Metro works are ongoing in many larger cities all over Europe and
Naples (Napoli) in is one of them. Here
archaeologists found the Italy ,
now located three meters deep and some port
of Roman Neapolis 200 meters inland.
The history of
goes back at least four thousand years but when it became part of Magna Graecia in the 6th
century BC, it gained in importance and thrived for almost one thousand years.
At some time during the 5th century AD, however, the harbor started
to silt up and it is exactly this sand and mud that has preserved the wood of
the ships that were uncovered during the subway constructions. Naples
The archaeological team has exposed the hulls of two
The only way to preserve these vessels was to move them to a safe location in the suburb of nearby Piscinola. Here all the finds from the metro works are being stored and carefully labeled. The ships occupy a temperature controlled space of their own as they are kept submerged in cold water that is being renewed every two weeks. The smallest vessel from Neapolis has been selected for restoration at the Central Institute of Rome.
Beside the harbor, excavations have enabled to locate the exceptional temple complex that underscores the importance of the Isolympic Games instituted by Emperor Augustus in the year 2 AD. Other parts of the construction areas have yielded marble friezes and capitals, terracotta artifacts and simple everyday objects like combs, bowls, bags, spoons – all from Greek and Roman times. But the successive layers also revealed previously unknown aspects from medieval, Byzantine, Norman and Angevin times which all contribute to the rich history of
Next question is obviously what to do with the 3.3 million artifacts that have so far been accumulated in the Piscinola warehouse and how to make the remarkable ship remains accessible to the general public. This is a delicate matter as far as logistics are concerned and also financially. One of the options is to incorporate some of the objects into the metro stations proper, as has been done in
for instance. Athens