Dr Jacqueline Balen – Archaeological Museum, Zagreb

Central European influences and the development of eneolithic cultures between the Sava and Drava rivers

The Eastern Croatian region occupies the southwestern part of the Pannonian Basin and the eastern part of the area between the rivers Sava and Drava. This area, as an enclosed geomorphic unit, its location and natural roads, fluvial valleys and waterways is closely associated with the adjacent areas.

During the Copper Age in northern Croatian (more specifically in the area bounded by the rivers Sava, Drava and Danube) we can continuously follow the development of cultures such as Lasinja, Retz-Gajary, Baden, Kostolac and Vučedol. However, during this period, there are also influences (and/or the presence) of some cultures, such as Lengyel and Bodrogkeresztúr.

Dr Vedran Barbarić – Department of Art History, University of Split

Indigenous pottery production in the area of Dalmatia during the last millennium BC

The last millenium BC in the Eastern Adriatic is the age of major changes that, eventually, brought to an end the independent development of the indigenous material culture. This was also the case with local pottery production. A number of pottery styles, mostly in the western Adriatic area, achieved a higher level of quality through this period. One can mention vessels of south Italian geometric styles, Greek vessels produced in centres in the northern Adriatic and in the area of Magna Graecia, Hellenistic moulded and other fine and coarse wares produced in the Greek colonies of Pharos and Issa. When present in the context of the local indigenous communities, these foreign vessels represented luxury goods compared to locally produced ones. But the main focus of this paper is on indigenous pottery production in the area of present-day Dalmatia.

The state of pottery technology during the long period from the end of Bronze Age until the end of the Iron Age in Dalmatia will be presented in this paper. Then the attempt will be made to establish how and up to what extent, if any, imported high quality pottery products of the time influenced local production. The limitations for the study of this topic are mostly set by the low number of excaveted sites and the low number of publications of the excavated material. This paper aims at setting the frame for future studies of indigenous pottery from Dalmatia in the above-mentioned period on the basis of available local data and comparisons with the cases from other Adriatic areas.


Prof Graeme Barker – Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

Conference summary/ reflection


Dr Jonathan Benjamin – Department of Archaeology, University of Edinburgh

Investigating the submerged prehistory of the eastern Adriatic: research prospects and lessons learned

Large areas around the Adriatic Basin that were once settled by prehistoric populations have been submerged as a result of sea-level rise since the Last Glacial Maximum. The past decade has seen an increased interest in the interdisciplinary study of submerged prehistory and material from Croatia has highlighted the potential for submerged landscapes to provide significant insight into Adriatic prehistory.  Karstic landscapes and dynamic, sheltered environments may provide ideal locations for site preservation and discovery by archaeologists. Future work, however, will require a thoughtful, interdisciplinary approach that includes geological, geomorphological and archaeological evaluation, investigation and interpretation. It is likely that research into palaeolandscapes, which are now under water, will have a significant impact on our understanding of prehistory in and around the Adriatic Basin and, by extension, the wider Mediterranean.


Dora Bošković – Croatian Historical Museum, Zagreb

Weapons in the areas of the military border in Croatia in the period from the 17th until the second half of the 19th century: fighting equipment and regalia (insignia)

In the period from the 17th until the second half of the 19th century the territory of today’s southern and southeastern Croatia was the borderland of the Habsburg Monarchy, neighbouring the Ottoman Empire and Venetian Republic. In that borderland – known as the Military Border or Triple border (Triplex confinium) – three completely different civilisations clashed, mixed and persisted. The mixture of those different historic, economic, cultural, religious, political and other backgrounds and factors created new specific and interesting forms of coexistence, customs, behaviour and morality for the people living there. Those changes were then projected to the East and West, influencing the newer history of Croatia and its neighbouring states.

As those factors are seen especially on the weapons used in that region we will show how that cultural pluralism influenced the development of typology and forms of weapons. Based on the Collection of Ottoman (Turkish) weapons (comprising of more than 700 objects: sabres, yataghans, guns and pistols) in the Arms and Armoury Collection of the Croatian History Museum in Zagreb, we would like to show how various members of different nationalities, religious denomination and rank, preferred different types or forms of weapons, as well as who was allowed to wear a particular weapon. Our particular point of interest will be long knives or yataghans, worn by all confessions and entities on the turbulent Balkans in second half of the 18th and in the 19th century. We presume that yathagans typify a certain religious tolerance regardless to the animosity of their bearers.

Pointing out different ways of wearing weapons as well as the symbolism incorporated in them, we would like to illustrate the reasons for the 19th century enchantment of so many British, French, Austrian and German travellers with men from the Western Balkans areas.


Dr Stašo Forenbaher – Institute of Anthropology, Zagreb

Small but Special: The island of Palagruža and ancient Adriatic mariners of the third millennium BC

The tiny island of Palagruža, located near the centre of the Adriatic Sea, has yielded extraordinary rich third millennium BC pottery and lithic assemblages. Prominent among the finds is archery equipment (arrow points and wrist-guards), richly decorated ‘Cetina style’ pottery, and a few artifacts of highly exotic origin.  At a time marked by considerable mobility and long-distance maritime links, the 3rd millennium BC mariners recognized Palagruža’s unique importance for trans-Adriatic navigation.  Deposition of choice goods at this remote and desolate location is an archaeologically-visible expression of that recognition.

Prof  Vince Gaffney – Institute of Archaeology, University of Birmingham


Dr Ivor Janković – Institute of Anthropology, Zagreb

Interactions in the Old Stone Age: possible scenarios using the Vindija biological evidence

One of the most debated issues in human evolution is the question of modern human origins. Most modern versions of models that try to address the issue(s) related to the origin of our species group around three schools of thought. The first basically denies any role to the Neandertals in the biological makeup of later human populations (Replacement model); the diametrically-opposite explanation that argues for continuous evolution in all inhabited regions of the world for the last 1.8 million years, with enough gene flow to prevent speciation (the Multiregional model); and the third ‘intermediate’ view (the Assimilation model) that argues for a more or less single geographical origin of most modern human anatomical features, but proposes interbreeding events between the two populations (Neandertals and anatomically modern humans) in some parts of the world. Here, the biological (and to some extent cultural) data from the Vindija cave (NW Croatia) is used to test the viability of the three aforementioned models.


Dr Ivor Karavanić – Department of Archaeology, University of Zagreb

Contacts and connections in late Middle and early Upper Palaeolithic of Croatia

Important evidence of contact beween different groups of hunter-gatherers during the Middle/Upper Palaeolithic transition comes from Vindija Cave in NW Croatia. The bifacial stone point, made on red Hungarian radiolarite, is seen as an import, a result of the contact of various Neandertal groups from northwestern Croatia and Hungary (if the Szeletian was produced by Neandertals), or a result of Neandertal – early modern human contact (if the Szeletian was produced by early modern humans). The bone points associated with Neandertal remains at the same site can be a result of contact (exchange or acculturation) between Neandertals and early anatomically modern groups, or a result of the mixing of material from different strata of origin.

While there is evidence for contacts between the Adriatic region and continental Croatia (Lika region) during the late Upper Palaeolithic, there is no such evidence for the period of the late Middle and early Upper Palaeolithic. However, if we accept the possibility that at least some of the Middle Palaeolithic hunters from continental Croatia crossed the Velebit masif in their migration towards less harsh environments during the colder periods of the Pleistocene, the area of Ravni Kotari in the Adriatic region can be seen as a transit area to the south (Vujević 2007). Research on late Middle Paleolithic sites from the Dalmatian part of the eastern Adriatic region is in progress and preliminary results will be reported in this presentation.


Dr Branko Kirigin – Archaeological Museum, Split

Salona and the sea

This paper deals with the relation between the sea and ancient Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. This issue has not previously received any scholarly attention. The paper first takes up the basic geography and explains why the position of Salona has advantages for sail navigation over the nearby port of Split (the site of Diocletian’s Palace). The remains of Portus Salonitanus are discussed as well as the winds, currents and difficulties of sailing towards and from the port; the existence of the praefectura phariaca Salonitana, a lighthouse and a pilot service that would tow boats in and out of the port are also mentioned.

There are two entrances to the Bay of Kaštela in which Salona is placed at the very east end. The narrow one is at the west end where ancient Tragurion is situated and the other one is a 1 NM wide canal between the west cape of the island of Čiovo and Cape Marijan, Ad Diana(m) in the Tabulae Peutingeriana.

The prevailing opinion to the effect that the Cape Marjan sanctuary was connected with Diana, huntress and protector of wild animals, is questioned here. It is argued instead that due to the position of the Cape as vital for mariners and due to the fact that the Greeks from Issa in the Hellenistic period played an important commercial and political role in the area, the sanctuary played a different role. It is more plausible to believe that the sanctuary was built by the Isseians in the late 3rd/mid 1st century BC who dedicated it to Artemis the protector of the harbours, sailors and fisherman, and that later the sanctuary was maintained by Salona-based Romans.

The paper concludes with a description how a trade boat with square sails might cross the sea from Issa to Salona and back under different wind conditions.


Dr Darko Komso – Archaeological Museum of Istria, Pula

The Mesolithic of Croatia

Intention of this presentation is to present the current status of knowledge on the Mesolithic in Croatia. Over the past five decades, the Mesolithic in Croatia has been recorded at numerous sites, some quite interesting and rich in various materials, even though others have been incorrectly interpreted.

A total of 58 sites are cited in the literature, of which 30 have undergone archaeological research. There are reliable absolute dates for six sites. Several, however, have been dubiously or incorrectly dated. There is an obvious disproportion in the number of settlements between individual regions. There may be various reasons for this, but the considerable increase in the number of sites in Istria as a result of targeted survey and research indicates that the probable reason is the different levels of research in the regions, rather than different degrees of population density during the Mesolithic. Even though the status of research into the Mesolithic is incomparably better now than it was twenty years ago, many unknowns still remain, and considerable research is required to bring this level of knowledge to satisfactory levels.

Emma Lightfoot – Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

Changing Cultures, Changing Cuisines: Stable Isotopic Investigations into Iron Age, Roman and Early Mediaeval Dalmatia

Diet encodes social and cultural values, as food is used not only to fulfil the nutritional needs of the body, but also to define ‘us’ and ‘them’. When societies interact, merge or replace each other, diet may therefore also alter despite unchanging resource availability. In a country with as dynamic a history as Croatia, there is great potential for palaeodietary studies to throw light on past social responses to both large-scale migrations and to individual migrants.

This paper presents the results of stable isotopic analysis of Iron Age, Roman and Early Mediaeval human bone and teeth samples. Using carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis, we show that large-scale cultural change led to significant changes in diet, with isotopically distinct diets in all three periods. It is likely that the changes in diet are related to the arrival of new peoples into the area.

The second part of this paper uses oxygen isotope analysis to identify individuals who moved to Dalmatia from elsewhere, to compare the amount of mobility between the three periods under discussion, and to consider how the migration affected the life of that individual. Contrary to expectations, we show that the long-distance mobility of these populations was limited in all time periods. The small number of identified migrants generally have similar burial contexts and dietary habits to the other individuals in their cemeteries, suggesting that, despite their migratory status, they were not treated differently in either life or death.


Dr Darko Maričević – Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton

How many flew over the cuckoo’s nest: Bronze Age clay birds as religious objects and works of craft in the Balkans and the Carpathian Basin

The European Bronze Age is often cited as a period of common cultural values, a statement which finds support in the evidence for contacts and shared conceptual ideals that can be archaeologically traced across large swathes of the continent. The period saw considerable advancement in metallurgy, but the crafts in general flourished with some of the pinnacles of aesthetic creativity dedicated to objects which encapsulated either religious beliefs and/or the expression of individual and group identity. Images of birds, particularly waterfowl, were some of the most frequently explored iconographic themes, most notably by craftspeople working in bronze and clay. Bird-shaped and ornamented clay vessels, rattles and figurines, for example, occur in many different regions within the vast space between the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea during the Middle and the Late Bronze Age. While the ideas and the symbolism at the root of this widespread manifestation were at least broadly shared and had their origin in the Bronze Age belief system, the ways in which different communities adopted and expressed these ideas in clay varied from one region to another. These variations offer an opportunity to analyse and contrast the creative processes behind the design and the manufacture of the bird-shaped and bird-ornamented objects in different parts of Europe, but also to investigate how receptive or otherwise were different communities to a particular idea at the particular time. This paper will use pan-European dataset of ceramic bird-shaped and ornamented objects created as part of Creativity and Craft in Middle and Late Bronze Age Project (CinBA) to provide broader context for the case study focusing on these questions in western Balkans and southern fringes of the Carpathian Basin.


Dr Branka Migotti – Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences

Interaction between incomers and autochthons on Roman funerary stones from the Croatian part of the province of Pannonia (1st–4th centuries)

The conference theme of connectedness and communication can conveniently and diversely be covered by a selection of grave monuments (tituli, stelae, and sarcophagi), especially those containing epitaphs. These reveal various facets of the interaction between the incomers and their new surroundings, mostly in terms of the influences (social, artistic, material and religious) the incomers exerted on the local population. This, however, was only a part of the story. Although a Roman conception in itself, at least in the province of Pannonia, the funerary stone soon became a field of displaying interaction between local Pannonians and incomers from other areas of the Empire. Such stones, therefore, more often than not show a mixture of Latin and Pannonian names in the epitaphs, as well as combinations of clothes, artistic fashions, and religious ideas, which in many examples conceal a true ethnic identity of their bearers or the secure origin of various artistic components of the monuments. In a word, Roman funerary stones in southern Pannonia, as elsewhere, aptly illustrate the global nature of Roman culture. In this paper the abovementioned theoretical conceptions will be illustrated through the examples of some funerary stones from northern Croatia, belonging to various social sections and strata (soldiers, veterans, merchants, slaves, peregrines, family people, etc.).


Dr Sanjin Mihelić – Archaeological Museum, Zagreb

Multiculturalist before we knew it: keeping pace with Bronze Age trends

The paper explores the dynamics of the flow of peoples, ideas and goods unfolding in the territory of present-day Croatia during the Bronze Age. Particular emphasis is placed upon phenomena linking the area with neighbouring regions of south-east Europe, but also those pointing to supra-regional and pan-continental contacts. As a backdrop to the topic of the conference, the place and position of ‘prehistoric Croatia’ is discussed, underpinning the notion that interaction—not only in archaeology—has always been the key to success.


Dr Ante Milošević – Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments, Split

Early Carolingian heritage as a cultural and historical witness of contacts between Croats and European nations in the Early Middle Ages

The preparation and undertaking of Charlemagne’s military campaigns against the Avar Khanate in Pannonia in the late 8th and early 9th century also introduced the Croats to the recorded history scene. It is reasonable to assume that around this time the Croats arrived from central and northern Europe to the area they inhabit today, and the core of the first Croatian state has been formed on the territory of several west-Balkan Sclavinias, particularly in the Dalmatian hinterland. Several historical sources, and especially numerous and diverse archaeological artifacts, show that the Carolingian empire had a very important role in this historical process, especially at the beginning of the 9th century when it was trying to eliminate Byzantine influence in the wider area of ​​the eastern coast. Simultaneously with such politico-military activities of Frankish rulers, an enhanced process of re-Christianization brought missionaries from Western Europe to the former Croatia.

The Carolingian presence in southeastern Europe entailed, therefore, the inclusion of the Croatian territory in the circle of the Western European Christianity and its civilization in general. The new achievements that arrived along to this area were mixed and blended with the ancient inherited Mediterranean experience and its rich tradition, similarly as in some other parts of Europe, especially in Italy. The Carolingian presence among the Croats also determined their worldviews, religion, literacy and culture in general. This is particularly important since, although Carolingian influence was not directly present for a long period of time at the Croatian territory, yet it determined Croats as members of the Western European culture, which was just born at the time of Charlemagne, for many centuries to come.

All these historical processes of the late 8th and the first decades of the 9th century are manifest in numerous heritage monuments that are inherited by present-day Croatia. The remains of sacral buildings, which were once adorned with stone liturgical furniture, occasionally also with inscriptions glorifying the former Croatian rulers, are preserved in impressive quantities. For the studies of this period, other archaeological material is also important, especially the numerous artifacts of warrior and equestrian equipment with early-Carolingian traits, particularly lavish and sometimes gilded spurs, spears and swords. These artifacts, which can be assumed to originate from workshop in various parts of Europe, are the best evidence for a variety of former contacts. Our presentation will attempt to interpret the findings of large number of early medieval K-type swords, of which kind thirteen have been recovered in Croatia so far. This fact makes this part of Europe (besides the Scandinavian countries – 17 K-type swords, and Ireland – 7 K-type swords) very interesting for further studies. Of particular importance are the questions when, how and in what circumstances a larger number of such swords could have reached Croatia that was positioned at the southeastern outskirts of the former Europe.


Dr Preston Miracle – Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge


Dr Hrvoje Potrebica – Department of Archaeology, University of Zagreb

The Princes of the Crossroads: the early Iron Age in Croatia

Continental Croatia in the Early Iron Age was located on the crossroads of three major cultural areas: the Central European Hallstatt cultural complex, the Iron Age cultures of Balkans and the Mediterranean influences, and the Eastern complex across the Danube. As a consequence of its transitional position, Northern Croatia is the ultimate point of distribution for many specific types of weapons, pottery, and other objects, but it was probably even more important as a place of cultural transfer between major cultural zones in Early Iron Age Europe. Cultural groups of Northern Croatia operated as active agents in modifying and filtering the conceptual content of cultural transfer, and had a direct influence on the cultural dynamics of the whole Eastern Hallstatt area, and perhaps even beyond. If this is the case, cultural innovation would start at what was perceived as “periphery”. However, if we move away from the old idea of cultural complexes as compact cultural bodies with a distinctive structural core and periphery, we could offer a model of a dynamic communication network in which each connection between individual centres is to some extent interactive. A closer examination reveals that this general network is superimposed over a patchwork of regional networks creating a multi-dimensional synaptic structure in which every knot is part of the dynamic whole. Every change in each part of such a network would soon affect the whole network, but in different ways. This means that there is no periphery in the conceptual, but only in the spatial sense.


Dr Dinko Radić – Centre for Culture, Vela Luka

Overview of the Adriatic Neolithic and the perspectives of future research

The Neolithic period of the eastern Adriatic shore is divided into three developmental stages (early, middle and late) which are referred to as cultures. Over the last hundred years, tens of locations have been researched, but the digging and sampling techniques enabled us to get a somewhat better insight into styles of decorating ceramic bowls and, to some extent, manufacture and usage of lithic and bone artifacts.

Characteristic karst and coastal topography directed the inhabitants of that period towards cattle farming, primarily goats and sheep. Agriculture was developed only in the plains such as Ravni kotari, while hunting, fishing and gathering fruits had a secondary role in the nutrition.

There is more data concerning the exchange of items and non-material goods with the neighbouring regions (Apulia, Albania, Greece, Bosnia etc). These are the items which provide the most information about the location of Adriatic Neolithic in regard to the general picture of the Neolithic of South-eastern Europe and Mediterranean.

We cannot be satisfied with the current level of researched material; however, several current projects give us hope that we will dispose with more facts about the life of Neolithic population in the near future, and not just with those concerning the material culture, but also with those concerning other aspects of their life.

Dr Irena Radić Rossi – Department of Archaeology, University of Zadar

The shipwreck of Gnalić: mirror of the late Renaissance world

The Gnalić shipwreck is a little over three nautical miles distant from Biograd na moru, a town on the Dalmatian coast south of Zadar. It was discovered by sport divers in the early 1960s, lying at a depth between 25 and 29 meters, near the Gnalić Islet, at the entrance of the Pašman Channel.  Unfortunately the site was pilfered by treasure hunters for several years. Subsequently, several archaeological interventions in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and one in 1996, exposed the archaeological remains of a large ship dated to the late 16th century. The extent of the site and the excellent preservation of the ship remains and its cargo make it one of the most interesting post-medieval shipwrecks known.

In the summer of 2012, an international, interdisciplinary expedition returned to Gnalić, with the intent to determine the condition of the hull, verify the quantity of the artifacts remained on the bottom that required recovery and conservation, and perform a proof of concept to support a potential full-scale excavation of the shipwreck.

The accurate research in the Venetian archives revealed the owner and the name of the ship, and many interesting details of its amazing story. Lost in 1583 during the trip between the Venetian and the Ottoman world, loaded with a mixed international cargo, the material remains and the recovered history of Gagliana grossa represent a cross section through the Late Renaissance European and Mediterranean world.


Dr Ivan Radman – Archaeological Museum, Zagreb

Immigrants from other areas of the Roman Empire documented on Siscia lead tags

Over 900 individuals are mentioned on lead tags used by textile craftsmen in the Pannonian town of Siscia, and while most bear undistinguishable and rather common Latin names or indigenous names typical for that region, quite a few have names pointing to an origin far distant from Pannonia and the western Balkans. As a large provincial town and river harbour situated on crossroads of strategic importance, as well as an important industrial centre and garrison base, it is hardly surprising that Siscia would attract immigrants from all over the Empire. Understandably, most new settlers would come from neighbouring provinces, Northern Italy and Dalmatia being the most likely places of origin, while Noricum and Moesia could also be taken into account, although to a lesser degree. Nevertheless, one can recognize on the Siscia lead tags names of immigrants from more distant places like the Iberian Peninsula, Gaul and Northern Africa, as well as the East. This paper aims to present an overview of those individuals and their origins and it will also attempt to discuss the reasons that might have pushed some of them to start a new life in Pannonia.


Dr Davorka Radovčić – Natural History Museum, Zagreb

Exploring the Krapina Neandertal variation within the broader European spatial and temporal contexts 

Croatia is a home to two crucial Late Pleistocene sites which yielded abundant and significant human fossil remains – Krapina and Vindija. Krapina, a rock shelter in northwestern part of Croatia has yielded almost 900 Neandertal fragmentary remains, along with abundant amount of faunal remains and stone tool artifacts. The collected fragments of the Neandertals from Krapina, dated to approximately 130000 B.P., still make the largest collection of Neandertal specimens from a single site. Due to the exceptional assemblage of the Neandertal remains at the site and their exceptional preservation, Krapina is the first site where Neandertals as a biological population can be studied, in contrast to the few individuals present at the other Neandertal bearing sites across Europe. The Krapina remains represent an early sample of the Neandertal population, while the approximately 100000 years younger Vindija site yielded remains of one of the latest Neandertal populations. These two sites provide invaluable insight into the evolution of the Neandertal population in Central Europe: the Krapina Neandertals are more robust in their morphologies and show accentuated Neandertal features, while the Vindija remains show gracilization and approximation of their morphologies to the Upper Paleolithic populations. The goal of this paper is to compare the pattern of variation seen in the Krapina Neandertals with the variation of penecontemporary human fossil remains in other parts of Europe which yielded remains of both early and late Neandertal populations.

Dr Joanna Sofaer – Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton

Creativity and mimesis at the Late Bronze Age / Early Iron Age Site of Vukovar Lijeva Bara

Mimesis – the relationship between original and reproduction – has long been understood as fundamental to discussions of creativity. It has an implicit role in understanding material culture but only relatively recently has it begun to be overtly explored in archaeology. In this paper I want to explore the different ways that mimesis was articulated in the ceramics from the cemetery at Vukovar Lijeva Bara. Mimesis existed in optical illusions generated through decoration, the shape of vessels and its role in the expression of cosmological narratives, and in a subtle play between ‘original’ vessels and ‘copies’ made specifically for the mortuary ritual. These were not separate but inter-related aspects where the relationship and tension between original and reproduction acted as a fundamental impulse for creativity.


Dr Ante Škegro – Croatian Institute of History, Zagreb

New knowledge about certain early Christian dioceses in the eastern Adriatic region

The intensive study of sources as well as the results of archaeological and other research throughout the last twenty years have resulted in new knowledge about the Early Christian dioceses in the eastern Adriatic regions, their sees and the jurisdictions of their bishops.

The true status and area of responsibility of many dioceses has now been defined: the Delminian diocese (Delminiensis ecclesia), the Mactaritan diocese (ecclesia Mactaritana), the Baloien dioceses (ecclesia Baloiensis), the Kotor diocese (ecclesia Catharitana), the Baloie diocese (should be considered the bishopric of Rab)(ecclesia Arbensis), the Sarnian diocese (ecclesia Sarniensis), the Cesenian diocese (ecclesia Cessensis), the Epitaurum diocese (ecclesia Epitauritana), the Scardona diocese (ecclesia Scardonitana), the Sarsenterum diocese (ecclesia Sarsenterensis), the Ludrum diocese (ecclesia Ludroensis), the Muccurum diocese (ecclesia Muccuritana),the Narona diocese (ecclesia Naronitana). In Dubrovnik, four early-Christian basilicas have now been identified within the city walls, the cathedral of the arch-diocese being built on the remains/foundations of one of them.

The paper will also explore the role of maritime and road communication in the process of church establishment in the eastern Adriatic regions as well as the origin and identity of the earliest Christian evangelisers. Most of these were from the east but later arrived also from northern Italian centres.


Dr Helena Tomas – Department of Archaeology, University of Zagreb

Croatia at the crossroads of early Greek seafarers

The earliest Greek seafarers that reached the coasts of the Adriatic are from the Late Bronze Age, and are better known as the Mycenaeans. They were skillful and adventurous tradesmen who knew no geographical limits in their search for raw materials around the Mediterranean basin. Indications of their presence have been discovered all over the eastern and central Mediterranean, with some hints even in the western portion of the basin. Numerous sites with Mycenaean material, primarily pottery, have likewise been identified along the western coast of the Adriatic, reaching all the way up to the Po Valley. Certainly, this leads us to believe that the Mycenaeans crossed the Adriatic on their travel north, and imposes expectations of finding their traces along the eastern Adriatic coast as well. However, once the present day border of Albania is crossed, such traces become scant. Only a limited number of sites along the Croatian part of the Adriatic coast show signs of the possible contact with the Mycenaeans. This paper presents those sites and the relevant artifacts, and seeks to explain why the early Greek involvement with the Croatian coast was – in contrast with the rest of eastern and central Mediterranean – of such a limited nature.


Dr Dario Vujević – Department of Archaeology, University of Zadar

Adriatic connections: exploring relationships from the Middle Palaeolithic to the Late Mesolithic

This paper explores cultural similarities and possible connections between the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites on both sides of the Adriatic Sea. In the period from the Middle Palaeolithic Mousterian and through the Upper Palaeolithic Epigravettian Adriatic basin was not a barrier, but a connection of two presently separate geographical features: Italian peninsula and the Eastern Adriatic coast. Sites correspond closely in terms of economy, raw material choice, as well as typological and technological characteristics of artefacts, indicating a wide area of mobility. Even sea-level rise during Holocene and division of two coasts did not stop the exchange of ideas and artefacts.


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