Kvarner newsletter / no 21

Cres
A new archaeological site

An extraordinarily valuable archaeological site has been discovered almost right on the beach on the western coast of the island of Cres, which is very popular among swimmers in summer. The site includes the wreck of a Roman merchant ship more than two thousand years old, which only recently started emerging from the sandy seabed.

A wreck of a Roman ship more that two thousand years old was found in the area of Tarej promontory on the western coast of the island of Cres, in the vicinity of the island of Krk.
This is an extraordinarily valuable finding, which could, do to its state of preservation and age (because it dates back to antiquity), turn out to be one of the most valuable and most interesting archaeological sites of this kind in the Adriatic.
What makes this story particularly interesting is the fact that this 15-metre long antique sailing ship had been lying undiscovered for two thousand years on a depth of only 2.5 metres on a distance of only dozen metres from a pebble beach where many visitors swim in summertime. Obviously it was well hidden in the sandy seabed and protected from swimmers and divers, until the streams recently pushed away the surface layer of the sand and revealed the ship hull. After several immersions, the experts definitely confirmed that this is an antique ship, and the way the panels were put together reveals recognisable elements of the ancient Roman shipbuilding.
The ship was discovered on a location that two thousand years ago actually was the edge of the beach. It is believed that the ship was stranded and left by its crew. Although it is hard to guess the exact reasons for its stranding, and later sinking, maritime archaeologists remind of the fact that in the year 49 BC there was a great sea battle in the waters off the island of Krk in the civil war between Pompeius and Caesar, so it may well be that the ship was wrecked in that battle. 
The wreck will be subject to a detailed scientific study, documented photographically and cartographically, conserved, and finally buried again so it can remain protected from further decay.
Maritime archaeologists estimate that the Adriatic Sea is the second richest sea in archaeological finds worldwide (after the Aegean Sea) because it is located on the sea route between eastern and central parts of the former Roman Empire.