Pugliaindifesa Historical monuments Antiminist divers discover 3 c. shipwreck BC

Antiminist divers discover 3 c. shipwreck BC

Divers inspect an amphora field left after a shipwreck from the 3rd century BC.  off the coast of Croatia.  Photo by Sasha Denegri and Robert Kramaric.

Ancient 3rd century BC shipwreck was discovered by divers of the Croatian and Italian fleets during mine action exercises in the Adriatic. The wreckage, found more than 140 feet below the surface, carried a cargo of amphorae. Under the field of amphorae are the remains of an ancient ship. This is one of the earliest fully preserved shipwrecks ever found on the east coast of the Adriatic.

The Joint Mine Counting Training Mission took place in the sea water around Shchedro Island as no existing archaeological sites were mapped there, but the mine search provided an excellent opportunity to collaborate with the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media in seabed exploration. .

The event was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, the Department of Conservation in Split of the Ministry of Culture and Media and the University of Split. After determining the perimeter of the search, we started multilayer recording (scanning) of the bottom, by processing the received data, i.e. by reviewing the recorded material, several potential “contacts” (positions) that could represent archaeological sites (shipwrecks) were discovered. The target positions were then examined using an underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) equipped with a smaller sonar and camera, or joint teams of Croatian and Italian sappers dived immediately to determine the context of the finds. As a result of an inspection of one of these positions, completely preserved fragments of an ancient ship were discovered that have not yet been discovered.

Underwater archaeologists will return to the site to study its context and document the placement of cargo on the seabed. Once the wreck is fully registered, experts will develop a plan for its long-term protection and conservation.

Detail of an amphora field.  Photo by Sasha Denegri and Robert Kramaric.

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