Researchers Discover 7,000-Year-Old Underwater Road

Long lost treasures lurk beneath the seas and other waters. Ancient canoes have been discovered, as have historic crusader swords. Recently, archeologists have been exploring the beautiful waters of the Adriatic Sea. Sandwhiched between Italy and the Balkans, this sea was a hub of ancient seafaring activity. In an exciting development, as announced by the University of Zadar on Facebook, archeologists uncovered an ancient road built about 7,000 years ago. Now submerged underwater, the road lends insight into the ancient Hvar people who lived in the region in the late Neolithic period.

The discovery was made near the Croatian island of Korčula. Long ago, a manmade island existed nearby. Discovered in 2021, the artificial island was an ancient settlement of the Hvar culture, a late Neolithic people of the region. The settlement has been dubbed Soline. Modern Hvar island in Croatia shares a name with this early culture. The latest discovery is a stone-paved road that’s roughly 13 feet wide, sunken under about 16 feet of seawater. The road seems to have once connected Soline to Korčula.

The settlement at Soline produced remnants of wood which could be tested with radiocarbon dating. This revealed the wood was from roughly 4900 BCE, meaning the site and its adjoining road are about 7,000 years old. “We found late-Neolithic ornamented pottery, [a] stone axe, bone artifacts, flint knives and arrowheads,” Mate Parica, of the University of Zadar, told Live Science. “[P]ottery findings help[ed] us to attribute this site to Hvar culture.” The ancient Hvar were a fascinating, if still somewhat opaque, culture. This new road adds to the list of their impressive accomplishments discovered by archeologists, which also includes the oldest depiction of a boat known in Europe.

Archeologists discovered a 7,000-year-old roadway submerged beneath the Adriatic Sea and built by the ancient Hvar culture.

h/t: [Good, Live Science]

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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