Šćedro, the islet on the south side of the Croatian island of Hvar, has become one of the most important archeological sites on the Adriatic.
As many as two shipwrecks dating back to ancient times are currently being researched.
“These are two completely preserved shipwrecks, on which there are no traces of devastation and looting. Therefore, these are rare finds on the Adriatic and so important,” archaeologist Saša Denegri from the Conservation Department of the Ministry of Culture explains to HRT.
The older shipwreck, which was discovered in 2017, has meanwhile been explored and protected, and its location has become interesting to tourist divers and explorers. A discreet galvanised cage was placed on the find, through the windows of which the amphorae can be seen very well,” says archaeologist Tea Katunarić.
The amphora is very photogenic and stands in regular rows, as they stood in the bowels of the ship as it sailed. But these are not all the secrets that the island of Šćedro hides. Recently, local Marino Jakas discovered another shipwreck and informed archaeologists.
“I discovered it from fishing stories. Just from the stories of a trawler, whose net got stuck in a pile of amphorae,” says Marino.
“We just found another shipwreck. Also intact. It dates from the 3rd or 2nd century BC, which is also very rare in the Adriatic. Šćedro is now becoming a unique location, which has two preserved Roman underwater sites, says Katunarić.
Entire amphorae are very rarely seen, and such a site of an entire shipwreck is very, very rare. It’s really a real adventure to be a member of the team watching it. All dives where you see something that is two thousand years old is very impressive. That’s why we learn to dive,” says Piotr Stos, a diving instructor from Poland.
That is not all
An ancient table jug for serving wine and utensils for straining it was found during a dive by Pakleni Islands just off Hvar.
The wine amphorae are dated to the period between the 3rd and 5th centuries, and the inside is coated with resin to make it water-tight.
The amphora was found by Dr. Ivan Cvitković and Dr. Ante Žuljević from the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries during field research on foreign species in the seabed as part of the BENTHIC NIS project, funded by the Croatian Science Foundation.
The action to rescue the findings from the seabed was organized by Katunarić with the assistance of Kantharos d.o.o from Hvar who specialises in archaeological research, surveillance, photographic and photogrammetric documentation.
“The team from the Institute has been monitoring for many years and they noticed that there are antique dishes there. With the erosion of Posidonia, an ancient amphora that has been preserved came to light. Examining the terrain, we found two more ancient jugs completely preserved. One is a table jug and the other is for straining wine. We also found a number of fragments of amphorae around,” Katunarić told Morski.hr.