Category Archives: CROATIA

Roman Mosaic Found Under Street of Hvar in Croatia

Roman Mosaic Found Under Street of Hvar in Croatia

In the Old Town on the Adriatic island of Hvar, Croatia, a Roman mosaic was unearthed beneath a narrow street. The elaborate geometric mosaic floor dates to the 2nd century A.D. and was part of a luxurious Roman villa Urbana.

The site was uncovered in 1923 to construct a canal for rainfall drainage, and the villa’s remnants were discovered two feet below street level.

To safeguard the findings from water intrusion, they were finally covered with slabs and reburied.

The installation of the water drainage system was not completed after the 1923 excavation and increasing problems with penetration from ambient moisture and rising sea levels threaten the survival of the ancient remains of Roman Pharia in Hvar’s historic Old Town.

In the Old Town on the Adriatic island of Hvar, Croatia, a Roman mosaic was unearthed beneath a narrow street.

Residents would like to see the mosaic remain in situ, covered with plexiglass so it can be protected and enjoyed at the same time, but the sea has risen by a foot and a half since the mosaic was created and the street is no longer dry land.

The new water pipe installation is still happening too, and they will be just a few inches above the mosaic.

Work on the opening of the mosaic is carried out on behalf of the Old Town Museum by Dr. Sara Popović and archaeologist Andrea Devlahović.

Archaeologists are presently digging 14 additional sites near the mosaic site in search of further fragments from the villa Urbana, other mosaics, and any archaeological evidence that might identify the structure, or at the very least characterize it as a public or private facility. Officials will have a clearer sense of what to do next after the excavations are finished.

The Museum of the Old Town’s archaeologists has recommended raising the mosaic and transporting it to the museum for long-term conservation and future exhibition.

They’ll replace it with a replica that can be walked on without damage. That proposed solution has to be approved by conservators and heritage officials from Split.

The island was conquered by Rome in the 3rd century BC. Pharos became Pharia, the plain was renamed Ager Pharensis.

At the beginning of the 8th century, the island was penetrated by the Slavs, who took the ancient name for the town and island – Hvar.

The name of Hvar Island comes from the ancient names for today’s Stari Grad – Pharos and Pharia. In the Middle Ages, the name was slavicized to Huarra. With the relocation of the diocese, the name also moved and the old seat became Stari Hvar, and then Stari Grad.

The historic town center of Stari Grad and the cultural landscape of the Stari Grad Plain was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008.

Remarkable ‘Sewn’ Roman Shipwreck is Croatia’s Biggest Find of 21st Century

Remarkable ‘Sewn’ Roman Shipwreck is Croatia’s Biggest Find of 21st Century

The remarkably well-preserved wreck of a 2,000-year-old Ancient Roman ‘sewn ship’ that was stitched together using ropes and wooden nails has been found in Croatia.

The remarkably well-preserved wreck of a 2,000-year-old Ancient Roman ‘sewn ship’ that was stitched together using ropes and wooden nails, pictured, has been found in Croatia

The vessel was unearthed from the Porta de Mar archaeological site on the ancient waterfront of the town of Poreč, where it had sunk near an ancient pier.

Two thousand years ago, Poreč was part of the Roman province of Dalmatia and the town’s shielded harbour made it ideal for both defence and maritime trade.

Experts are calling the ship Croatia’s greatest archaeological discovery of the century — one that is shining light on ancient ship-building practices.

Found embedded in the mud, the 16 feet (5 metres) -long and 5.6 feet (1.7 meters) wide wreck of the sailboat retained many of its original timbers.

The vessel was unearthed from the Porta de Mar archaeological site on the ancient waterfront of the town of Poreč, where it had sunk near an ancient pier

‘It was well preserved because it was at a certain depth in the soil and could not be penetrated by oxygen,’ archaeologist Klaudia Bartolić Sirotić told Croatia Week.

Much of the ship’s ‘formwork, ribs, and keel’ have survived, Ms Bartolić Sirotić told — and the researchers were able to observe the imprint that the rest of the vessel had left in the mud to determine the type of ship it was.

The team believe that the vessel had a single sail — and was likely a small private fishing boat. 

So-called ‘sewn ships’ are characteristic of the boatwrights of the northern Adriatic back in the first century AD — and featured planks in the outer hull that were essentially stitched together, using ropes and wooden nails known as ‘spots’.

‘Every stitch that is made is recorded [in the wreck],’ Ms Bartolić Sirotić told Croatia Week.

Large wooden nails were then used to attach the outer hull to the inner frame.

The Porta de Mar find is not unique to Croatia — however, most of the sewn ships from the country date back to earlier periods and were unearthed by marine archaeologists underwater, making them much harder to study.

‘This specimen from Poreč is one of three boats found on land that are not part of an underwater archaeological survey,’ Ms Bartolić Sirotić added. 

The vessel was unearthed as a result of a redevelopment project that will see the Poreč renovated and made more pedestrian-friendly.

The vessel was unearthed as a result of a redevelopment project that will see the Poreč renovated and made more pedestrian-friendly

In the meantime, the archaeologists are working to complete their study of the boat where it was found, before the remains are removed and conserved with a mind towards being displayed to the public at the  Poreč museum. 

2,400 Years Old: Greek Helmet Found Buried Next to ‘elite warrior’

2,400 Years Old: Greek Helmet Found Buried Next to ‘elite warrior’

Greek Helmet: An archaeological team working at the Illyrian Cave Sanctuary in Nakovana, under the leadership of the Project Coordinator, Dr. of the Archaeological Department of the University of Zagradeb, Southern Dalmatia in Croatia. Hervoege Potrebica reveals Greek- 4th century BCE. According to with pieces of Illyrian war helmets still inside.

It is one of about forty helmets present in the world and is extremely rare. The design of the helmet was open-faced and probably originated in the Peloponnese in ancient Greece around the 8th century BCE.

They were worn by the Etruscan and Scythian tribes of ancient Greece for centuries until the 5th century BCE and for Illyrians by the 4th century BCE, a lesser known tribe.

Along with the helmet were weapons such as spears and knives made of iron, a bronze bracelet, bronze tweezers, fifteen bronze and silver amulets with the remains of a woman called a fibula, a dozen needles, about thirty luxury-quality Greeks. vases and hundreds of glasses. And amber beads.

The tomb was built on the edge of a mountain inhabited by the Zakototec, located on the Peljesac peninsula, in southern Delmatia, southern Croatia.

Unfortunately, the man’s skeleton was presumably in poor condition as the tomb was torn down which may have led one to wonder that other beautiful treasures had been lost.

The tomb cut from solid rock, which was a rectangle about ten feet down, about six and a half feet.

It was found in 2022 when a reconnaissance team from the Center for Prehistoric Research was dispatched to find areas of potential archaeological interest in and around the sanctuary, which originally housed the research consultant of the Institute for Anthropological Research and Research Institute. Stasso was discovered by Förenbahr. Assistant Professor at Zagreb University in Croatia.

Dr. Förnbahr has discovered ritual areas that date from the 4th to 1st century BCE containing fine quality pottery. Using modern research techniques, the team is able to discover both flat and mound tombs hidden in rocky landscapes. It was the restoration of one of these burial mounds that revealed the warrior’s grave goods.

More tomb mounds were found around the village of Zakotorak where archaeologists hope to find more evidence of burials and perhaps an ancient religious shrine when Kovid-19 is relaxed.

In 2022, archaeologists at the University of Warsaw’s Southeastern Europe Research Center in Poland discovered the first known Illyrian castle complex in the small neighboring country of Montenegro while excavating the city of Ronzon.

A Greek-Ilerian helmet was discovered where a fragment of a vase of Greek origin was found in the tomb.

According to, the palaces were built in the 3rd century BC and may have been the residence of Queen Tuta the Inaccessible and later King Ballios.

The architecture was completely unique, one made up of a palace, built in 260BC, and the other after 250BC by two different kings who used palaces. Very little is known about Bailayos but enough coins stamped on his image show that he was a powerful ruler from 167BC to 135BC.

The discovery of his palace also helps researchers to put their line of succession in the correct order. The previous resident, Rani Tuta, ruled for her newborn child as queen from 231BC to 227BC.

The palace was then attacked and destroyed, another was built much larger, with a kitchen and banquet hall, a mosaic floor that was built using pebbles and molded door frames around wooden doors.

A formidable ruler, he also took the giants of Rome but was forced to surrender in 227BC. Montenegro still honors him with images on the current currency and sculptures in the city.

The oldest palace was a large room with a chimney surrounded by several marble columns, where archaeologists found thirty coins, possibly a religious offering. Storage rooms for amphora, large vessels used to transport wine and food items, were also found.

Ancient Necropolis Discovered in 17th-Century Croatian Palace’s Garden

Ancient Necropolis Discovered in 17th-Century Croatian Palace’s Garden

Archaeologists on the Croatian island of Hvar have unearthed an ancient necropolis, or vast burial ground, dated to between the fourth and fifth centuries A.D.

An individual buried in an amphora on the Croatian island of Hvar

As local news outlet Croatia Week reports, the team found the burial ground in the front garden of the Radošević Palace, a 17th-century Baroque building on the western end of the island.

Archaeological consulting company Kantharos spearheaded the dig and has spent the past two months examining the site ahead of construction of a new library and reading room.

According to a statement, the researchers discovered 20 graves containing the skeletal remains of 32 people in an area spanning some 700 square feet.

They also found a fragment of a stone wall dated to the second century A.D. and a city gate dated to the late fifth century. Other highlights included amphorae (jars used mainly for transporting wine and olive oil), ceramic jugs and lamps, glass bottles and containers, and coins.

These discoveries, says Kantharos in the statement, per Google Translate, have prompted researchers to call the palace “the most important and richest site” on Hvar.

Researchers have dubbed the Baroque Radošević Palace “the most important and richest site” on Hvar.

Per Encyclopedia Britannica, Hvar has been inhabited continuously since the early Neolithic period. Greek settlers founded colonies on the island in 385 B.C., but by 219 B.C., the Romans had seized control of the area. Slavic groups fleeing the European mainland arrived on Hvar in the seventh century A.D.

Built between 1670 and 1688, the palace itself served as the local seat of the wealthy Radošević family, wrote scholar Ambroz Tudor, who was part of the Kantharos team, in a 2022 study.

Its accentuated balconies and “lavishly decorated façade openings” make the estate a stunning example of Baroque architecture, Tudor added.

Inside the newly excavated necropolis, experts found burials ranging from simple structures to elaborate tombs outfitted with roof tiles, writes Jesse Holth for ARTnews. Per the statement, the remains were exceptionally well preserved, with some of the skeletons interred in large jars alongside grave goods.

This unusual funerary ritual appears regularly in the archaeological record, but scholars remain unsure of the practice’s purpose. Reporting on a similar find made on the Mediterranean island of Corsica earlier this year, Amanda Morrow of Radio France Internationale (RFI) noted that such burials were generally reserved for infants or children.

A vessel found at the excavation site

“You might go to the practical thing and say that the bodies were so fragile, [maybe] they felt the need to protect it from the environment, even though it is dead,” Yoav Arbel, an archaeologist who was part of a team that discovered a baby buried in a jar in the Israeli city of Jaffa, told Live Science’s Laura Geggel last December.

“But there’s always the interpretation that the jar is almost like a womb, so basically the idea is to return [the] baby back into Mother Earth, or into the symbolic protection of his mother.”

As Croatian news outlet Dalmacija Danas notes, one of the last finds made during the dig was the second-century wall, which was hidden at the deepest layers of the site.

Though Kantharos plans to conduct additional research to learn more about local funerary customs, the statement notes that the preliminary findings offer new insights on ceramic production and trade networks.

Researchers have previously made similar finds in the region. In 2022, for instance, archaeologists unearthed a Roman necropolis containing at least 18 graves in the Croatian harbor town of Trogir. And last year, a separate team discovered two well-preserved, 2,000-year-old shipwrecks containing amphorae and pottery off the coast of Hvar.