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December 15, 2003

Ghost fleet

The sunken and buried remains of a Roman "ghost fleet", and speculation as to the pre-Roman lie of the land, lead archaeologists to argue Pisa was a kind of Etruscan Venice.

"The situation in Venice is not just similar to that of Pisa, but is practically identical," said Professor Stefano Bruni of the University of Ferrara. The find first came to light five years ago when a bulldozer involved in work near the San Rossore station on the outskirts of Pisa came across an ancient wooden ship 10 metres below ground. A large archaeological dig, which was started under Professor Bruni's direction, later found four ships dating from various Roman periods. The number of vessels rose to six, then nine, and finally 21, including what experts believe may be a Roman warship. They date from 200 BC to AD 500. The ships will soon be housed in a new museum in Pisa's old shipyards.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at December 15, 2003 07:32 AM


Incredibly cool! Thanks for the report.

Posted by: Eric Scheie at December 18, 2003 08:38 PM