Pasman Venetian Wreck Surprises Investigating Archaeologists

Lauren Simmonds

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As Morski/More/HRT/Ana Marusic writes, back at the beginning of the sixties, just south of the island of Pasman, the wreck of a wooden Venetian ship was first discovered. After it was searched by many divers for various reasons, it finally had some proper scientific research put into it, which revealed a lot.

This Pasman Venetian wreck has revealed many surprises since being found. This is the wreck of a large merchant ship that once travelled the maritime route between Venice and the Orient during the late Renaissance. Back during the early 1960s, it was came upon by fishermen and local divers from the island of Murter, as reported by HRT.

Since such discoveries can’t remain a secret for very long, and illegal activities are usually organised faster than scientific ones, without a doubt the site was significantly depleted before the first official insights into its potential could begin. Despite all that, it remains an extremely rich old wreck, and the first legally extracted finds were discussed by several experts.

Although work has been done on the Pasman Venetian wreck since the second half of the 1960s, only during the last decade was systematic research actually properly carried out, which brought is new exciting insights.

”For a long time, we suspected that this site was still extremely valuable. Back in 2013, we started researching a part of the site that was thought to be the bow, as if the ship had sunk on its keel and only its lower part was preserved. We realised very quickly that the ship had actually sunk on its starboard side,” explained the head of this research, Irena Radic Rossi, PhD,.

”With enough funds, it would be possible to complete the research in a year or two, but there’s no talk of that yet. The work on the site could last ten years, if we’ll be able to finance it,” added Radic Rossi. Currently, there is money for research lasting a maximum of one month only.

”In addition to the Pasman Venetian wreck’s overall structure, which is fantastically preserved, which we’re gradually discovering, and thanks to which we’ll be able to reconstruct Venetian shipbuilding from the end of the sixteenth century – we also discovered some small finds that made us happy. We even found a seal of the Doge of Venice,” said Radic Rossi.

Such seals reveal whose goods traveled on this vessel, raw materials for the production of paints, previously unknown forms of glassware, and various small objects were also found, and they all speak about the ship, but also the cargo and the people it once transported all that time ago. Many experts have made a valuable contribution in the international team researching the Pasman Venetian wreck, including a well known Japanese expert in photogrammetry, who has been participating in such research for years.

”We don’t know much about Venetian shipbuilding, so this wreck is very important for us, in order to understand how they built vessels that carried them around the world and thus spread their power and brought wealth to the Republic of Venice,” said Kotaro Yamafune.

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