Underwater Site Vrbnik Unveils Abundance of Artifacts

Controlled probing research aimed at providing a more complete image of the stratigraphy and the chronology of Vbrnik was the goal of this year’s research conducted at this underwater archaeological site in the Ohrid Lake, near Struga, Dnevnik daily has learnt.

The director of the Natural History Museum "Dr. Nikola Nezlobinski", Saso Cvetkovski, who is in charge of the researches, says that the underwater archaeologists explored the layer of the iron-age palafitte settlement.

"The abundance of findings was confirmed out of which we could single out seven circle fishing weighs, three reel-shape weighs, a bi-conical vertebra, a fragment of a carafe with a slanted neck, one smaller round vessel, several fragments of the bellies of various vessels, an iron peak from a spear…," Cvetkovski said, adding that the ground where they were researching is a stratum that does not contain other cultural layers.

Before the start of the underwater researchers, the archeologists from the Struga Museum were in close contact with the Research Center for Underwater Archeology in Zadar. Experts from this center were supposed to take part in the expedition in Vbrnik, but because of activities there they could not participate.

According to the underwater archeologist Nikola Paskali, the Vbrnik site was systematically researched in the previous years, when it was divided into two segments of 50 meters. The archaeologists, he added, were studying just below the surface layer and reached a clay layer.

"This year our objective was to descend deeper to see what the underwater layers have been hiding. We selected a quadrant that we researched with probes. The clay shows several layers, which, with further processing of the materials that we have collected this year, and in cooperation with geologists and other institutions that monitor this area, will be investigated. The artifacts found so far point that this underwater site was full of life in the Iron Age," Paskali said.

The Vrbnik site is a prehistoric pile-dwelling with large surface and very rich but fragmented ceramic materials. Through the layers of earth, many items can be seen which include iron and bronze objects used as weapons, tools or decorations, jewelry, earrings, ceramic pots, which points to the intensive life that this settlement has seen during the Iron Age. With the current archaeological activities, a palafitte settlement has also been determined to have existed, covering a larger area of around 500 square meters, with more than 500 piles. The researches are to take place next year again in order to obtain more information on the life in this prehistoric settlement.

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