A team of Bosnia-Herzegovina's archaeologists have discovered for the first time the remnants of fabled Illyrian ships in a marshland in southern Herzegovina, the team's head said on Tuesday.
Snjezana Vasilj told local media in Mostar that the ships were discovered about eight metres under the water of Hutovo blato, a marshland near the southern town of Capljina.
The Illyrian ships, believed to be more than 2 200 years old, had been known to historians only through Greek and Roman myths and legends, but their existence had never been physically proven, said Vasilj.
The Hutovo blato marshland, she said, became their final destination after they sailed in from the Adriatic Sea which is connected with the marshland by the Neretva River.
The Desilo location where the ships were discovered, said Vasilj, would be searched further, since the experts there also discovered about 80 amphoras lids and more than 30 fragments of amphora, some even with the hallmark.
Remains of an ancient Roman villa and an entire Roman spear were found at the same location, as well as seven graves, believed to date from the Bronze or Iron Age.
Illyrians were the earliest inhabitants of the Western Balkans, including Bosnia, long before the Roman Empire took control over the region.