Two long-lost pearls referred to by archaeologists as Dragonera north and Dragonera south were discovered in the course of archaeological excavations between 2003 and 2004. Dragonera north is a somewhat less preserved structure, built at the beginning of the 1st century BC lasting until the 7th century when it was destroyed by a fire.
This villa (villa maritima) with a preserved part of the olive processing plant and a later added closed kiln was ruined by the sea, while limekilns were built above the ruins in the 19th and 20th centuries devastating the ancient ruins even more.
Much more is known about Dragonera south. Although its owner remains unknown, he bore the title of aedile, duumvir of colony Pula. The early imperial villa maritima of this Roman knight occupied the whole bay consisting of a residential building, quay and production facilities, while its construction dates to 70–90 BC. The villa was adorned with mosaics of exceptional beauty, of which worth mentioning is the one with the unique representation of a rhinoceros.
After the fire had devastated the early imperial villa in the 4th century, it was completely renovated. This was the site of the only recorded Roman blacksmith with a smelting furnace in the eastern Adriatic from the 5th and 6th centuries. After the great fire in the 7th century, its inhabitants probably found shelter in the fortified settlement Castrum on Veli Brijun island.
When writing about Dragonera in 537 – 538 Roman prefect Cassiodorus referred to the villas as two pearls because of their splendor and beauty.