They are probably the descendants of the earliest Aryan immigrants, who were represented in historical times by the kindred Illyrians, Macedonians and Epirots; the Macedonians and Epirots are believed by Hahn to have formed the core of the pre-Hellenic Tyrrheno-Pelasgian population which inhabited the southern portion of the peninsula and extended its limits to Thrace and Italy.
It has afforded an attractive study to philologists, amongst whom may be mentioned Malte-Brun, Leake, Xylander, Hahn, Miklosich and G.
An alphabet of fifty-two letters, some presenting ancient Phoenician and Cretan forms, was found by Hahn in partial use at Elbassan and Tirana; its antiquity, however, has not been established.
"Cyclopean" structures were discovered by Hahn at Kretzunista, Arinista, and other sites in the district of Argyrokastro; the walls, partly "Cyclopean," of an ancient city (perhaps Bullis) are visible at Gradisti on the Viossa.
Von Hahn, Albanesische Studien (Jena, 1854), Reise durch die Gebiete des Drin and Vardar (Vienna, 1867); F.