Historical lore indicates that Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century on a rocky island named Laus, which is said to have provided shelter for refugees from the nearby city of Epidaurum.
Another theory appeared in 2007, based on new archaeological excavations. New findings (a Byzantine basilica from the 8th century and parts of the city walls) contradict the traditional theory. The size of the old basilica clearly indicates that there was quite a large settlement at the time. There is also increasing support in the scientific community for the theory that major construction of Dubrovnik took place before the Common Era. This “Greek theory” has been boosted by recent findings of numerous Greek artifacts during excavations in the Port of Dubrovnik. Also, drilling below the main city road has revealed natural sand, contradicting the theory of Laus (Lausa) island.
Dr Antun Nicetic, in his book Povijest dubrovačke luke (History of the Port of Dubrovnik), expounds the theory that Dubrovnik was established by Greek sailors. A key element in this theory is the fact that ships in ancient times travelled about 45–50 nautical miles (83–93 km; 52–58 mi) per day and required a sandy shore to pull out of water for the rest period during the night. The ideal resting site would have fresh water sources in its vicinity. Dubrovnik has both and is situated roughly halfway between the two known Greek settlements of Budva and Korcula, 95 nautical miles (176 km; 109 mi) apart from each other.