Bibliography of professor Zdenko Brusić reveals a rich life of a curator, museum counselor, director of the Archaeological Museum in Zadar, and first and foremost a scholar and person who will be remembered as one of the founders of underwater archaeology. Rich and diverse professional life of professor Brusić resulted in 127 bibliographic units dealing with different themes.
The paper focuses on life and work of Zdenko Brusić, respected Croatian archaeologist. Zdenko Brusić was born in Šibenik in 1938. He was curator in archaeological collection in Nin and in the Šibenik City Museum. Later, he became a curator in Archaeological museum Zadar. In 1998 he was appointed professor of prehistoric archaeology on the Department of Archaeology of the Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar (now University of Zadar) and rose to full professor by the time he retired in 2008. His contribution to Croatian archaeology is enormous but he will especially be remembered as one of the founders of underwater archaeology in Croatia.
The article deals with two fragments of a ceramic object found in the excavations of the Neolithic site of Smilčić. Owing to their physical joining it was possible to suggest a reconstruction which depicts front of an object which corresponds fully to concept of a Neolithic house with stylized depiction of horns placed above the entrance. Minimally preserved lateral side on the right fragment suggest very convincingly a conclusion that this was not depiction of the front only but model of entire object which resembles a Neolithic house. However the author believes that this was not depiction of a Neolithic house but of a Neolithic sanctuary functioning as altar.
In the past fifteen years we have substantially improved our knowledge of the seafaring expeditions in the Mediterranean, based either on the indirect evidence of the navigation or on what we know about the earliest such ventures. This paper presents an overview of what is known about the earliest navigation in the Mediterranean and considers the origin of the first such ventures in the Adriatic as a specific part of the Mediterranean. It focuses on the problem of the navigation between the Italic and Croatian coasts, tackling the possibility of such maritime expeditions based on the distribution of the obsidian from the Aeolian Islands. It also ponders on the practical aspects of the use of sailing vessels in the Late Neolithic.
This paper discusses the notable, but unfortunately lost Naronitan tombstone CIL 3, 8438 with dona militaria and centurion insignia on the front side. It describes the interesting way in which the tombstone was lost, as well as its typological classification, pointing out an iconographic element that has remained unnoticed (a vitis), and finally proposing a dating for it. At the same time, it touches upon the complex subject matter of the unit in which the deceased served at the time of his death, i.e. the question of whether the Camp. cohort without or with the ordinal number I was a single unit or two units.
The port basin of Roman Savudrija, once part of the ager of Tergeste colony, comprised a large number of port infrastructure facilities. Today, some of the port structures are submerged and some can be found in the soil profile on dry land. The remains of walls on the southern part of the coastline probably belonged to the superstructure of the first, lowest terrace of the port. Owing to the archaeological data obtained during the 2011-2014 excavations, we can date the construction and recreate the appearance of the coastline in Roman times. However, the evidence obtained so far touches upon the issue of the archaeological context of the Roman port of Savudrija in the hierarchy of the ports on the Istrian coast and its relationship with the nearby villas located along the coast and in the hinterland.
Two hoards of Late Antiquity coins from Zadar’s surroundings are catalogued in this paper. The first one includes 9 coins found in an amphora on the seabed near the island of Olib in 1962, dated to the period spanning the reigns of Tacitus and Constantius I. The second hoard is made up of 27 coins from the period of Constantine I and his sons; it was found at the “Travnjaci” site in Radovin in 1963, but the detailed context of the find is not known. The two hoards are similar due to the fact that they contain coins from a very short period of time. The Radovin hoard also includes two unusual Constantine coins minted in Ticino, one of which has an irregular reverse and the other has a subsequently imprinted mark above the laureate portrait. Terminus ante quem for the Olib hoard is 296 AD and for the Radovin hoard somewhat after September 326 AD.
In grave 134 in the late Roman cemetery of Štrbinci (Đakovo, NE Croatia), dated from the mid 4th to the early 5th century, which held a child of 2-3 years of age, the following grave goods were recovered: 1– a copper alloy bulla; 2 – a copper alloy lunate pendant; 3 – a silver lunate pendant; 4 – a poorly preserved headdress (diadem) composed of three small rectangular plates made of yellowish glass, most probably originally fixed onto a gilded copper alloy band; 5 – 65 beads made of whitish, blue, and green glass; 6 – a copper alloy bracelet; 7 – a pottery jug. The grave was published within the paper on the 2007-2008 campaign of excavations at Štrbinci, but without a detailed discussion of individual grave finds. In this contribution these finds are discussed from the point of view of their apotropaic function and gender role as grave goods. The conclusion reached is that the child was most probably a girl, who had been buried with much care and a pronounced wish to get every protection possible in the otherworld.
This paper discusses a Late Antiquity lamp in the Archaeological Museum in Split which came to the author's attention due to the illustration of a Biblical scene which dominates its central disc. In previous publications, the central iconography of this lamp has been interpreted as an Old Testament account of three Jewish youths refusing to bow down to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. On Old Christian lamps, this very interesting scene most frequently shows the moment when the youths stand in front of Nebuchadnezzar and the idol, and there are several variations of it. This paper suggests different possible interpretations of the iconography, as it is highly probable that there is room for new views and interpretations within its variations. The objective of this paper is not to list and catalogue all known artefacts, but rather to demonstrate, based on the available literature, that interpreting iconography is not always simple, and that there is room for new interpretations even in scenes which are believed to have been defined in terms of their iconography.
The paper studies distinctive groups of medieval rhomboid and star-shaped buckles unearthed in Slavonia. It tries to classify their distribution, stylistic characteristics, time frame, possible centres of production, and correlations with medieval Hungarian items.
The author analyzes the prehistoric stone axe-hammer found at the Baba lokva medieval settlement site in Kaštela (14th to 17th centuries), observing it from the aspect of mythological perception of such finds as apotropaic objects (amulets, talismans). Drawing numerous ethnological parallels in Croatia, Bosnia and other parts of Central Europe and archaeological parallels in northern Croatia (Ludbreg – Iovia, Paka fortification) and Dalmatia (Begovača – Biljane Donje), the author argues that the Baba lokva axe was used to protect dwellings from lightning or, perhaps, as a personal protection of its owner who carried it. It is a custom that has been preserved since the prehistoric pagan (proto-Slavic and proto-Indo-European) times, surviving to this day as part of traditional culture.
The paper focuses on a small number of glass bottles kept at the Archaeological Museum of Istria. It includes mostly tableware, although a few small bottles may have been used in pharmacies or drugstores.
Nautical archaeology is a scientific discipline that studies all types of ships from the past, based on material remains, and written, iconographic and ethnographic sources. Zdenko Brusić, the pioneer of Croatian underwater archaeology, started his intensive underwater research in the 1960s, and on several occasions explored the remains of old ships. In order to keep pace with modern methodology, it has recently become clear that a standardization of the terminology used in researching historical wooden shipbuilding is necessary to be able to systematically publish the results of research activities, and to promote scholarly discussion.
At the time when the subject Wooden Shipbuilding was still taught at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture of the University of Zagreb, Teodor Bernardi wrote a textbook entitled Konstrukcija drvenih brodova (Wooden Ship Construction). His textbook served as the starting point for compiling an initial Croatian nautical archaeology glossary. This paper builds on his glossary, and is the result of intensive recent excavations of wooden ship remains in Croatian waters, which have necessarily involved the need to report and publish results in Croatian.
This paper deals with four recently published two-piece serpentine fibulae from Dalmatia, from the central Liburnian area. More recent classification of fibulae was considered as well as their function in the female attire. Fibula from Jokina Glavica was compared with fibulae from Italy regarding certain details.
The numerous numismatic items found during the excavations underneath the Dubrovnik Cathedral led by Josip Stošić in the 1980s included around 60 saint and pilgrim medallions and small crucifixes/crosses from the 16th and 17th centuries. The article analyzes the crucifixes – grave goods from Graves 21 and 22.
The paper studies six small relief glass bottles in the shape of date fruit, unearthed in grave contexts in the broader Zadar area. They are part of a larger group of anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and phytomorphic glass artefacts produced in the course of the 1st and 2nd centuries. These are artefacts blown in two-part moulds with a subsequently worked neck and rim, and a body covered with wavy folds imitating the skin of ripe dates. Depending on whether the ribbing was more stylised or more realistic, such artefacts are classified into two variants: hyperrealistic and stylised specimens. The realistic appearance of many small bottles in the shape of date fruit, which is partly due to their ornamental relief style, and also partly their colour, which is mostly yellowish, brown, brown-red or amber, has led certain authors to the conclusion that real fruit was used for the production of the moulds. Their popularity, or rather the popularity of their content, is confirmed by their wide distribution across the area of the Empire, including the Zadar region. Given that the majority of specimens have been found in the Eastern Mediterranean, this area has been determined as the site of their production. Although statistics can be a misleading criterion for determining the location of workshops, in this instance it is confirmed not only by the widespread production of glass artefacts by means of mould-blowing in the Eastern Mediterranean area, but also by the popularity of dates in this region, as confirmed by numerous antique sources.
Underwater reconnaissance of the maritime zone of the island of Pašman near the island of Babac uncovered archaeological finds from the late medieval and post-medieval period. The finds were discovered in the western cove of the island of Babac facing the settlement of Pašman on the homonymous island. The Pašman Channel is narrowest at this spot, and the site was probably used as an anchorage owing to favourable natural position and because it was a good shelter from all winds. Recovered material was found at the depth of 3 to 4 meters. Pottery represents most abundant category of finds with dominant glazed kitchenware and tableware while glass vessels are represented by a small number of specimens. Typologically diverse finds indicate that the site was probably used as an anchorage for centuries where ships sought shelter in bad weather or spent night.
Results of the rescue archaeological excavations from the settlement of Stara Teskera near Ljubuški complement scarce reliable information referring to the Late Bronze Age not only in the region of western Herzegovina but also in the wider cultural region. Spiral-spectacle pendant with tubular central part definitely represents the most interesting find as one of the imposing phenomena of the time.
Supported by the Municipality of Ližnjan, the International Center for Underwater Archaeology launched in 2012 the underwater archaeological investigation of three shipwrecks at Cape Uljeva on Istria's southeastern coast. Cape Uljeva closes the spacious Kuje Cove on its southern side. While most of the cargo from ancient shipwrecks has been pillaged in time, numerous fragments can still be found in situ, enabling the research and reconstruction of the shipwrecks. The investigation started with mapping the crevices and hollows on the rocky seabed containing archaeological remains in order to document the distribution of the finds. For the time being, the first shipwreck (Uljeva A) is dated to the 1st century BC and the second one (Uljeva B), perhaps to the 4th century AD.
The article deals with the archaeological material recorded over the past decade on the island of Silba and on its seabed. The island is located on the most important seafaring route that led from the northern to southern Adriatic. The source of the earliest – albeit scarce – information about its population is the island’s prehistoric hill-fort. As for the life on the island in Antiquity and Late Antiquity, the graves and sarcophagi recorded there can be used as evidence of it. In terms of the number of finds, the seabed off Silba is much richer than the island itself, particularly the area near Sveti Ante Cove and Cape Arat, where Antiquity remains and Modern Age glass objects were found. Grebeni – the neighboring group of three reefs – were also included in the excavations. They were fatal for numerous ships of the Antiquity, as well as for one Late Medieval ship and one Modern Age ship. The most important finds include those from a mid-1st-century AD ship (a large quantity of material which is mostly unique for the Adriatic), a bell from the second half of the 13th century, and a ship with mid-17th-century cannons, anchors and ceramics. We should add to these the find of a shipwreck with Baetical amphorae (type Dr. 20) – the first such find on the Adriatic seabed.
The author presents the results of five campaigns of submarine archaeological research in Pocukmarak bay on the island of Silba focusing on a stone embankment – quay which functioned as a small waterfront in the bay. Former researchers noticed material evidence from classical antiqity and Late Antiquity in immediate hinterland of the bay. Late antique quay consists of stone sarcophagi incorporated into a stone embankment. In addition to stone finds, wood remains were found in the foundation of the stone embankment. These remains of wooden structures were used as fundament in the segment where the embankment spanned the sand bed. According to 14C analysis the wood used for quay construction was felled in the period between 425 and 595.