The main objectives of the AdriaS project are to raise the awareness of the Croatian scientific and broader community on the importance of systematic study to the historical development of shipbuilding and seafaring technologies, to establish solid scientific fundamentals for future systematic interdisciplinary research, and to assure the continuation of the development of the scientific discipline of nautical archaeology.
The AdriaS project aims at issuing a number of scientific publications that will make accessible the results of nautical archaeology studies in Croatia, embedded into the historical, economic and social contexts of different periods of the human past. This project could be considered a synthesis of the efforts invested into the most significant maritime historical and archaeological research realized in Croatia during the past five decades, but never promoted at the appropriate scientific level. Due to financial limitations, it aims to exploit the results of already-realized fieldwork research activities and ongoing projects, in order to focus on their scientific interpretation, and their integration into new achievements at the global level.
The AdriaS project aims to define and develop the discipline of nautical archaeology in Croatia, and raise it to the level achieved in the most prominent European states. Through applying the well-developed interdisciplinary model of study of shipbuilding and seafaring technology, and reconstructing the natural, political, economic and cultural/historical contexts of the researched ships, it aims to introduce cutting-edge, comprehensive approaches to the study of the development of the ideas and techniques related to one of the most challenging human activities in the past.
The AdriaS project focuses on enhancing a systematic interdisciplinary study and interpretation of the archaeological and historical record of shipbuilding and seafaring in the Eastern Adriatic. The copious challenging evidence from previous archaeological excavations, and the anticipated new evidence from the intense systematic interdisciplinary fieldwork and archival research, determined the concept of the project. Its objective is to realize a set of activities that will result in a well-defined discipline of nautical archaeology, providing the templates of hull studies for each historical period, based on different sets of available data. It will also direct future studies toward the reconstruction of evolutionary lines of cognitive and practical aspects of wooden shipbuilding from late prehistory to early modern age, and incorporate cutting-edge methodologies, based on digital modelling, suitable for different case studies.
Another objective of the AdriaS project is to develop the dynamic international network of experts and young researchers that will ensure the sustainability of the project’s achievements after the completion of the project. It aims to create a platform for the interdisciplinary collaboration of humanities, natural and technical sciences in documenting, assessing and interpreting the overall context of shipbuilding and seafaring in the past. It also aims to demonstrate that the involvement of experts from seemingly distant field of studies could highly contribute to the quality of nautical archaeology research.
Through the active involvement of experts specialized in the field of underwater robotics and 3D modelling, the project will emphasize the importance of introducing these new components in the methodology of the nautical archaeology research, and demonstrate their efficiency and utility in the scientific interpretation of the ships’ remains.
In order to realize the above stated general objectives, the AdriaS project concentrates on seven case studies (historical and iconographic evidence of lemboi and liburnae, the shipwreck Caska 1, the shipwreck Caska 2 in comparison to Trstenik 1, the shipwreck of cape Plavac, the shipwreck of cape Glavat, the two shipwrecks of Nin, and the shipwrecks of Gnalić and Suđurađ), the results of which can be also seen as specifically focused objectives of the project. Each case study aims at producing the final publication in a peer reviewed book or article, based on the scientific elaboration of the available data and archaeological material. Such publications are the most potent tool for achieving the overall objectives of the project.
Through merging with and exploiting the results of ongoing cultural heritage projects in Croatia, the AdriaS project aims to introduce a scientific component into the protection and preservation process of maritime and nautical cultural heritage which would allow the cultural heritage protection service to wisely plan and execute future work. It also aims to demonstrate the efficiency of joint funding from different sources for the outcome of archaeological research. Always considered a branch of the humanities, while obviously applying the methodology of technical and natural science, archaeology has serious troubles in obtaining adequate funding resources. The tactics proposed by the AdriaS project are a realistic attempt to find a solution for this problem.
In regard to public outreach, the AdriaS project aims at raising the general public’s awareness of the great value of maritime heritage, the interdisciplinary research directed toward the reconstruction of the history of technological development of Adriatic shipbuilding and seafaring, and the need for protection, research and preservation of shipwreck sites. It aims to provide new attractive material for the development of cultural tourism based on the sustainable use of maritime cultural heritage. Through direct involvement of volunteers, it aims at promoting the active participation of the general public in all the activities associated with the study, protection, preservation and presentation of the rich maritime heritage which defines the maritime identity of Croatia. Through all the dissemination activities, the AdriaS project aims at emphasizing the importance of the educational component in the exploitation of the outcomes of the project.