The origin of the Albanians
has been for some time a matter of dispute among historians. Most historians conclude that the Albanians are descendants of populations of the prehistoric Balkans
, such as the Illyrians
. Little is known about these peoples, and they blended into one another in Thraco-Illyrian
contact zones even in antiquity.
The Albanians first appear in the historical record in Byzantine
sources of the late 11th century. At this point, they were already fully Christianized. Very little evidence of pre-Christian Albanian culture survives, although Albanian mythology and folklore are of Paleo-Balkanic
origin and almost all of their elements are pagan,Mircea Eliade
, Charles J. Adams, , Macmillan, 1987, ISBN 9780029097007, p. 179.
Regarding the classification of the Albanian language
, it forms a separate branch of Indo-European, first attested in the 15th century, apparently based on the wider Paleo-Balkans group
Studies in genetic anthropology show that the Albanians share the same ancestry as most other European peoples. "Mitochondrial DNA HV1 sequences and Y chromosome haplotypes (DYS19 STR and YAP) were characterized in an Albanian sample and compared with those of several other Indo-European populations from the European continent. No significant... Read More