Science News

Pisa Once Like Venice

Sun, 23rd Nov 2003

Part of the show Genetically modified viruses for treating cancers

Archeologists have unearthed a ghost fleet of ships buried in mud outside the Italian city of Pisa. This had led them to think that Pisa was built on a lagoon similar to Venice, with a river delta where freshwater met sea water. Pisa is now 10km from the sea, but in Roman times it was only 3.5km from the sea. A ship was found 5 years ago by accident, by a bulldozer involved in some work to build some railway offices near San Rossore Station. The ship was 30ft deep. An archeological dig began and they have now found 21 ships! They are thought to include a Roman warship dating from 200BC – 500AD. The ships will be put on display in the future in a new museum in Pisa’s old shipyards. The find has led to much more information and data on Roman shipbuilding, cargoes, classical trade and naval life. Some of the ships were adapted for river and sea navigation. Navigational instruments, human remains, wicker baskets, clothing, oil lamps and scraps of leather have been found.

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