Roman ship found at Ostia

Archaeologists excavating an area where a bridge is scheduled to be built between modern-day Ostia and Fiumicino, the town just outside Rome where Leonardo da Vinci airport is found, have discovered the remains of an ancient Roman ship. The 11-meter (36-foot) section is from one of the sides of the ship. So far neither the stern, bow nor hull have been recovered, but since we’re talking about ancient wood, the team is working very deliberately to ensure its preservation.

Anna Maria Moretti, archaeological superintendent for Rome and Ostia Antica, said “the find is a novelty because at that depth, about four metres below the topsoil, we have never found a ship, only layers (of buildings) and one single structure”. […]

She also said there were “remains of ropes and cables” in the ship.

“Restoring the vessel will be an extremely delicate operation,” Moretti went on. “We’re keeping it constantly covered in water so that the wood doesn’t dry out.

“The wreck must be treated with highly sophisticated preservation techniques,” Moretti said.

I hope they have a giant freezer available somewhere, because the polyethylene glycol dousing system that preserved the likes of the Mary Rose and the Vasa is way too expensive with oil prices the way they are.

According to site director Paola Germoni, the discovery of the ship at this location indicates that the ancient coast line was 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) further inland than it is today. Silting gradually filled the port and the mouth of the Tiber shifted, pushing back the shoreline so that the ancient city of Ostia, now called Ostia Antica, is miles away from the modern beach town of Ostia.

You can see how the river and shoreline moved in this post about Portus, the artificial harbour first constructed next to Ostia’s smaller natural harbor by the emperor Claudius.

Portus as it was, modern painting from 1582 fresco

Trajan's Lake today, Google Maps view

Roman ships were found before in this same area when the airport was being built. The small fleet and the artifacts found with them are now on display in Fiumicino’s Museum of the Roman Ships.

12 thoughts on “Roman ship found at Ostia

  1. Technology is wonderful, but we can’t forget the people who take on these tasks to find and escavate these wonderful treasures of history. Thank you to all of you, keep up the good work!! Can’t wait to read more about this great discovery as you continue to unveil this treasure of a find!!

  2. i wondered where my ship was docked, on night with too much rum andnow look what happens, im bad

  3. I love the preservation of history! It’s so great to be able to look at it and imagine what it would have been like to live in those times. I love learning about our history from anywhere in the world. History is fascinating!! :yes:

  4. Ocean was also approx. 2-4 miles inland at the pyramids of Gheisa in Egypt. According to archeaologists and historians, boats used to be able to drop stuff off right in front of them, which means the water is going to come back eventually. Whatever is left at the poles anyway… If it was’nt violently blown out into the harsh vaccum of space it ended up at the N. or S. pole because of centrifugal force from the earth spinning faster than normal after being struck by a meteor. The surface of earth was’nt exposed to the sun long enough because of this more rapid spinning and “voila” you have the N. and S. Poles perfectly frozen locking the techtonic plates in place like one of those wooden puzzles with one important last key piece that holds it all together except this one has two. Meteors (that are bigger than a volkswagen anyways..) hitting the ocean caused the effect you see in a pool of water or a bowl when you drop a heavy rock in it. It displaces some of the water and leaves some. This all seems like basic physics and rhetoric but the scary part is that the poles are melting and our two “key” pieces that are holding this wooden puzzle together are melting and the techtonic plates are getting restless again. We need it though. Look at the mess man has created inside of Mother Earths safe, warm, hospitible womb. Seems to me like “anything that likes to deficate in it’s own womb and then keep doing it after it is aware of it might as well perish.” This creature is defective and unlearning and this species is cleared for annihlation.

  5. ^^ What a Debbie Downer… Crawl back in your hole and wait to die then, because I’m going to live my life to the fullest and think happy thoughts… Not thoughts that would make me want to kill everyone and then find a rope and a tree….. See a doctor man..!! :boogie:

  6. ^ People like you, are the reason people like me, need medication… Just sayin’….. To everyone who doesn’t hate life, :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: :boogie: PARTY LIKE ROCK STARS

  7. @silver surfer….Uhhh….ok…? First, what you wrote has nothing to do with finding an ancient Roman ship. Second, learn to type. Third, what you did babble on about, really made very little sense, was scientifically inaccurate….and….strange. (The poles, and therefore the ice at the poles exist because of centrifugal force!?!? :no:

    Seriously livius, you seem to have some of the most random friggin people and comments appear throughout your blog. 😆

    At least it’s entertaining as hell. Sometimes. If my head didn’t hurt from banging it off the palm of my hand all the time.

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