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Ancient ships from the bay of Caska (Island of Pag, Croatia)

Abstract : The article provides an overview of the results of the international interdisciplinary research project Cissa Antiqua, promoted since 2009 by the University of Zadar and Centre Camille Jullian (Aix-Marseille University – CNRS), in collaboration with the Municipality of Novalja. The island of Pag belongs to the geographical region of Northern Dalmatia, and is the fourth biggest island of Croatia. A Liburnian population inhabited it during the time of the Roman conquest, and Pliny the Elder mentioned it under the name of Cissa (Hist. Nat., 3, 140). Although the position of the main Liburnian settlement has not been confirmed, it has been suggested that it was situated on the hill of Košljun in the near vicinity of the bay of Caska, at the north-western edge of the gulf of Pag. The bay of Caska preserved the notable remains of a multi-stratified settlement, whose important phase seems to be identifiable with a big and well-organized maritime villa property of the senatorial family Calpurnii Pisones. The systematic documentation and study of the structures on land and underwater started just recently, revealing some interesting archaeological features. The muddy bottom of the bay preserved a wooden anchor and the remains of two seagoing vessels from the Early Roman Imperial Period. The ship Caska 1, about 9 m long, was assembled with the old Liburnian lacing technique that survived in Roman times. It was probably sunk on purpose, and reused to reinforce some pier-like wooden coastal structure. The ship Caska 2 is more than 15 m long, and was assembled by the standard Roman mortise-and-tenon shipbuilding technique. This ship was also sunk on purpose, and reused in a pier structure. Other significant underwater finds include rectangulaire caissons composed of logs and filled with stones, which probably served as the basis of a pier or a breakwater. The article focuses on the detailed description of the preserved ships’ remains, in their cultural and historical context.
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Contributor : Giulia Boetto <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 7:05:57 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 3:31:27 PM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-01977566, version 1



Giulia Boetto, Irena Radic Rossi. Ancient ships from the bay of Caska (Island of Pag, Croatia). 14th International Symposium on Boat and Ship Archaeology:Baltic and Beyond. Change and continuity in shipbuilding., Jerzy Litwin, Sep 2015, Gdansk, Poland. pp.279-288. ⟨halshs-01977566⟩



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