Ancient ships from Cissa (Island of Pag, Croatia) in their cultural and historical context

Abstract : The island of Pag belongs to the geographical region of Northern Dalmatia, and is one of the five biggest islands of Croatia. A Liburnian population inhabited it during the time of the Roman conquest, and Pliny the Elder mentioned it under the name of Cissa (Hist. Nat., 3, 140). Although the position of the main Liburnian settlement has not been confirmed, it has been suggested that it was situated on the hill of Košljun in the near vicinity of the bay of Caska, at the north-western edge of the gulf of Pag. The bay of Caska preserved the notable remains of a multi-stratified settlement, whose important phase seems to be identifiable with a big and well-organized maritime villa property of the senatorial family Calpurnii Pisones. The systematic documentation and study of the structures on land and underwater started just recently, revealing some interesting archaeological features. The muddy bottom of the bay preserved a wooden anchor, an interesting structure made of rectangular caissons composed of logs and filled with stones, which probably served as the basis of a pier or a breakwater, and the remains of three seagoing vessels from the Early Roman Imperial Period, uncovered until 2015. The boat Caska 1, about 9 m long, was assembled with the old local sewing technique that survived into Roman times. It was probably scuttled and reused to reinforce some pier-like wooden coastal structure. On the other hand, Caska 2 is more than 15 m long, and was assembled by the standard Roman mortise-and-tenon shipbuilding technique. This ship was also scuttled and reused in a pier-like structure. Finally, a fragment of planking of a sewn boat similar to Caska 1, named Caska 3, was found inside the ship Caska 2. The poster aims at presenting the remains of the three ships, without entering into details on their secondary infrastructural function, and the adjacent harbour structures.
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Contributor : Giulia Boetto <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 4:38:05 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 1:20:02 PM
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Giulia Boetto, Irena Radic Rossi. Ancient ships from Cissa (Island of Pag, Croatia) in their cultural and historical context . Baltic and Beyond, Change and Continuity in shipbuilding, 14th International Symposium on Boat and Ship Archaeology, Sep 2015, Gdansk, Poland. ⟨halshs-01475397⟩



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