Croatian media reported on the success of local researchers who discovered the wreck of an ancient ship with a cargo of amphorae. The vessel was located during joint naval operations between the navies of Croatia and Italy in the Adriatic Sea. The discovered site near Šćedro island was then examined by alerted archaeologists from the University of Split.
Everything was officially announced by the Croatian Ministry of Culture. The Croatian Navy and its Italian counterpart conducted joint exercises in the Adriatic Sea from June 15 to 21.
The navies of Croatia and Italy also conducted operations using scuba divers. The training included mine detection and the use of various types of equipment, including autonomous underwater vehicles – AUV and remotely operated robots – ROV.
Locations near Šćedro island were chosen based on data provided by scientific authorities. They reported on possible archaeological sites in the region, including unknown shipwrecks. As reported by the Ministry of Culture, this was an excellent opportunity to strengthen cooperation with other state administrations and scientific bodies.
All activities were carried out in cooperation with the Croatian Ministry of Defense and the University of Split, among others. Once the search area was defined, scanning of the bottom started. The obtained material was analyzed by researchers and several potential sites were selected. The specialists then conducted an inspection of each location using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or by sending teams of Croatian and Italian scuba divers to identify the site more closely.
Inspection of one of the sites led to the discovery of a previously unknown and fully preserved ancient wreck. The shipwreck, along with a cargo of amphorae, was located by the military at a depth of about 50 meters. Underwater archaeologists Saša Denegri and Tea Katunarić went to work at the site.
The scientists performed dives at the identified location and determined that the potential site is a well-preserved ancient shipwreck with a cargo of amphorae. Upon closer inspection, they also determined that the vessel dates back to the 3rd century BC. The discovery is interesting in that it is one of the earliest fully preserved shipwrecks on the eastern Adriatic coast.
According to information provided by the Croatian government in an official statement, further research is planned at the site. Based on these, specialists will determine the exact context, distribution and characteristics of the site. Based on the collected documentation, archaeologists will also determine, plans for its protection and conservation.
The waters of the Adriatic Sea near Šćedro Island surprise with another discovery every now and then. In the past, archaeologists have come across many wonderfully preserved wrecks from ancient times in them. Without a doubt, the Adriatic and Mediterranean region is one of the most interesting areas in terms of sunken artifacts from that period. The focus on scientific research and the increasing technological capabilities will certainly make it possible to learn much more about the secrets hidden on the seabed in the near future. Of course, you will read about everything on our website.
Photo: MORH/ S. Denegri, R. Kramarić, T. Katunarić-Kirjakov
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