Maja Grisonic PhD candidate

Institution: University of Zadar
Country: Croatia

Maja is an underwater archaeologist and a PhD student from the University of Zadar, originally from Trieste, Italy. She is now conducting research on salt production and trade in the Eastern Adriatic through centuries. Her topics of interests are archaeology of salt, Roman and Greek pottery productions, ancient port structures and maritime archaeology in general.


  • March 2016 – present: Ph.D. in Archaeology of the Eastern Adriatic, University of Zadar, Croatia, Thesis title: Salt exploitation and trade in the Eastern Adriatic in Classical Antiquity, Tutors: prof. Irena Radić Rossi (University of Zadar), prof. Cristina Carusi (University of Texas at Austin, USA)
  • February 2012 – November 2015: Master in Archaeology, University of Pisa, Italy, Thesis title: Ville e impianti produttivi sull’isola di Pag, Croazia (fine I. sec. a.C. – V. sec. d.C.), Mentors: prof. Simonetta Menchelli and prof. Marinella Pasquinucci (University of Pisa), prof. Irena Radić Rossi (University of Zadar), Graduation grade: 110 cum laude/110
  • September 2008 – February 2012: Bachelor degree in Cultural heritage studies – archaeological curriculum, University of Pisa, Italy, Bachelor thesis: La Casa delle Vestali. Mentor: prof. Lucia Faedo (University of Pisa), Graduation grade: 110/110
  • September 2003 – June 2008: Classical Gymnasium with the Slovenian teaching language “France Prešeren”, Trieste, Italy, September 2006–June 2007: exchange student at Forest Lake Area High School, Forest Lake, Minnesota, USA



  • B


  • Italian, Croatian, Slovenian: native speaker
  • English: fluent speaker, C2 level; German: B1 level; French: B2 level.


  • Drawing archaeological pottery by hand and in Adobe Illustrator
  • Very good organizational and communication skills
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Predisposition for team work and for working in international teams
  • Other interests: dance (salsa, bachata, kizomba), diving, singing, photography, travelling


  • 26th September – 19th October 2017: rescue archaeological exavations in Campagna Prandi (Trieste, Italy) Restoration project of the pedestrian path between the San Michele gardens and the San Giusto hill across the Prandi field. Organization: Teichos servizi e tecnologie per l'archeologia s.r.l., Soprintendenza archeologia, belle arti e paesaggio del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Municipality of Trieste.
  • July-August 2017: “Converging Worlds Project: Archaeology and Conservation of the Earliest Surviving Shipwreck in the Americas” (Highbourne Cay, Exumas, Bahamas) Underwater archaeological excavation of an Iberian exploration vessel sunk off the coast of Highbourne Cay in the first quarter of the 16th Cent. Responsible for the study of ceramic artifacts. Project directors: Nicholas Budsberg (PI), Charles Bendig (co-PI), Filipe Castro (co-PI), Texas A&M University, Shipwreck Institute for Education and Local Development (ShIELD).
  • June 2017: Project “Archaeological map of the island of Pašman, Croatia” Survey and documentation campaign of archaeological sites on the island. Organization: University of Zadar, within the Adrias Project – Archaeology of Adriatic Shipbuilding and Seafaring, Institute for Maritime Heritage Ars Nautica, Tkon. Project director: Irena Radić Rossi.
  • May 2017, May-June 2016, May 2015, May 2014, May 2013: Project “Cissa Antiqua” – underwater and terrestrial excavations. Archaeological excavations of the Roman settlement and underwater excavations of the boats and port structures in Caska bay, island of Pag (Croatia). Responsible for the inventory of underwater finds during the 2017 and 2016 excavation campaigns. Project directors: Irena Radić Rossi (University of Zadar, AdriaS project), Giulia Boetto (CCJ–CNRS).
  • October 2016: S. Girolamo Project – underwater excavations (Suđurađ bay, island of Šipan, Croatia) Excavation and study of the merchant ship S. Girolamo, sunk in 1576 off the island of Šipan. Project directors: Irena Radić Rossi (University of Zadar, AdriaS project), José Luis Casabán (Texas A&M  University).
  • August 2016, September 2015, July–August 2014, August 2013: Project “The shipwreck of Gnalić - Mirror of the Renaissance World” Underwater archaeological excavation of the 16th cent. Venetian merchant ship Gagliana Grossa sunk near the islet of Gnalić in Pašman’s Channel (Croatia). Project director: Irena Radić Rossi (University of Zadar, AdriaS project).
  • July 2016: Archaeological excavation at Tarac cove (island of Kornat, Croatia) Archaeological excavations of the Early Christian complex and the adjacent port near the church of Saint Mary of Tarac. Project directors: Irena Radić Rossi (University of Zadar, AdriaS project), Tomislav Fabijanić (University of Zadar).
  • June-July 2016: Archaeological investigation of a Hellenistic shipwreck (Žirje aquatorium, Croatia) Archaeological prospection and documentation of a small merchant ship from the 4th Cent. BC, transporting Corinth B type amphorae. Project director: Irena Radić Rossi (University of Zadar, AdriaS project).
  • June 2016: Archaeological documentation of a dolia shipwreck (Cavtat, Croatia) Project director: Irena Radić Rossi (University of Zadar, AdriaS project).
  • October 2014: Zambratija bay (Savudrija, Croatia) Underwater excavations of the Eneolithic pile-dwelling settlement. Project director: Ida Koncani Uhač (Archaeological Museum of Istria).
  • 9-12th June 2014, 10-15th June 2013: Busuja bay - underwater excavations of the Roman fishpond (Tar-Vabriga, Poreč, Croatia) Scientific Directors: Marie-Brigitte Carre (CCJ-CNRS), Vladimir Kovačić (Museum of the Poreč territory). Technical Director: Bruno Raffone (University of Urbino).
  • July 2013: Anaxum Project, Stella river - underwater excavations (Palazzolo dello Stella, UD, Italy) Underwater excavation of the Stella 1 shipwreck artifact dispersion area, situated to the north of the hull remains. Project director: Massimo Capulli (University of Udine).
  • July 2012, July 2010: San Genesio (San Miniato, PI, Italy) Archaeological excavations of the medieval site of San Genesio on the Via Francigena. Organization: University of Pisa, Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Tuscany. Project director: Federico Cantini, University of Pisa.
  • July 2009: Archaeological excavations at Aquileia, Via Gemina, Italy. Archaeological excavations of a late antique domus, located between the forum and the fluvial port of Aquileia. Project director: Federica Fontana (University of Trieste).


  • M. Grisonic, Amphorae from Caska in the Augusto-Tiberian period: imports and local productions?, in G. Lipovac Vrkljan, I. Radić Rossi, A. Konestra (eds.), AdriAmphorae. Amphorae as a resource for the reconstruction of economic development in the Adriatic region in Antiquity: local production. Proceedings of the workshop, Zagreb, 21st April 2016, Zagreb 2017, 68-79,
  • M. Grisonic, I. Radić Rossi, Two lásana from the 4th century BC shipwreck at the island of Žirje, Croatia, Skyllis, Jg. 16, Heft 2 (2016), 2017, 132-135
  • M. Grisonic, N. Stepan, Italska terra sigillata iz rimske vile rustike u uvali Caska na otoku Pagu / Terra sigillata italica dalla villa rustica romana nella baia di Caska sull'isola di Pag [Italian Terra Sigillata from the Roman Villa Rustica in Caska Bay on the Island of Pag], Archaeologia Adriatica, Vol. 10 (2016), 2017, (forthcoming)
  • M. Grisonic, Salt exploitation in the Eastern Adriatic in Classical Antiquity – preliminary reflections, ARS NAUTICA – Seafaring through the Ages. Nautical Heritage of the Mediterranean: research, conservation and valorisation, (forthcoming)


  • May-June 2018: Erasmus + Traineeship scholarship to conduct research on salt production in prehistory and antiquity at the Maison Archéologie & Ethnologie René-Ginouvès, Paris Nanterre (mentor: Olivier Weller).
  • March –April 2018: Erasmus + Traineeship scholarship to conduct studies on Roman ceramics and salt production in antiquity at the Centre Camille Jullian, Aix-en-Provence (mentor: Laëtitia Cavassa).
  • January – February 2018: one month scholarship awarded by the École française de Rome for pursuing research on salt production and trade in antiquity.
  • June 2017: scholarship of the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia for the attendance of the “Ars nautica – seafaring through the ages” summer school on nautical heritage of the Mediterranean at I U C – Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik, 3rd – 10th June 2017)
  • November - December 2016: French Embassy in Croatia - Campus France scholarship for professional education and training at the Centre Camille Jullian, Aix-en-Provence.
  • June 2016: scholarship of the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia for the attendance of the “Ars nautica – seafaring through the ages” summer school on nautical heritage of the Mediterranean at I U C – Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik, 11th – 18th June 2016)


  • October 2nd, 2015: NAUI Nitrox Diver
  • August 2nd, 2013: PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
  • August 21st, 2012: PADI Open Water Diver


  • Participation at the “Ars nautica – seafaring through the ages” summer school on nautical heritage of the Mediterranean, organized within the Adrias Project – Archaeology of Adriatic Shipbuilding and Seafaring at I U C – Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik, 3rd – 10th June 2017)
  • Participation at the summer school “Ars nautica – seafaring through the ages” at I U C – Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik, 11th – 18th June 2016)
  • Contribution to the organization of the exhibition “Architectura navalis Adriatica: Traditional Boats of the Croatian Adriatic” in the ZadArt Gallery (Zadar, 29th November – 10th December 2014)
  • Attendance of Luciano Keber’s workshop “Building a wooden ship model in diminished scale” (Zadar, 14th – 16th September 2014)
  • DAN On-Site Neurological Assessment Provider (Island of Pag, 15th  May 2014)
  • Project “Caddy: Cognitive Autonomous Diving Buddy (Island of Pag, May 2014). Volunteer in experiments for equipment testing (more information at:
  • Course “Basic gvSIG: introduction to GIS and the software Open Source gvSIG” (TerreLogiche – Geoprogetti Srl, Pisa, 19th - 26th November, 3rd December 2013)
  • Attendance of the seminar “Archeologia e professionismo archeologico in Italia: problematiche, realtà e prospettive future. Il contributo dell’Associazione Nazionale Archeologi” (Firenze, 12th December 2013)
  • Participation in the training course “Rischi connessi all’attività del cantiere di scavo archeologico” (Pisa, 13th April 2012)
  • ECDL certificate (Trieste, 24th June 2009)


  • Poster at the XLII International and Pluridisciplinary Colloquium of HALMA UMR 8164 “Sel et Société” (Lille, 23rd-24th November 2017): “Salt production along the Eastern Adriatic coast through centuries”
  • Poster at the 4th International Colloquium “Roman Ceramic and Glass Manufactures. Production and trade in the Adriatic region and beyond” (Crikvenica, 8th-9th November 2017): Maja Grisonic & Nikolina Stepan, “Dressel 6B and “Caska 1” amphorae from the villa rustica in Caska, island of Pag (Croatia)”
  • Presentation during the “Annona 2017” – 2nd International Student Conference on Underwater Archaeology (Zadar, 28th October 2017): “Salt exploitation in the Eastern Adriatic in Classical Antiquity”
  • Presentation during the “Ars nautica: seafaring through the Ages” – Summer School on Nautical Heritage of the Mediterranean (Dubrovnik, 7th June 2017): “Salt exploitation in the Eastern Adriatic in Classical Antiquity”
  • Poster at the 3rd IARPotHP conference “Exploring the neighbourhood: the role of ceramics in understanding place in the Hellenistic world” (Kaštela, 1st-4th June 2017): Katarina Batur & Maja Grisonic, “Pottery from the Newly Discovered Hellenistic Shipwreck at the Island of Žirje (Croatia)”
  • Poster at the Deguwa Annual Conference on Underwater Archaeology “In Poseidons Reich XXII” (Koblenz, 17th-19th March 2017): “Two rhytons from the 4th Cent. BC shipwreck in the Šibenik archipelago, Croatia”
  • Presentation during the 6th International Congress on Underwater Archaeology (IKUWA6) (Fremantle, Australia, 1st December 2016): Irena Radić Rossi, Giulia Boetto, Katarina Batur, Maja Grisonic, “Submerged coastal structures of the ancient settlement in the bay of Caska (island of Pag, Croatia)”
  • Poster at the 5th National conference on Underwater Archaeology “Archeologia subacquea 2.0” (Udine, 8th-10th September 2016): Maja Grisonic & Andrea Gobbi, “La conservazione preliminare dei manufatti dal relitto di Gnalić (Croazia) [Preliminary conservation of the artifacts from the Gnalić shipwreck]”
  • II Forum di Archeologia della regione Friuli Venezia Giulia (Udine, 30th – 31st January 2014): Maja Grisonic & Valeria Rivano (University of Pisa): “La didattica nel fiume Stella vista dagli studenti [The excavation in the Stella river by the students’ point of view]”


  • Participation at the round table AdriAmphorae at the Institute of Archaeology (Zagreb, 21st April 2016):“Amfore iz Caske – uvoz ili lokalna produkcija? [Amphorae from Caska – imports or local production?]”


  • Public talk in occasion of the conference “Views of the past – conferences of the history of Pag”, organized by the Underwater research center Navalis (Pag, 13th May 2017): “Sol i solarstvo u Antici [Salt and salt-making in Antiquity]”
  • Public talk during the Days of Antiquity in Zadar at the Archaeological Museum of Zadar (Zadar, 2nd June 2016): Katarina Batur & Maja Grisonic, “Cissa Antiqua”
  • Public talk in occasion of the underwater eco-action in Vlašići on the island of Pag (Vlašići, 23rd April 2016): Maja Grisonic & Katarina Batur, “Otok Pag u rimsko doba” [The island of Pag in Roman times]”
  • Public lecture at the Department of Archaeology of the University of Zadar (Zadar, 30th March 2016): “Rimski gospodarski kompleks u Caskoj na otoku Pagu [Roman productive complex in Caska on the island of Pag]”



Student Project ARBOR Workshop on ship models for nautical archaeology studies (student project)

CISSA ANTIQUA Roman multi-stratified settlement and port in the bay of Caska at the island of Pag

The Shipwreck of Gnalić - Mirror of Renaissance World Gagliana grossa, 1583
/ /