Archaeologists have recently unearthed the remains of a 7,000-year-old road lying hidden beneath the layers of sea mud off the coast of southern Croatia.
Built at the Neolithic site of Soline, this surprising find might have linked ancient Hvar culture’s settlement to the currently isolated island of Korčula.
Once an artificial island, the ancient site of Soline was discovered in 2021 by an archaeologist named Mate Parica, who is associated with the University of Zadar, Croatia, while he had been analyzing the satellite photos of the water area that was around Korčula.
Video Credits: Sveučilište u Zadru Official / YouTube
After spotting something he thought might be human-made on the ocean floor, Parica and a colleague dove to investigate.
At about 4–5 meters deep in the Mediterranean’s Adriatic Sea, they discovered stone walls that possibly were once a part of an ancient settlement. Besides, the landmass it was constructed upon was separated by a very narrow strip of land from the main island.
The positive thing is that this area is relatively safe from big waves, unlike most parts of the Mediterranean, as many islands protect the coast, Parica informed Reuters in 2021. That aided in preserving this site from natural destruction.
Researchers think that the Neolithic Hvar culture once inhabited the eastern Adriatic, built the currently submerged Soline settlement and the ancient passageway that linked the islands.
With the help of radiocarbon analysis executed on preserved wood, the settlement has been estimated to date back to nearly 4,900 BCE.
Humans walked on the road nearly 7,000 years back, the University of Zadar mentioned through a Facebook statement regarding its most recent and exciting discovery.
Such remarkable research is a result of untiring collaboration among specialists associated with Dubrovnik Museums, the Museum of the City of Kaštela, the City Museum of Korčula, and the University of Zadar, along with the help of expert divers and photographers.
This isn’t the only secret that Korčula has been keeping. The same research team has discovered yet another underwater settlement on the opposite side of the island that’s strikingly similar to Soline and produces intriguing Stone Age artefacts.
Igor Borzić, a well-known scientist associated with the University of Zadar, observed intriguing structures below the bay’s waters. Therefore, the researchers diving at the Soline site decided to go for undersea exploration,
and to their delight, discovered a near-identical settlement submerged at a depth of 4 to 5 meters.
Neolithic artefacts like cream blades, fragments of sacrifice, and stone axes were discovered at the site, the University of Zadar mentions.
The new settlement finds, like those present at Soline and the connecting road, seem to have links to the Hvar culture.
Approximately 12,000 years back, the Neolithic era, also known as the New Stone Age, emerged in portions of the world as the transition from a hunter-gatherer style of living into animal domestication and farming happened, resulting in more evolved and permanent settlements of various communities.
Several archaeological finds, artefacts, skeletal remains, computational modelling of genetic patterns, and other sources, like the 7,200-year-old variety of Croatian cheese, contribute to our knowledge of Neolithic humans today.
However, island settlements from the Neolithic period are not found so often. Hence, these are fascinating finds for archaeologists, reflecting how our ancestors could adapt to various environments and build roads between them.
References: Dailymail, Giant Freakin Robo