How the ship of the Roman city of Viminacium was found in a coal mine

(ORDO NEWS) — In February 2020, archaeologists were able to pull the front of a Roman ship out of an open coal mine in eastern Serbia.

The ship was part of the Viminacium, a huge Roman city of 45,000 people, with a hippodrome, fortifications, temples, an amphitheater, aqueducts, baths and workshops.

Leading archaeologist Miomir Korać said the vessel dates back to the 3rd century AD, when Viminacium was the capital of the Roman province of Moesia near the Danube River.

“The Roman [river] fleet was based here to protect this region from barbarian invasions,” archaeologists say. “Such finds of Roman ships are really rare, especially in such good condition when you can see how the boat was built.”

The original length of the ship was 19 meters. It had a flat bottom, six pairs of oars and provisions for a triangular sail. The nine-meter front section had thick wooden sides and was found together with the wrecked parts of two small boats.

The excavations of Viminacium have been going on since 1882, but archaeologists have calculated that they have explored only 4% of the territory, which is 450 hectares.

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