Konispol Cave

Shpella e Kërçmoit

Useful Information

Location: North of the village Konispol.
(39.672762, 20.173370)
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: none
Dimension: A=400 m asl.
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: Karl M. Petruso, Muzafer Korkuti, Lorenc Bejko, Sytze Bottema, Brooks B. Ellwood, Julie M. Hansen, Francis B. Harrold, Nerissa Russell (1996): Konispol Cave, Albania: A Preliminary Report on Excavations and Related Studies, 1992-1994, Iliria, the journal of the Archaeological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Albania, vol. 26, nos. 1-2 (1996), pp. 183-224] online version,
Joseph Schuldenrein (1998): Konispol Cave, southern Albania, and correlations with other Aegean caves occupied in the Late Quaternary Geoarchaeology, Volume 13, Issue 5, Pages 501-526, ISSN 1520-6548. pdf
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1992 cave excavated.
1994 cave excavated.


Konispol Cave is a small karst cave near the village Konispol just north of the Greek border, known locally as Shpella e Kërçmoit. It is a really famous archaeological excavation site. Located on the south facing slopes of the Pindus range in southern Albania, its main entrance faces the southwest. It is shielded from the cold north winds and offers a great view of the plain below and the strait and island of Corfu, both was probably relevant that it has been occupied since the Mesolithic. Excavations since 1992 revealed nine layers with human remains, each representing a distinct period of occupation.

Until 1990 the knowledge about the Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods in Albania was very limited. Some work had been done by German archaeologists before World War II, but the results and the excavation sites are lost. Albania has not been accessible during the cold war for western archaeologists. This changed around 1990, and during the last 15 years numerous excavations have been made.

Located at the border to Greece, a new border crossing has been built in the last years near Konispol. The road on the Greek side is paved, and the road on the Albanian side is in construction. So it is rather easy to reach the site. However, it is necessary to walk to the cave entrance from the outskirts of the village. Unfortunately we could not find detailed information about the accessibility of the cave. We have read comments which made us believe it is open to the public, but we can not provide any further help. However, if it is accessible, please respect the archaological importance and do not change anything in the cave or disturb the cave sediments and excavation sites.