, he has directed excavations in Greece (Dikili-Tash, Argos) and codirected the Franco-Albanian Archaeological Mission in the Korçë Basin from 1994 to 2015.

Petrika Lera is research director emeritus at the Archaeological Institute at Tirana, professor emeritus at the Fan Noli University of Korçë, former director of the National Archaeological Museum of Korçë (1985-2014) and former co-director of the Franco-Albanian Archaeological Mission in the Korçë Basin (2000-2017). He has discovered a number of prehistoric sites in the Korçë region and excavated several of them.

Cécile Oberweiler, a former member of the EFA, holds a PhD on Minoan metallurgy. She has been a field director at the Sovjan (2003- 2006) and the Kallamas (2008-2011) excavations before becoming the co-director of the Franco-Albanian Archaeological Mission in the Korçë Basin (2015-2019). From 2007 to 2014, she directed the PALM program (Archaeological Prospection of the Maliq Lake), which led to the discovery of new archaeological sites throughout the northern part of the Korçë Basin.