Today, I can finally write more and share my video, which shows how the treasure was extracted by the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media.
I found the jug near the islet of Krava, a few minutes by boat from the port of Vis. Several thousand years ago an ancient Greek ship sank there. Even today at a depth of 35-37 m lie its remaining broken amphoras. It is one of the oldest known shipwrecks from this period in the entire Adriatic Sea. Archaeologists discovered and explored it several decades ago. It is quite a popular dive site, available for recreational divers. The condition is diving with one of the diving centres registered in Croatia and the participation of a suitably qualified guide.
The day I found this treasure, I was the guide of a group with the diving centre Nautica Vis. I dive on Krava regularly and I know the site very well and I like it a lot. We usually reach the wreck in about the 10th minute of the dive. So we only have about 10 minutes to explore before we have to swim further and surface a bit. This was also the case this time. So I was really lucky to spot and discover the jug, hidden among the broken amphorae, in a relatively short time.
Archaeologist Saša Denegri and Piotr Stós during the excavation of the artefact
How is it even possible that I have found something that other divers have not noticed before? After all, this wreck has been known and accessible for several decades. In addition, archaeologists have already examined it! Well, two things contributed to this. First, as I said before, I know this place very well, because I dive here regularly. So I know the location of the broken amphorae and I know where the fragments should lie and how everything should look.
That day I immediately realised that the position of the amphorae was slightly different and that some parts of the wreck had lost some sand. This could have been the result of the movement of large masses of water, for example as a result of a storm. Or it could also have been the action of fish digging in the bottom for food. Secondly, I regularly work with underwater archaeologists and I can distinguish amphora fragments from other pottery. They have a different clay colour, shape, thickness, and sometimes they are also overgrown with other marine organisms or some are not overgrown at all.
So then a slightly larger section of the wreck was exposed, and as I swam by, I noticed that there was something that looked like a fragment of a small ceramic vessel stuck in the sand between the amphorae. I was convinced that it was just a small fragment, like the one that I found a year earlier. However, when I gently cleaned it out of the sand, it turned out to be a whole ancient jug! I asked one of the divers to take a picture for the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media, and then I masked the find. I didn’t want it to be noticed by anyone who might take it before their expert arrived.
It took many weeks before something moved on, and the treasure waited under water all this time. After all, a month (or even several months) of waiting is not much, if the jug has been under water for more than 2000 years. When the phone from the Ministry rang, I found out that archaeologist Saša Denegri was coming to the site. It was a sign that we could start preparing the excavation of the artefact.
A few days later, together with Piotr Stós from the Nautica Vis diving centre, we organised an expedition. This is not the first ancient jug I found on Vis. Here You can read about the previous find in turn in this place you will learn more about our other discoveries.
Remember! If you find anything of archaeological interest underwater or on land, report it to the relevant authorities. Do not excavate. Leave the artefact on the spot, where it was discovered. Except if there is a possibility that someone might steal it or something might happen to it.
*The author of the text and film is Mariusz MilkaSEAmagination
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