Hvar Archaeological Discovery: Amphora and Wine Vessels

Lauren Simmonds

As Morski writes on the 31st of October, 2020, on Saturday, an action was carried out to save an entire late antiquity-period amphora from the seabed close to the Paklinski islands near Hvar. In addition to the amphora, two other complete late antiquity wine vessels were found during the dive, marking yet another incredible Hvar archaeological discovery.

The amphora was found by Dr. Ivan Cvitkovic and Dr. Ante Zuljevic from the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries during field research on foreign species along the seabed as part of the BENTHIC NIS project, which is otherwise funded by the Croatian Science Foundation.

The wine amphorae are dated to the period between the 3rd and 5th centuries, and the inside is coated with resin because the pottery is porous and liquid would leak through the walls of the vessel.

The action was organised by Tea Katunaric Kirjakov, an underwater archaeologist and lecturer at the Academy of Arts, University of Split, with the assistance of Kantharos d.o.o from Hvar, specialising in archaeological research, surveillance, photographic and photogrammetric documentation.

”The team from the Institute has been monitoring [the area] for many years and they noticed that there are antiquity vessels down there. With the erosion of Posidonia, the discovery of an ancient amphora came to light. Upon examining the terrain, we found two more ancient wine vessels which were completely preserved. One is a table jug and the other is for straining wine. We also found a number of fragments of amphorae around.

Our goal was to check whether there is a complete amphora or shipwreck remains, however in this survey of the terrain, we haven’t yet been able to specify such a thing. It will be necessary to undertake another action and look at the deeper parts of the seabed to see whether the amphorae have rolled there,” Tea Katunaric Kirjakov told Morski.

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