Incredible Archaeological Find Near Cape Kamenjak in Istria

Lauren Simmonds

cape kamenjak

July the 8th, 2024 – Croatia abounds in countless archaeological discoveries, and the most recent one near Cape Kamenjak in the waters of southern Istria is another impressive find to add to the list.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as boats bob up and down in the gentle Adriatic waves of Premantura’s waters, one can only imagine just how many remains of ancient ships the seabed deep down below truly hides. In a recently discovered ship from the end of the 16th century, archaeologists came upon some precious cargo for that time – extremely rare and expensive bronze trumpets.

“The trumpets were being transported in pieces. We can see that when looking at the number of these parts, and we know that there were more than ten of them. There are only less than 10 trumpets from the 16th century in well-known museums across the entire world,” said Professor Luka Bekić PhD from the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology, Zadar when discussing the topic with HRT.

Owing to these recent finds in the waters around Cape Kamenjak, Croatia will now boast the largest collection of such trumpets in the whole world. They’re even more of a rarity because only these were produced in Leiden, the Netherlands. There were also beads and ceramic vessels found. The ship in question was probably transporting grain for an endlessly hungry Venetian Empire, but it sank to the bottom of the Adriatic in a strong Kvarner storm.

An additional confirmation that this ship is actually Dutch is that the pottery which was found comes from the north and, of course, the trumpets are also Dutch, Bekić revealed.

“Today, with the help of a digital method, a photogrammetric model can be made of the vessel, thus shortening the diving processes. We can precisely document that segment that we explored and finally get a complete picture of the site at the end,” explained Roko Surić from the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar.

After the restoration of these remarkable trumpets found near Cape Kamenjak, the instruments will, they hope, be exhibited in Pula. The remains of the ship with three cannons will remain on the seabed, protected by a modern method that is being implemented for the very first time on this project.

Divers and those hoping to find more archaeological wonders are often found in Premantura’s waters, particularly around Cape Kamenjak.

“The discovery of this new site means the possibility of new divers in new positions as well as old divers who often come and are already tired of exploring familiar locations,” said diver Robert Lehotkaj.

So far, around 20 sites boasting sunken ships have been discovered in southern Istria alone. Of these, 5 are currently under protection.


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