“The Sea” 2018
09. 08. 2018 - 10. 08. 2018

In August 2018, a team of divers from the Institute of Underwater Archaeology and the Marine Biology Station Piran, National Institute of Biology, in coordination with the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, conducted a survey of the seabed at proposed locations in the open sea northwest of Piran. The selected locations (EŠD 29401, 29402, 29403) were identified using bathymetry, which provides precise measurements of the seabed depth, by studying variations in elevation. These locations are situated in the area of sandy dunes between Piran and Savudrija. The survey served as a pilot project for designing an integrated research program and provided a foundation for preparing a management plan for Slovenia’s underwater cultural heritage in the sea. The project was funded by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia. The task involved identifying, documenting, and conducting scientific analysis to characterize the environment for planning conservation measures at underwater archaeological sites.
Among the three documented locations, a notable anomaly stands out, where remnants of a ship’s structure made up of wooden and metal elements were identified. The largest recorded distance between the different parts of the structure was approximately 30 meters. Analysis of a wood sample from a supporting ship element revealed an age of around 260 years prior to the present, and its shape suggests it was a medium or small-sized fast sailing vessel. The robustness of the elements and the absence of weaponry indicate that it may have been a cargo or trading sailboat. Further research will be necessary to provide a clearer understanding of the ship’s origin and purpose.