7,000-Year-Old Submerged Road Discovered Under The Mediterranean Sea

Photo: University of Zadar (Fair Use)

Archaeologists have made an exciting discovery at the submerged Neolithic site of Soline, off the coast of Korčula, a Croatian island.

A Stone Age road, believed to be several millennia older than the site itself, has been unearthed. The ancient pathway once connected Soline to a settlement that now lies beneath the Adriatic Sea, around 4 to 5 meters (13 to 16 feet) below the water’s surface, IFL Science reported.

Using satellite imagery, researchers initially identified the remains of Soline in 2021. Intrigued by an unusual feature on the seabed, they embarked on a closer investigation.

Equipped with snorkeling gear, they explored the area and discovered the walls of an ancient settlement, connected to the main island by a narrow strip of land. The submerged site, believed to have been constructed by the Neolithic Hvar culture, dates back approximately 4,900 years.

The recent revelation of the Stone Age road has brought more excitement. Buried beneath layers of mud, the road consists of carefully stacked stone slabs and measures around 4 meters wide (13 feet). It is estimated to be several millennia older than the Soline site itself.

The University of Zadar released a statement revealing that the ancient road originally linked Soline to Korčula and may date back as far as 7,000 years ago. The road’s remarkable preservation can be attributed to the protection offered by the Croatian coast’s numerous islands, shielding the region from powerful waves.

In addition to the Soline discovery, researchers have also identified another submerged settlement in Gradina Bay, on the opposite side of Korčula. This second site, found at a similar depth to Soline, bears striking similarities to the previously discovered site.

Excavations at these underwater ruins have unveiled numerous Stone Age artifacts, including flint blades, stone axes, and fragments of millstones. These findings further support the association of these settlements with the Neolithic Hvar culture.

The discoveries at Soline and Gradina Bay provide valuable insights into the ancient history of the region, shedding light on the early human presence and activities in the area thousands of years ago.

Written by staff