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The Backstage of a Cathedral: An Archaeological Study of the Episcopal Quarter of Byllis, Albania

Nicolas Beaudry, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Fellow 2016–2017, Spring

I prepared the monographic publication of the excavations I did in the late antique episcopal quarter of Byllis, Albania, from 2000 to 2012. I reviewed the latest literature on parallel sites of Albania, the western Balkans, and the wider early Byzantine world, and gained a better understanding of the economic functions of the episcopal quarter, and of their regional and historical context. While writing my research report, I focused on how the site may illustrate and contribute to the understanding of a number of processes at work in late antique cities. These processes were further explored in the context of a discussion on late antique cities organized by Paul Magdalino; they will feature in a paper, and I intend to further explore them in a new field project whose funding was confirmed recently.