Katarina Jerbić - 2016 - Flinders University PhD Scholar

Katarina Jerbić earned an MA in Archaeology and Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. She has been working as an archaeologist for more than 10 years on various archaeological excavations as well as a curator in an archaeological museum. Her scientific interest has always leaned towards European Prehistory and its diversity, especially in her home country of Croatia and its Adriatic coast.

Katarina’s Ph.D. research will be taking place on the Northern Adriatic coast in Istria, Croatia. The site in focus located near the town of Zambratija and is a 6000 year old prehistoric and a possible pile dwelling settlement (sometimes also known as stilt houses or palafittes), which is a settlement pattern usual for the Alpine region of that period in Europe. The site, which is now submerged used to be on land when it was in use, but due to postglacial sea-level rise, was flooded by the rising Adriatic Sea. It is now three meters under water. So far more than 120 wooden piles have been found at the site.

Katarina’s research will aim to reconstruct the site by recording all the piles and identifying patterns. From there, one of the longer-term goals is to make 3D reconstructions of the structures and village. She will also collect samples of soil around the piles to see the difference in layers of the time before and after the sea level change. Samples of organic material like wood and bones will be taken for determining the age of the site and for botanical and zoological analysis in attempt to reconstruct the environment when the settlement was occupied and later abandoned.

Katarina is delighted and proud to be a recipient of the HFF Scholarship to study maritime archaeology at Flinders University,  a top programme in the Southern Hemisphere. Her interest and attraction to cultural boundaries and human perception, time, space, language, and thought have been piqued by her recent move to Australia. Katarina expects that her research will give her greater understanding cross-cultural networks and boundaries and the diversity of human experience. She is particularly interested in examining her research within the broader context of human-environment interaction and adaptation to climate change.

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