The aim of the AdriaS project is to enhance systematic interdisciplinary study and interpretation of the archaeological and historical record of shipbuilding and seafaring in the Eastern Adriatic. Its rich maritime history, seen through the technological development of wooden shipbuilding and seafaring and the dynamics that affected them over time, has not been systematically researched until recently, due to the lack of appropriate resources and the absence of a sound methodological basis.
The project considers the cognitive and practical sequences of the technological development of shipbuilding and seafaring, studying the relationship between technology on one hand and the political, economic and cultural/historical context on the other. It focuses on issues from all periods of the human past (Prehistory, Classical Antiquity, Middle Ages and Early Modern period) through active fieldwork, archival research and virtual reality experimentation. From the problematic histories of the Illyrian lemboi and Liburnian liburnae, to the complex issues of the large late Renaissance merchantmen, it provides a comprehensive overview of the past achievements, and introduces into Croatian research the systematic methodological approach to the study of the ships’ hulls.
Taking into consideration global state-of-the-art practices in the fields of nautical archaeology and maritime history, the project aims to introduce cutting edge methodologies of study of ancient ships, their equipment and cargoes. It will foster an innovative interdisciplinary approach in the process of research, recording and interpretation of the most significant direct material evidence of the Eastern Adriatic maritime past, while promoting international collaboration and networking among young researchers. Such a research will have great potential for community outreach and wider public interest, especially through promoting the project in public media as well as using new knowledge in Croatian touristic promotion.