It is an ancient hidden roadway. It lies beneath layers of marine silt off the southern coast of Croatia. And it’s a fascinating artifact from a Neolithic site. It’s the road sunk 7,000 years ago. It connected a settlement of the Hvar culture with today’s isolated island Korčula.
Archaeologist Mate Parica discovered the ancient site of Soline, once an artificial island, in 2021. He used satellite images of the waters surrounding Korčula. He dived to the bottom of the ocean to investigate what he thought might have been man-made. At a depth of 4-5 meters in the Adriatic Sea, they found stone walls. They could have been part of an ancient settlement. The land on which they were located was separated from the main island by a narrow strip of land.
About 4 meters wide, the causeway was built with carefully stacked stone slabs. Today it is covered by a thick layer of silt. According to radiocarbon analysis of the preserved wood, the entire settlement dates to about 4,900 BC. C.
“People walked along this causeway almost 7,000 years ago.” This was announced by the University of Zadar in a statement posted on Facebook about that discovery. It is believed that the Neolithic culture of Hvar, which inhabited the eastern Adriatic, built the now submerged settlement of Soline. And also the ancient pass that connected the islands.
But there is another underwater settlement on the opposite side of the island. It is similar to Soline and contains some intriguing Stone Age artifacts. “There were Neolithic artifacts such as cream sheets, [hachas] stone and sacrificial fragments.” The finds from the new settlement seem to be related to the Hvar culture.
About 12,000 years ago, the Neolithic, also known as the New Stone Age, great changes occurred. There was a gradual transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to agriculture and animal domestication. More permanent community settlements began.
The sunken road 7000 years ago is part of this transition. Numerous archaeological finds, skeletal remains, artifacts, and others contribute to our knowledge of Neolithic peoples.