Fair wind, Miran !

Fair winds, Miran!
🖤 (1959 - 2023) 🖤

Miran Erič 🖤 (1959 – 2023)🖤

Estonian dugout boat would have not been listed in UNESCOs ICH list without Miran Eric and The Early Watercraft Initiative founded by him.

A short bio of Miran: (from Curriculum Vitae and the Bibliography)

Miran Eric graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of Ljubljana in 1988 and in his post-graduate studies, which he completed in 1992, he focused on the conservation and restoration of waterlogged wood from archaeological sites. From the very beginning, his research has been focused on underwater cultural heritage sites with wooden remains.

Miran spent six months in 1991 in the Underwater Archaeology department of Greek Ministry for culture and participated with Greek, French, American and English research groups in the list of seven underwater archaeological sites. During this time he also participated in the first conference of the ISBSA in Athens, where he met with the most important researchers of the underwater heritage, George Bass, Peter Throckmorton, Carl Olof Cederlund, Ole Crumlin-Pedersen, Yacov Cahanov and other pioneers of underwater archaeology.

Preparation of an academic study and review of all wood finds in Slovenia, with emphasis on logboats and other wooden vessels for the master’s degree, which was completed in 1998. Already in 1994 cooperation with the colleague, the dendrochronologist, Otto Cichocki in the research of pile dwellings in Keutschacher Lake. Together with a group of students, in particular Andrej Gaspari, he started to develop the underwater archaeological methodology in Slovenia and participated in almost all investigations of the underwater cultural heritage in Slovenia from 1992 to 2016 (about 35).

In 1998 he started research in the field of 3D documentation of underwater sites. On the shipwreck from the 1st century AD off the island of Grebeni near the island of Silba, he created the first photogrammetric 3D documentation of underwater locations in the Adriatic Sea in 2001. In the past years he participated together with colleagues from
Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Austria, France and Hungary in many investigations in the Adriatic Sea. He is an expert in the field of 3D documentation, visualisation of cultural heritage and protection of dam timber and is a regular speaker at many international congresses. The most important works are the database of about 97 ships in the inland waters of the Republic of Slovenia and the database of shipwrecks in the small Slovenian coastal sea with 38 sites, the oldest of which dates back to the 1st century AD.

In addition, there are the discoveries of the world’s sixth oldest logboat from 6300 BC in Hotiza at Murska Sobota, the 45,000-year-old Palaeolithic wooden spike from the river Ljubljanica near Vrhnika and the second Roman cargo ship “Pontonium” in the river Ljubljanica, which was discovered at Sinja Gorica on Ljubljansko barje from the 1st
century BC. AD . which, due to its construction features not seen until today, is the missing link in the research into the evolution of the North Adriatic Celtic-Roman shipbuilding tradition. In his future work he is preparing a doctoral thesis. Dissertation on the methodology and the use of Visual Language in archaeology.

Over the last 20 years, he has developed the initiative for a systematic global research institute for early watercraft research and started the funding at the EUROMED conference in November 2014, where Werner Weber Award awarded the contribution for the best conference paper. In April 2015 the formal global initiative “Early Watercraft – A global perspective of invention and development” was founded in Vrhnika with 20 ambassadors from Slovenia, Estonia, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Austria, France and Ireland in Vrhnika with the task to prepare everything necessary for integration into international institutions. By November 2020, the global initiative “Early Watercraft” had been expanded to 118 individual ambassadors and 38 institutional ambassadors from 55 countries on all five continents.


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