promoting cultural heritage and conservation



A wooden ship that would have been over 11 meters long when intact has been unearthed at our very own Ostia Antica! Thanks to groundbreaking and hard-won knowledge from our sister city to the south, Herculaneum, this boat has a great chance at remaining well-preserved. Right now they’re keeping it immersed in water to prevent decay. Step #1.


Check out photos from the MiBac article!

PS–Ten points to Gryffindor if anyone can tell me WHY this particular 2,000 year-old wooden object has not decayed into nothingness…..


5 responses

  1. Anna van Nostrand

    : O awesome!

    It hasn’t decayed yet cause wood doesn’t decay as fast underwater because there is no oxygen for the usual wood destroying insects and bacteria to survive. The wood will be super delicate because the voids in the wood structure are filled with water now because some elements of wood are soluble in water (which is why they are keeping it wet until further conservation)

    man, preserved wood things are extra cool. This has made me so much more excited to get to Rome!

    May 2, 2011 at 7:42 am

  2. Anna van Nostrand

    … and by ‘underwater’ I suppose I mean in waterlogged ground (judging from the puddle in the construction pit photo) it’s not exactly a usual shipwreck haha.

    May 2, 2011 at 7:44 am

  3. Yes! 10 points to Gryffindor.

    May 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm

  4. Milica

    Wood is preserved in an anaerobic environment

    May 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    • Yes! Dropping the “a” word! Excellent, succint explanation.

      May 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

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