A team of Croatian marine archaeologists from the Istrian Archaeological Museum has discovered a sunken ancient pier from Roman times.
In the waters surrounding the Istrian peninsula, near Barbariga, marine archaeologists have discovered a submerged ancient pier. Preliminary examination of the site allowed them to determine that it dates back to Roman times. At the bottom, the researchers discovered and secured a number of artifacts that will provide a better understanding of the site’s history.
The sunken remains of the ancient structure measure about 56 meters in length and are between 16 and 24 meters wide. The pier also has an L-shaped section measuring 3.1 meters by 2.6 meters. It is preserved as three rows of stone blocks.
Croatian archaeologists have identified stone fragments of the wharf’s foundations. They now hope to allow them to determinesea level changes since ancient times. Underwater, near the sunken structure, the researchers also found a number of artifacts. Among them, large quantities of pottery, vessel fragments and amphorae, most of which date back to the first century. Their age correlates with the times when there was a port and a farm.
In ancient times, the region was famous as a center of oil production, which was then transported by merchant ships to the northern Adriatic coast. Archaeologists’ findings so far have allowed them to determine that the pier dates back to around the first century. The port was likely an extension of the olive oil press at Barbariga. It was here that the loading of goods was carried out before sailing the long journey.
We know from sources that twenty olive oil presses were at work on the site. Based on this, experts estimated that the olive crop must have occupied an area of up to 300 hectares in the surrounding fields. In turn, the entire complex may have covered an area of up to 900 hectares.
The archaeological work was conducted by the researchers as part of the “Istrian Undersea” project . The initiative aims to document underwater archaeological sites off the Croatian coast.
Photo: Archaeological Museum of Istria
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