Archeologists in Croatia announced their discovery of a 3,500-year-old sunken town in Adriatic Sea near Zadar, a southern coastal city. The ancient settlement and port was found in the sea between the islands of Ricula and Galesnjak in the Pasman Channel in 2014.

Led by Mato Ilkić, head of the archaeological research at Zadar University, the team unearthed various artefacts as old as 3,500 years. A small donation from a local business made the discovery of a spectacular sunken settlement rich in ancient relics.

"We discovered the stays of a giant settlement and a port in the ocean between the islands of Ricula and Galesnjak in the Pasman Channel final yr. After radiocarbon evaluation completed this month, let's say that the stays have been in all probability constructed round 1500 BC," Mato Ilkić said.

A donation of approximately $2,800 by a boutique travel agency called Secret Dalmatia paved way for the discovery of the ancient settlement. Using satellite images and aerial view photographs, they determined a huge man-made formation in the water.

"One can clearly see the underwater structures on the aerial shots and, it is known from the records, that the region was part of the village of Tukljaca. The village was abandoned and slowly sunken underwater during the Ottoman-Venetian War (1570-1573)," Alan Mandic, project benefactor, wrote in a blog post.

"Back in the 70s, some archaeological reconnaissance has also been done but no sondage and actual underwater excavating have been done. Until now," he added.

When they explored the area underwater, they found a wide array of pottery fragments, wood residues, stone axe, goat and sheep bones among others.

Recent laboratory tests show that the town and port were constructed in the mid-Bronze Age period. Apparently, these were built by "unknown communities" living along the Pasman channel even before the arrival of Liburnians.

"The discovery of this wide site will certainly shed light on a dark period of pre-history -- the Bronze Age of northern Dalmatia," he added.

The team consisting of Ilkić and other archaeologists namely Martina Čelhar, Dario Vujević, Mate Parica, Marko Meštrov and Maja Kaleb is planning to set all the relics in a museum in the near future. 

Photo: Alex Bikfalvi | Flickr

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