Divers working as part of a joint training exercise between Croatian and Italian marine divers discovered one of the earliest fully preserved shipwrecks at the bottom of the eastern Adriatic Sea. The wreckage of an ancient ship was found near the southern coast of the island of Hvar, in the area of the archipelago of the island of Szcedra. The ship dates back to the 3rd century BC and contains a cargo of ancient amphorae.
Collaboration between Croatian and Italian divers led to the successful discovery of this ancient ship. Different types of equipment were used in the joint exercise, such as underwater autonomous vehicles and remotely operated submersibles. The first week of the exercise was dedicated to ROV and AUV clearance near the island of Ciovo, and the second week to diving exercises in the waters around the island of Hvar.
The success of the cross-border cooperation could attract other bodies besides the Croatian Ministry of Defense. The Department of Conservation of the Ministry of Culture and Media provided the military with information on existing and potential archaeological sites. Despite adverse weather conditions, the multilayer seafloor scanning operation was completed.
Several potential traces were identified and verified with an ROV equipped with sonar and a camera before Croatian and Italian sappers conducted a dive. One of these investigations led to the discovery of a previously unsuspected wreck.
Underwater archaeologists from the Ministry of Culture and Media Sasha Denegri and Thea Katunaric Kirjakov from the University of Split conducted dives at the specified location and confirmed that the wreck is fully preserved and dates back to the 3rd century B.C. It rests at a depth of 50 meters.
It is one of the earliest fully preserved shipwrecks on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea, considering the dating and preservation of the site. Plans for the protection, preservation and presentation of the site will be developed on the basis of the exact context, dimensions and characteristics of the site to be determined by future archaeological research.
I wonder who might have lost this ancient ship and what is inside? The history of the Adriatic Sea is rich with events involving trade and war, and many ships have been lost in its waters. Some researchers speculate that this ship may have been used to transport wine or oil that was produced on islands in the Adriatic Sea.
However, it is not yet clear what cargoes are inside this ancient ship. Some archaeologists speculate that it may have contained precious metals such as gold or silver, which were used in the trading operations of the time. Other researchers believe the ship may have contained other valuable goods such as pottery or glass.
Regardless of what is inside this ancient ship, its discovery opens up new possibilities for research into the history of the Adriatic Sea and its important role in trade and cultural exchange over the centuries.