Light and Shadow: Isolation and Interaction in the Shala Valley of Northern Albania
Michael L. Galaty, Ols Lafe, Wayne E. Lee, and Zamir Tafilica
UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press (April, 2013)
Employing survey archaeology, excavation, ethnographic study, and multinational archival work, the Shala Valley Project uncovered the many powerful, creative ways whereby the men and women of Shala shaped their world: through dynamic, world-systemic relationships with the powers that surrounded but never fully conquered them. The Shala Valley Project presents the highlanders, the malësorë, in the full complexity of their lives, while also unveiling a new, deeper history for the region--a history that reaches back to an unexpected fortified Iron Age site.
Light and Shadow tells many stories. Archaeologists, historians, and students of tribes, of empires, of imperial-indigenous relations, of blood feud, of kinship, of the built landscape, of world-systems theory and sustainability science, and more, will find much here to digest. The people of Shala, to which Light and Shadow is dedicated, may serve as an example in our modern age, one in which persistent, tribal peoples still fight for their survival, and seek to preserve some degree of independence from capitalist economies bent on their incorporation.