Montenegro Survey Project: 2013-14 Field Season
The survey project is a cooperative research project between the Center for Conservation and Archaeology at Cetinje-Montenegro, RPM Nautical Foundation, USA, and the Regional Center for Underwater Demining and Diving Training, Rescue, Relief and Control at Sea, Bijela-Montenegro. Over the 2013-4 field seasons two methods of remote sensing were employed: a hull-mounted multibeam system (2013) and a side-scan survey through deployment of an AUV (2014). Hull-mounted multibeam operations in 2013 were undertaken with the R/V Hercules fitted with model type EM3002D from Kongsberg Maritime division. The R/V Hercules runs overlapping survey lanes along the contours of the seafloor to reach 200% coverage of the bottom. Data from the multibeam operations was processed during, and directly after, the collection phase to produce three-dimensional models of the seafloor, which was then analyzed for anomalies.
Survey operations during the 2013-4 field season continued from the SE border of the coastal section completed in 2012 from Cape Platamuni into Budvanski Zaliv, where it filled in the gaps left in 2011 and extended the survey area out to the 100-m contour. Depths for the survey ranged from c. 25 m in the shallow bay areas to 100 m. The multibeam survey has reached an area roughly parallel with the island of Saint Nikola.
A new ancient site was located during anomaly verification in 2012, this brings the total to 22 wreck sites for the 4 field seasons. Additionally, the four ancient sites discovered in 2011 were revisited and additional samples taken for analysis. A total of 10 ancient wrecksites have now been located between the entrance of Boka Kotorska and Budvanski Zaliv.
Site Revisits: MN11-AE Budvanksi Zaliv 1
ROV sonar image of wrecksite in 2012 indicated an overall mound of approximately 24 x 8 m and that additional material extends into the sediment and the site must be larger. The sector scanner survey showed a similar dimension. This image, along with that of the side-scan sonar on the AUV, shows an ovoid-shaped wrecksite with clear tapering at the bow and stern areas. The ship must have been over 30 m in length, quite a large merchant vessel in this period. A sample was taken after the video survey (MN11AE-0015); this was the top (rim-neck-handle) of a Corinthian B amphora. Again, it appears the entire cargo is comprised of Corinthian B amphoras along with a pithos positioned at each end of the wrecksite. More detailed video review may reveal other artifacts or amphora types.
Site Revisits: MN11-AF Budvanksi Zaliv 2
This wrecksite has clear indications of drag net impacts on the site. Included in these are deep ruts near and directly through the site as well as numerous amphoras sitting in slight depressions moved up to 40 m away from the main deposit. A main amphora pile does remain and has several layers apparent, but amphoras tend to be jostled in many orientations.
Site Revisits: MN11-AG Budvanksi Zaliv 3
Although impacted by fishing activity, this wrecksite appears to have suffered a fewer less drag net impacts than Budvanski Zaliv 2 nearby as there are fewer single amphora examples scattered around the site periphery. The site has a general elongated shape that has lost some of the typical ‘ovoid’ shape as the drag net impacts tumbled some amphoras off the main stack. There is a slight elongation at one end that may be explained by this as well.
Site Revisits: MN12-AA Budvanksi Zaliv 4
Numerous deep drag marks run parallel to this site; perhaps fish have gathered here for some time and fishermen have returned frequently. Consequently, there is material lying about the site and that has clearly been pulled off when drag nets impacted the amphora mound.
Site Revisits: MN10-AF Krekavica 1
The site appears to be largely intact with little disturbance and no signs of material scattered about the periphery of the site area. There are drag marks present, yet so particular pattern hitting the site. The video survey also revealed a largely integrated site, with some amphoras having been pulled off of the main pile in deposits directly adjacent to it. All of the amhoras noted in the video survey were of the African 3 type previously noted in 2010 and again in 2012.
Site Revisits: MN11-AH Krekavica 2
Clear that site has been dragged and damaged; several deep drag marks are noted intersecting on the site. It has thus been scattered and there is likely sediment piled upon it in places. Numerous hard objects in depressions are around site, the limited ROV work in 2011 indicated these were ceramics that included Rhodian type amphoras.
Site Revisits: MN10-AC Traste 1
The sector scan of this site revealed the same integrated deposit as was noted in the initial video survey of 2010, yet the sonar images detected several amphoras that are off the main site deposit. Several drag marks from fishing activity are apparent, although not in the intensity that is found with the Traste 2 wreck nearby, and these dragnet hits are likely responsible for these amphoras locations. A backscatter image from 2010 indicated a wider deposit in a clear ovoid shape just below the surface, while that above the seafloor the deposit is elongated but not of a particular shape.
Site Revisits: MN10-AD Traste 2
Initial video investigation of this site in 2010 did not provide a clear understanding of the overall site deposit. The sector scan showed a wrecksite that is scattered with pockets of deposits along with elongated scatters. Additionally it presented a seafloor that is badly scarred with many deep drag scars from fishing activity. It is clear from the orientation of the scatter and the nature of the deposits that this wrecksite has been severely damaged by drag net fishing. The buried and slightly-buried amphoras form the surviving mound of the site that is covered with broken ceramic material observed in the video.
Preliminary 2015 Work Plan
Survey for the 2015 field season should continue SE down the coastline into the area of Budva and St. Nikola island where the distance between shore and the 100-m contour widens considerably. The current plan is to utilize the AUV based systems: sidescan and bathymetry (multibeam). Based on current charts, the distance out to the 100-m contour roughly doubles. ROV operations will complete any viable targets not verified from the 2014 field season as well as newly generated anomalies.