Saturday, 6 November 2021

Great Archaeological Finds Discovered in a Cave on Hvar

ZAGREB, 6 Nov 2021 - The cave called "Babina Špilja" on the Adriatic island of Hvar was explored by archaeologists this summer and autumn when they found ceramic items and animal bones dating back to the early Neolithic period and a pebble with natural markings, which appears to have originated from the Mesolithic.

The discoveries are currently in Oxford for radiocarbon dating, archaeologist Marcel Burić has told Hina.

The results of that analysis will be completed in January 2022, and they will indicate whether or not people had existed on this Croatian island also before the early Neolithic.

The exploration was triggered off by the results of the doctoral thesis of researcher Alen Miletić who has studied the topography of prehistoric sites on the western side of Hvar.

Babina Špilja is at an altitude of 200 metres.

Burić said that researchers of Columbia University in the City of New York and of La Sapienza in Rome are included in the project of exploration of this site.

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Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Croatia-Slovakia Scientific Cooperation: Conference in Zadar Continues Academic Friendship

June 30, 2021 - In 2019, an agreement was reached on the start of the Croatia-Slovakia scientific cooperation. The June 18 conference held at the University of Zadar presented the current progress in that agreement.

Along with countries such as Serbia, Slovenia, and Northern Macedonia, Croatia is a south Slavic country. The former Socialistic Federation of Yugoslavia got its name because of southern Slavs, a branch of Slavs, ethnolinguistic groups that arrived in Europe along with many other groups in what history remembers as the „Migration Period“, when Europe was dominated by the Western Roman Empire.

Other Slavic countries include Russia, Poland, Bulgaria (also south-slave, but not part of Yugoslavia), Czech Republic, Ukraine, Belarus, and also West Slavic country, Slovakia.

Sharing ethical and cultural heritage and diplomatic relations (formed on March 1, 1993), saw the intellectual cooperation with Slovakia raised on a high level and produced so much material, it required an entire scientific conference.

As reported by Ivo Pilar Social Research website, June 18 saw Zadar University host a conference „Intellectual relations of Croatia and Slovakia“, prepared by Slovakian-Croatian Board for Humanistic Sciences lead b professor Martin Homza from Comenius University in Bratislava and Ivo pilar Social Research Institute headmaster dr. Željko Holjevac.

The conference was supposed to be held last year but was canceled due to coronavirus, and the 2021 edition was managed in a hybrid model of the event, mixing live and online ways for participants to meet. Twelve Slovakian and Croatian scientists reported on the theme, and key Slovakian and Croatian players on the subjects of education attended and made speeches at the opening ceremony. This includes professor Zvjezdan Penezić, Zadar University's vice-chancellor. Peter Susko, Slovakian Ambassador in Croatia, Marián Zouhar, dean of the Bratislava's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Staša Skenžić from Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, as well as Martina Klofáčova from the Slovakian Ministry of Science and Education.

„Slovakian-Croatian Board for Humanity Sciences is active since 2019 as part of the program of collaboration between two ministries for science and education with the goal of developing bilateral scientific and educating activities in the field of history, linguistics, Latinism, art history, ethnology, and archaeology“, informed Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute about the program goals.

Is there a Croatian diaspora in Slovakia? Yes. You can learn more about the Croatian diaspora on our TC page.

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Friday, 14 May 2021

European Archaeology Days (EAD) at Archaeological Museum Zagreb from June 18-20

May 14, 2021 -The European Archaeology Days (EAD) at the Archaeological Museum Zagreb, held on June 18-20 and organised by the French Culture Ministry, and the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP), brings all things archaeological to the Croatian capital.

The heavy blow of the 2020 Zagreb earthquake affected the Archaeological Museum Zagreb, as did the one back in 1880. However, as the Museum continued to stand the test of time past the 19th-century tragedy, it's great to see that it resisted last year's troubles as well. Not only is it open, but it will also host European Archaeology Days (EAD) for 2021 from June 18-20.

As the Museum's official website informs its readers, the goal of the manifestation is to popularise and present archaeology as a science, and the rich programme will include workshops, lectures, exhibitions, presentations of publications and projects, as well as expert guides, virtual content, and many other types of activities.

Archaeological departments of the highest educational institutions from Zagreb, Pula, Zadar as well as the Croatian Archaeological Society, the Croatian Archaeological Institute, Institute for underwater archaeology in Zadar, Kaptol county, and museums from Zadar, Sisak, Vinkovci, and Rijeka that are dedicated to the field of archaeology and history, are all partners of the event.

The organisers of this spectacle for anyone curious about mankind's past are the Culture Ministry of the French Republic and the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP).

As a non-profit Organisation on Archaeological Open-Air Museums, Experimental Archaeology, Ancient Technology and Interpretation, EXARC reports on its website that EAD was established in France back in 2008 and coordinated by INRAP (The National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research), as a national event, but in 2019, the manifestation of this event opened up on a larger, European scale. Today, the EAD aspires to become a European concept that benefits the general public, museums, and culture.

Young as an international manifestation, it managed to be organised in 2020, but of course, under specific circumstances and with respect to all of the epidemiological measures. It was different but successful thanks to the 1,000 initiatives and 28 European countries taking part last year, all of them adapting to the virtual activities over physical ones.

''The EAD is a long weekend dedicated to archaeology in all its forms. We raise awareness and familiarise European audiences with all aspects of archaeology. A variety of events will be organised, aiming at engaging families, schools, students, history enthusiasts, museum visitors, as well as merely curious participants to discover this multifaceted discipline and their archaeological heritage.

Despite the challenging times that Europe is going through on several levels, there are still things that bring us together. Looking for common ground, for cohesion and reciprocity, while all countries continue to preserve their cultural identity and diversity, European Archaeology Days aim at sharing archaeological heritage throughout Europe and make culture accessible to all“ elaborated Exarc, on its website. They add that INRAP welcomes everybody wanting to take part in the manifestation to join and further enrich the programme.

It might be worth nothing what the difference between history and archaeology actually is. History focuses on written sources, while archaeology focuses on physical ones, such as items, but they both explore the past. For those wanting to learn more about how we as humankind progressed to the stage where we are at today, they can find joy in informing themselves about these respective fields.

Speaking of the old, the historical, and of course the physical, there are very many interesting sites across Croatia protected by UNESCO. Learn more on our TC page.

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Sunday, 1 November 2020

Hvar Archaeological Discovery: Amphora and Wine Vessels

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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Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Incredible Archaeological Discoveries Made in Istrian City of Porec

As Morski writes on the 9th of February, 2020, an interesting new archaeological site was discovered during the reconstruction of the City of Porec's picturesque waterfront.

Archaeologists are now monitoring the entire area in which the works are being carried out, and after discovering a remarkable Venetian waterfront and the remains of an ancient port, a new site was found at a depth of four metres below what is today's walking level, more specifically two metres below sea level near a round tower.

According to Klaudija Bartolic Sirotic, an archaeologist at the National Museum of the City of Porec, one square structure was found with different reinforcements belonging to it. The assumption is that this is a fortification system of the City of Porec since it is located near a round tower that was built way back in 1474. Further and more in depth research will seek to clarify how this system of medieval fortification spread.

It is interesting to note that in the lower part of the site, free blocks believed to be from Roman times were discovered, which were used secondarily to strengthen the structure of the existing tower, while at the very bottom, a block believed to be of Roman production was also discovered. In addition, numerous other finds, such as alfalfa and amphorae, were found in various forms which were typical of the Age of Antiquity.

So far, no residue of organic material have been observed at the site, so further analysis of the detected samples will provide more detailed data. Based on just a few blocks, Bartolic Sirotic points out, it is difficult to determine the exact time of construction, but the deposited material here points to the 1st century. If it is a Roman structure that was upgraded during the Middle Ages, more will be known after the eastern face of the wall is opened.

Upon completion of the survey, the site, in agreement with the conservationists and the City of Porec, will be archaeologically protected and adequately presented to the public.

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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Unique Archaeological Discovery in Croatia: Roman Chariot With Horses!

A truly sensational and unique archaeological discovery in Eastern Croatia.

As Goran Rihelj/HR Turizam writes on the 16th of October, 2019, archaeologists from the City Museum of Vinkovci and the Institute of Archaeology from Zagreb presented the results of research they've been conducting at the site in Stari Jankovci (Vukovar-Srijem) yesterday.

In tumulus 1, that is, an earthen mound about forty metres or so in diameter and about one metre high, a large burial chamber was found, into which a Roman chariot with two wheels and the bones of the accompanying horses were laid.

Research on this site initially began back in 2017, and these are the first major discoveries, significant to the extent that we have not had anything similar in Croatia so far.

The custom of burial under earthen mounds or tumulas was an exceptional way of performing a burial ritual during the Roman period in the south of the Pannonian plain, and the custom is associated with extremely wealthy families who played a prominent role in the administrative, social and economic life of the province of Pannonia.

By locating an earthen mound along one of the most important thoroughfares of the Roman Empire, which connected the Apennine Peninsula with Pannonia and the Balkans and Asia Minor, the aristocratic family settled near Cibal wanted to show to all travellers who travelled along this road their status and the likely abundant wealth they possessed.

''The most significant discovery is the discovery of a Roman chariot with the skeletons of the harnessed horses, that is, the first archaeologically excavated ancient burial place with such carriages in Croatia,'' says the curator at the Boris Kratofil Museum of Vinkovci for

The investigated tomb, as Kratofil points out, is estimated to date from the 3rd century AD, which is one of the youngest examples of this type of funeral custom. The complex process of documenting the findings, which has been conducted since the beginning of the research, will bring numerous new insights into the construction of Roman circuits, which will ultimately enable their complete reconstruction and presentation in the permanent exhibition of the City Museum of Vinkovci.

This site has aroused great interest of the profession throughout Croatia, and many archeologists from all over the country have come to see what is happening in Stari Jankovci for themselves.

''This is a sensational, unique discovery in Croatia, as this is the first time in our country that this complex funeral custom from the times of Antiquity has been archaeologically investigated and documented.

Now, the long process of restoration and conservation follows, but so does the complete analysis of what's been found. I hope that in a few years we'll know more about the family whose members were buried in this area all that time ago, 1,800 years ago.

We're also more interested in the horses themselves, that is, whether they were bred here or came from other parts of the empire, and what will tell us more about the very importance and the level of wealth of this family. We will achieve this through cooperation with domestic as well as numerous European institutions,'' said Marko Dizdar, Director of the Institute of Archeology.

Vinkovci, as the oldest city in Europe, whose territory has been continuously inhabited for more than 8,300 years, has kept many of its secrets underground, and since 1982, the entire area of ​​Vinkovci has been declared a protected archeological zone. Otherwise, it is less known that two Roman emperors, Valens and Valentinian, were born in Vinkovci.

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