[Northkeep] FW: The best preserved Roman ship...

Niewoehner, Hugh hughn at SSD.FSI.com
Wed May 14 12:04:20 PDT 2003

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> ...North of the Alps, is what they are calling it. And how right they
> must be! Even if I weren't professionally as closely involved as I
> am, I would still have trouble containing my excitement, a sentiment
> shared with all those who have seen it and are now working on its
> excavation. I've mentioned it before on this list: coming Thursday
> the press and with them the world will be shown a barge from the 2nd
> century A.D, found near the Dutch city of Utrecht. Then the following
> weekend and the next, there will be Open Days held for the larger
> public.
> The spectacular thing about the ship is not only its state of
> preservation- with the hull still of impressive thickness and the
> blade of a recovered metal saw so sharp the archaeologists were
> warned against cutting themselves on it- but that because it being
> lost in a calamity, its inventory is complete!
> For starters, the barge had a cabin at the rear... In the first room,
> accessible though a pair of doors that still had their lock on, stood
> a decorated chest (a length of rope within) and a bedcouch (with
> turned wooden legs-- terra sigilata plates were hidden under it). On
> its wall hung a beautiful cupboard (like our kitchencupboards &
> painted as well!).. "the greatest archaeological buzz I have ever
> experienced", I heard one archaeologist say", "was when we opened its
> doors". Inside were money, a pair of scissors, a piece of chalk, a
> stylus and a stick inscribed with Roman numerals.
> The cabin's other room contained the kitchen, with a fireplace made
> of rooftiles, some terra sigilata and a bronze cauldron. There was
> even a stick which looks like it might have been used to poke in the
> fire.
> The ship's cargo was gone, presumably already delivered. But the
> owner had quite a few tools aboard: a few saws, a hammer, one or two
> planes and a crowbar. To illustrate what a magnificent window into
> the past this find is turning out to be, I should not fail to mention
> that, yes, we also know where the captain stored his nails...
> Visit http://www.romeinsschip.nl <http://www.romeinsschip.nl>   for an
ongoing (although sadly
> Dutch-language ) account of the excavation. There are a few nice
> photos there too.

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