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Archeological Finds from the Sunken Ship of the 4th Cen­tury in the Bay of Sobra

Anica Kisić ; Zavod za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku, Dubrovnik, Hrvatska

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str. 7-31

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Hydroarcheological research in the Bay of Sobra at the island of Mljet exposed to view the remains of a merchant ship, some twenty five meters long. The side part of the vessel has been preserved and researched. It consisted of about ten ribs joined together by a scheme of wooden plates and grooves which points out the accustomed Roman technique in the construction of a ship's hull.
It is supposed that the ship conveyed the cargo of about a thousand amphoras. Only a small number of them were found in well preserved condition. Most of them are of a longish shape with small handles and a cork used for oil transport. According to the shape of their neck one can distinguish three types. These amphoras originated from North Africa, from the workshops around the towns Hadrumentum and Leptis in present-day Tunisia. They belong to the Form 56 according to Lloris classification in the period from 260—370 A. D. The small number of amphoras belongs to the longish pear-shaped type of Spanish origin classified to Form II B (Lloris) while some are of a ball--shaped type. Minor number of the other ship's ceramic inventory is of North-African provenance too, in fact of terra sigillate chiare from the same period. Two very significant and well-preserved representative salvers with stamped ornament of small palm-branches and pinecones in concentric circles belong to terra sigillati chiari D from the period 325—400 A. D.
According to the typology of the material it was the beginning of the 4th century when this merchant ship was wrecked in the Bay of Sobra. Those were the times when Dalmatia was an important province of the late antique world and the Adriatic was a very frequent transit sea where ships conveyed surplus products, particularly oil from the rich North-African parts to the northern provinces of the Roman Empire.

Ključne riječi

archaeological finds, Sobra, Mljet

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