A team of underwater archaeologists discovered the Sunken Stone Age ruins of a 7,000 year old road at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.
The path discovered, once connected the prehistoric settlement of the Hvar culture from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic (about 5000-2500 BC) on the eastern coast of the Adriatic, with the coast of the island of Korčula.
As the archaeologists who made the discovery explained, the ancient road has survived for millennia thanks to the fact that the Croatian coast is dotted with islands that protect the area from big waves.
7,000 year old submerged highway
The discovery surprised the researchers, led by Dr. Mate Parica from the University of Zadar in (Croatia), during an underwater archaeological exploration at the Neolithic site of Soline, when they discovered, hidden under layers of sea mud, the neatly stacked stone slabs measuring almost four meters in diameter. It is a unique antiquity: a road from 7,000 years ago sunk into the Mediterranean Sea.
According to a radiocarbon analysis of the preserved wood, salvaged from sea mud, the sediments date back to 4,900 BC. C. and apparently linked an ancient man-made land mass to the island of Korčula in Croatia.
Part of 7,000-year-old submerged road discovered off Croatian island. Credit: Youtube / Sveučilište u Zadru Official.
THE Villages of Hvar They left behind ornaments, pottery, and evidence of subsistence farming and burial rituals.
History of the island of Korčula, today hidden in the depths
The island of Korčula was once part of the mainland but the area began to flood as a result of the melting of the Earth’s ice cap, after 12,000 BC, and around 6,000 BC the archipelago would have reached its current configuration.
Around the year 5.000 a. C., the region that is now Croatia was home to several distinct cultures, including the Starčevo, Vinča, and Danilo-Kosovo cultures. However, previous dives to this site have recovered Hvar culture pottery and other handicrafts, so it is assumed that they also built the road.
Best known as the supposed birthplace of Marco Polo and one of the most beautiful Croatian tourist destinations, the Korcula island It was the first place in the world to abolish slavery in 1214, providing further evidence of its ancient past.
Aerial view of Korčula, Croatia. Credit: Reuters/Antonio Bronic.
More underwater discoveries
On the other side of Korčula, another team of archaeologists from the University of Zadar, conducted an exploration of the central part of the bay of tiered discovering that the submerged structures correspond to a village almost identical to that of Soline, submerged at a depth of 4 to 5 meters.
This site was occupied by man during the 5th and 4th millennia BC. C., and recent excavations have unearthed previously unknown megalithic structures, including stone tombs and circles.
Aerial view of the other ancient site discovered off the island of Korčula. Credit: University of Zadar.
They also found Neolithic artifacts such as flint blades, stone axes and grinding wheel fragments, which were left behind in Croatia by some of the world’s earliest farmers.
Igor Borzić, research director at the University of Zadar, said it was one of the strangest structures in the bay.
The research is the result of the collaboration of several institutions and companies. In addition to the University of Zadar, there was the participation of Domagoj Perkić (Museums of Dubrovnik), Ivan Šuta and Vedran Katavić (City Museum of Kaštela), Marta Kalebota (City Museum of Korčula), Eduard Visković (Kantharos) and the help of Dalibor Ćosović from the Lumbarda Blue diving center.
The discovery of this ancient submerged road provides crucial information about the ancient culture of Hvar and could change our understanding of prehistoric societies.
References: Infobae / Total Croatia.
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