A young team of archaeologists from the island of Hvar, led by research leader Eduard Visković, last weekend presented to the Croatian public the extremely rich archaeological finds of the ancient necropolis discovered in the garden of Radošević Palace in June 2021 when the exhibition HOMO EX HUMO (Man from the Ground) opened in Loggia.
“When we started research at the location of the future City Library in 2020, at the initiative of the library director Nikla Barbarić and with the financial support of this city institution, we did not expect such spectacular results, all the more so as so far there have been no indications of the existence of another, southern necropolis in the area of the town of Hvar.
The first campaign lasted 20 working days with one small probe, 19 days we dug a clean embankment by hand without any special findings, to find one toe on the last day of the later documented grave number 14,” explained archaeologist Eduard Visković, also the author of the exhibition, whose company Kantharos d.o.o. led the entire project.
It was this discovery on the last day of the first campaign that resulted in the continuation of research in June 2021, which in the first days yielded a rich and well-preserved ancient cemetery located east of the Arsenal building dating from the second half of the 4th and first half of the 5th century.
An expert team composed of young Hvar archaeologists Joško Barbarić, Marko Bibić and Jure Tudor and dr. Sc. Tina Neuhauser Vitaljić and with the scientific assistance of dr. Sc. Marina Ugarković from the Institute of Archeology and Ph.D. Josip Baraka Perica from the Department of Archeology, University of Zadar, as well as field assistance from Zvone Gudelj and employees of the Heritage craft found and processed a total of 20 individual graves with osteological remains of 35 people.
In most of the graves, items of one or more ceramic jugs, glass bottles, coins and other small useful items such as sewing needles and a fishing hook were found.
Anthropological analysis of bone remains was performed by Dr. sc. Mario Novak and Mario Carić from the Institute of Anthropology, and the facial reconstruction by Dr. Fabio Cavalli from the Jaufré Rudel di studi medievali Academy in Italy, and the exhibition, along with classic museum exhibits and reconstructions of graves, is enriched with video material as well as three-dimensional displays that give a rough picture of the physical appearance of the ancient inhabitants of Hvar.
In addition to the findings found in the area of the southern ancient necropolis, the exhibition also presents material from archaeological research in the last twenty years from the area of the town of Hvar.
This discovery resonated with the world archeological public in June last year and became news both in local and international media, and the opening of the exhibition as one of the most important cultural events in Hvar this year aroused great interest among visitors.
“The abundance of diverse material led to new insights into local and regional late antique ceramic and glass production, as well as the then trade ties of Hvar with Greece, Asia Minor and North Africa. This site provides us, for now, with the most detailed insight into the funeral customs of the time, but also new knowledge about the development of the early urban matrix of the town of Hvar,” concluded Eduard Visković, who, along with the director Nikla Barbarić and the mayor Rikard Novak, thanked everyone who participated in the research and preparation of the exhibition at the opening.
The exhibition HOMO EX HUMO organised by Grad Hvar and the company Kantharos d.o.o. with the support of the Grad Hvar Tourist Board and the Split-Dalmatia County and in cooperation with the City Library and Reading Room Hvar and the Institute of Archeology will be open in the Loggia in Hvar until September 15, 2022.