The archaeological work began in 1994 as a collaborative project between the Albanian Institute of Archaeology and the Butrint Foundation. The project has been under the joint scientific directorship of Professor Richard Hodges of the Institute of World Archaeology (University of East Anglia) and Dr. Ilir Gjipali of the Albanian Institute of Archaeology. Its purpose has been the investigation of the Roman, late-antique and medieval phases of the town’s history, through a combination of excavation, field survey, geophysical survey and recording of standing remains.
One of the school’s most important purposes has been the training of Albanian and International Students. Past participants have come from Japan, Turkey, Holland, Germany, The United States, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Kosovo, Croatia, Italy, Macedonia and Albania. The first season of the Butrint Training School occurred in 2000 and the project has continued until today. More than 500 undergraduate and graduate students have been trained in Butrint. From 2008 the training school was organized by the Albanian Heritage Foundation in collaboration with Albanian state institution.