Croatian archaeologists discovered a Roman wooden boat from the first century after six years of research in an area near the village of Sukošan,, a local Croatian newspaper, reported last week.

The wooden ship, 29.5 feet in length and nearly 10 feet wide, was found by a team from the International Center for Underwater Archaeology in the nearby coastal city of Zadar.

The ancient port of Barbir was first identified underwater in 1973, but archaeologists have only been seriously working in the area since 2017. In 2021, underwater archaeologists began to suspect that it was the site of a major wreck after they found pieces of wood and thirty bronze coins minted during the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine. Aerial photographs later showed evidence of submerged structures.

A larger underwater survey of 172 square feet revealed the ship in “incredibly good condition” after being preserved by a layer of sand for over 2,000 years.

“Its entire shell has been preserved, which is a great specialty,” the center’s director, Mladen Pešić, told

Pešić said samples from the ship’s wooden elements have been sent to France for analysis to help determine where vessel’s material originated from. Additional research work on the second half of the ship will take place next year.