In the 1950s, archaeologists found the remains of several wooden ships on a site in Ostia. The latter was a port city located at the mouth of the River Tiber. The settlement was founded in the seventh century BC. during the reign of Anco Marzio, the fourth king of Rome, who ruled for the beauty of 24 years.
The port had three main objectives: give Rome an outlet to the sea, guarantee its supply of wheat and salt and prevent an enemy fleet from going up the Tiber. The boats found about seventy years ago “were in use between the second and the beginning of the fifth century BC.” says Dr Giulia Boetto, a researcher at the Camille Jullian Center at the Aix-Marseille Université and CNRS.
“They were abandoned in the port when they became obsolete. They then got wet and covered with a layer of sediment.“These oxygen-free conditions allowed the boats to survive until they have been found. Thus, Dr Giulia Boetto and colleagues have recreated some 3D models of three types of boats found in Ostia: a fishing boat, a sailboat and a light boat.
“These 3D reconstructions will be hosted in the next Museum of Roman ships in the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica” experts say. An exhibition that”will allow visitors to discover ancient boat-building techniques and what life was like onboard these Roman ships“. Visitors will also be able to “to sail virtually in what was the most important port complex in the Mediterranean during the Roman Empire.”