(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists were able to pull the front of a Roman ship out of an open coal mine in eastern Serbia. These excavations began a few weeks ago, but because of the coronavirus, scientists could not continue active work. Now, we can find out new details.
The ship was part of the Viminacium, a huge Roman city with a population of 45,000 people, with a hippodrome, fortifications, temples, an amphitheater, aqueducts, bathhouses and workshops.
Leading archaeologist Miomir Korach said the ship dates from the 3rd century AD, when the 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 the invasions of barbarians,” archaeologists say. “Such finds of Roman ships are really rare, especially in such good condition when you can see how the boat was built.”
Initially, the length of the ship was 19 meters. It had a flat bottom, six pairs of oars and triangular sail gear. The nine-meter front section had thick wooden sides and was discovered together by the destroyed parts of two small boats.
Excavations of the Viminacium have been going on since 1882, but archaeologists estimate that they explored only 4% of the territory, which is 450 hectares.
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