The goal of this campaign was to dig around the amphorae to see how far they spread and if there could be more finds in their vicinity. We wanted to explore two positions. The thing is that the eastern side of the site raised hopes that the bow could be found there, so it was logical to dig there to see how far the amphorae extend in length and depth.
The second position was located to the west and was lower (deeper) so we prepared a plan accordingly. However, on the second day, it was clear that we would stay on the east side because the sediment was thicker than expected, the amphorae reached deeper, and an anchor barrier appeared.
The sediment covering the finds consists of silt-free sand that is not compacted. It is easy for digging, but makes a big mess. For this reason, we had to extend the mammoths to eject sediment at a greater distance and produce less turbidity, making it difficult to work with them. A diver can dig up a lot of material in one dive and lightly clean the desired area. As we discovered the amphorae, we noticed that they had been in the sea for a long time, without the sediment. Namely, they were overgrown with shells, and only later were they covered.
Finding of an anchor that read A ◦ OFIDI was a special delight. Namely, on the anchor that was discovered even before the amphorae and the ship, there was an inscription that was difficult to decipher. On one side it said STRATON, and on the other side only T S. was visible. By using clay and after making the negatives and positives we assumed it read OFIDI◦T◦S, but the OFIDI part was questionable. We concluded that the anchor probably belonged to that ship so the campaign was called STRATON 2020. Some other marks appeared on the anchor, recognized as astragals. As this page does not impose any archaeological explanations or opinions, we will only say that they are the forerunners of playing dice and that they were used for divination. When they fall together in a certain order, they bring good luck, well that is what we found that on the anchor.
Finding of the next anchor brought us an even bigger discovery. It read STRATON, perfectly preserved, so we can now say that this is an ancient shipwreck on which three anchors were found. It is an unique find and we can say that this shipwreck has that something we don’t find anywhere else (and we all love that). On the other part of the anchor there was the inscription OFIFI◦T◦S.
Afterwards we focused on cleaning of the amphorae in depth and searching for the wood that would form the ship’s structure. We succeeded quickly in this, but unfortunately, the wood we found was in the sea for a long time and was almost decayed, so it will be necessary to find pieces that will be of better quality to be used for analysis.
According to these findings, we called this part of the ship a bow. We call it a bow, but we have never confirmed that it is a bow.
Further lowering into the depth of the sediment confirmed that there were more amphorae than expected. From all this, it became clear to us that many more research campaigns await us.
U kampanji su sudjelovali Arheološki Muzej u Zadru, Hrvatski restauratorski Zavod, Sveučilište u Zadru, Foka d.o.o., studenti Sveučilišta z Zadru ( Arheologija i Podvodne znanosti tehnologije ) te Marino Brzac kao snimatelj i fotograf. Stručni voditelj bila je izv. Prof. dr. sc Irena Radić Rossi, a voditelj ronjenja Vedran Dorušić.
The Archaeological Museum in Zadar, the Croatian Conservation Institute, the University of Zadar, Foka Ltd., students of the University of Zadar (Archaeology and Underwater Sciences and Technology) and Marino Brzac as a cameraman and photographer, participated in the campaign. The expert leader was Associate Professor Irena Radić Rossi, PhD, and Vedran Dorušić was a dive leader.
Logistics were provided in the diving centre FOKA Šimuni.
To be continued……