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Home Archaeology projects Underwater archaeological survey of Zadar County seabed 2019

Home Archaeology projects Underwater archaeological survey of Zadar County seabed 2019

Underwater archaeological survey of Zadar County was conducted at 14 different locations throughout the Zadar archipelago. Archaeological research was conducted by the International Center for Underwater Archeology in Zadar (MCPA). The project manager was Roko Surić, the deputy was Luka Bekić, and Maja Kaleb, Mladen Pešić and Franka Trcera (MCPA) participated in the program.

Most of the sites for the survey were selected on the basis of reports from the local population, who identified material at certain positions that they suspected to be archaeological finds.

The survey was conducted by visual inspection, and at least two divers per location participated in the inspection. The most common depth of the survey was between 3 and 10 meters. The survey sought to identify any archaeological traces that could indicate the existence of an archaeological site in an area. The findings observed on the seabed were documented in situ, and typologically identifiable findings were taken for later analyzes

Amphora discovered at the bottom near the islet of V. Paranak
Submerged ancient port in Jankova bay on the island of Ugljan

This year's inspection revealed four new archeological sites. Preliminary analysis can characterize even three sites as ancient ports. These are the bays of Karanka and Mulina on the island of Sestrunj, which can be preliminary dated to the period from the 1st century BC. Kr. to the 1st century, and the site in Jankova uvala on the island of Ugljan, which can be dated to the period from the 2nd to the 5th century. The site in the bay Bok in Brbinj can be characterized as an anchorage. As part of the reconnaissance, a photogrammetric survey of the shipwreck in the seabed of the island of Vrgada was made, which will make it possible to make more detailed documentation of the site itself.

In addition to the visual inspection, as part of this program, a sounding excavation was conducted at the Lučina site in Brbinj. The purpose of this research was to establish what type of archaeological site it is. Based on the found archeological site, it can be assumed that it is a ballast pile from the post medieval period.

As part of the research, a practical workshop on underwater archeology was conducted with the participation of participants: Moussa Wele (Senegal), Eleonore Basnard (France), Sara Zaia (Italy) and Edgar Llordella Moreno (Spain). The participants, together with the staff of MCPA Zadar, carried out the usual activity in the form of underwater archaeologists going to the field at the request of local divers. During the workshop, the bay of Radnjača on the island of Vir was inspected, and the most significant finds from the Roman period were collected, while a large amount of tegula in the northern part of the coast was photo-documented in situ. The next three days of the workshop were spent by the student on Dugi otok, ie in the bay Lučina in Brbinj. Over the course of two days, participants participated in all methodological excavation activities; from setting up a metal mesh and collecting surface archaeological finds to working with a water pump and the so-called "Mammoth pumps" as in the documentation of the findings.

Ribbed Byzantine amphora from Bok Bay in Brbinj
Ballast pile at the Pod Narat site with marked trenches

This year's reconnaissance program has contributed to the overall knowledge of the archaeological potential hidden in the seabed of Zadar County. The importance of the continuity of such reviews is seen mostly through the prism of everyday threats that threaten underwater cultural heritage. With the increase in tourism, as well as diving and fishing activities, the probability that some localities will suffer a certain degree of devastation is also growing. It is precisely the long-term monitoring of known archaeological sites and the review of positions with greater archaeological potential that contributes to the protection and promotion of the archaeological treasures of Zadar County.

Underwater survey project conducted in Brbinj
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