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Osor beyond the myth


The project combines studies of archaeological finds, archaeometallurgy and human remains, with a reconstruction of landscape changes (remote sensing, geophysical prospection and geology). At the same time, the methods are chosen in such a way that they allow seamless research above and below the modern sea level.

Airborne laser scanning plays a special role in the landscape-based approach, enabling a three-dimensional measurement of the relief below and above today’s sea level. This data is not only important for the reconstruction of the sea level in antiquity, but also for the evaluation of Osor as a former maritime trading centre. However, for a combined approach that takes cultural, natural and marine aspects into account, the landscape context must be combined with research into the material culture. While structures and anthropogenic / natural processes can be investigated at the macro level, humans are placed at the centre of research at the micro level. Material provenance research and the analysis of stable isotopes of human remains serve this purpose. The archaeological research concentrates therefore on five topics:  

  • History of contacts and trade
  • Spatial development of Osor
  • Peripheral land use
  • Landscape context: relative sea level and palaeo-coastline
  • Osor in the matrix of long-distance maritime routes

In recent years, several studies conducted by project partners have focussed on Osor and its surroundings. These studies provide the first insights for a historical reassessment of the town and form the foundation for current research.

Material culture in context

Blečić Kavur M. (2022), Inside fashion fusion: Fibulae from Crikvenica. In G. Lipovac Vrkljan, A. Konestra, A. Eterović Borzić (eds.), Roman Pottery and Glass Manufactures. Production and trade in the Adriatic region and beyond. Oxford: Archaeopress Roman Archaeology 94, 3-19. Download PDF

Blečić Kavur M. (2021), Kvarner in the Early Iron Age of the northern Adriatic. Arheološki vestnik 72, 57-74. DOI: 10.3986/AV.72.18

Blečić Kavur, M. (2020), Medium and Motif: Goat in the Bestiary of the Iron Age Caput Adriae. Vera Bitrakova Grozdanova – Годишник на Истражувачкиот центар за културно наследство, „Цветан Грозданов“ при МАНУ. Skopje: Monumenta V, 125-149. Download PDF

Blečić Kavur M. (2017), Small bodies in a big world: anthropo-ornithomorphic Iron Age pendants from Caput Adriae. Prilozi Instituta za arheologiju u Zagrebu 34, 123-142. Download PDF

Blečić Kavur M. (2015), A coherence of perspective: Osor in cultural contacts during the Late Iron Age. Koper – Mali Lošinj: University of Primorska Press. Download PDF

Blečić Kavur M. (2014), At the crossroads of worlds at the turn of the millennia: The Late Bronze Age in the Kvarner region. Zagreb: Musei Archaeologici Zagabriensis catalogi et monographiae 11. Download PDF

Blečić Kavur M. (2014), Get the balance right! Osor in the balance of European cultures and civilizations in the last centuries BC. Koper: University of Primorska Press Download PDF

Blečić Kavur M. (2014), The Lady from Čikat. Koper: University of Primorska Press. Download PDF

Blečić Kavur M, Busuladžić A., David W., Ettinger Starčić Z., Guštin M., Kavur B. (2014), Mjesta susretanja / Places of contact / Mesta srečevanja. Koper: University of Primorska Press. Download PDF

Blečić Kavur M., Kavur B. (2013), The Amphora from Osor. Hortus Artium Medievalium 19, 351-356. DOI: 10.1484/J.HAM.1.103589 Download PDF

Blečić Kavur M. (2012), Ornamented bronze phalerae with a thorn: ornament as an emblem / Ukrašene brončane falere s trnom: ornament kao amblem. Godišnjak Centra za blakanološka ispitivanja 41, 43-66. Download PDF

Blečić Kavur M. (2009), Universal and Original. Transformations of Style in The North-Adriatic Region. In G. Tiefengraber, B. Kavur, A. Gaspari (eds.), Keltske študije II – Studies in Celtic Archaeology. Papers in honour of Mitja Guštin. Montagnac: Protohistoire Européenne 11, 197-208. Download PDF

Blečić Kavur M. (2007), Osor on Cres. In A. Durman (ed.) One Hundred Croatian Archeological Sites. Zagreb: Leksikografski zavod Miroslav Krleža, 200-201. Download PDF

Spatial development of Osor

Draganits E., Gier S., Doneus N., Doneus M. (2019), Geoarchaeological evaluation of the Roman topography and accessibility by sea of ancient Osor (Cres Island, Croatia). Austrian Journal of Earth Sciences 112/1, 1-19. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17738/ajes.2019.0001

Doneus N., Doneus M., Ettinger Starčić Z. (2017), The ancient city of Osor, northern Adriatic, in integrated archaeological prospection. Hortus Artium Medievalium 23 (2), 761-775. https://doi.org/10.1484/J.HAM.5.113761

Peripheral land use

Doneus M., Doneus N., Cowley D. (2022), Confronting Complexity: Interpretation of a Dry Stone Walled Landscape on the Island of Cres, Croatia. Land 11(10), 1672. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/land11101672

Doneus M., Mandlburger G., Doneus N. (2020), Archaeological filtering of airborne laser scan derived point-clouds in difficult environments, Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology 3(1), 92-108. https://doi: 10.5334/jcaa.44

Doneus M., Doneus N., Briese C., Pregesbauer M., Mandlburger G., Verhoeven G. (2013), Airborne Laser Bathymetry – Detecting and recording submerged archaeological sites from the air. Journal of Archaeological Science 40, 2136-2151. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.12.021

Landscape context: relative sea level and palaeo-coastline

Brunović D., Miko S., Hasan O., Papatheodorou G., Ilijanić N., Miserocchi S., Correggiari A., Geraga M. (2020), Late Pleistocene and Holocene paleoenvironmental reconstruction of a drowned karst isolation basin (Lošinj Channel, NE Adriatic Sea). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 544, 109587. https://doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2020.109587

Brunović D., Miko S., Ilijanić N., Peh Z., Hasan O., Kolar T., Šparica Miko M., Razum I. (2019), Holocene foraminiferal and geochemical records in the coastal karst dolines of Cres island, Croatia. Geologia Croatica, 72(1), 19-42. https://doi:10.4154/gc.2019.02

Miko S., Mesić S., Miko M. S., Hasan O. (2008), A record of anthropogenic pb deposition in a Mediterranean karst catchment (lake Vrana, Cres island, Croatia). Mineralogical Magazine, 72(1), 455-460. https://doi:10.1180/minmag.2008.072.1.455