Reuters - Video

Edition: U.S. | U.K. | IN | CN

In Depth

Roman barge comes up for air after 2,000 years

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 02:16

Oct. 18 - Archaeologists have recovered the final piece of a ship that sank in the river Rhone in France more than two millennia ago, which they hope will shed light on how the Romans led the way with globalization. Stuart McDill reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

More than two thousand years after it sank, divers prepare a Roman boat for its return to the surface. Why the vessel sank in the River Rhone in the south of France is still a mystery but such a well preserved specimen should reveal much about its history, according to one of the lead archaeologists on the project, Sabrina Marlier. (SOUNDBITE)(French) SABRINA MARLIER, ARLES MUSEUM OF ANTIQUITY SAYING: "It's a boat that was shipwrecked unexpectedly, and so all its equipment was preserved on board. That is to say, we found a kitchen at the back of the boat, with plates and crockery, complete with a ceramic oven used by the sailors. We even found utensils." Raising the vessel has taken seven years to plan. Despite being in remarkable condition when it was discovered, it was not strong enough to be raised in one piece so it was cut into 10 segments - painstaking work, which will take years to reverse with the vessels' reassembly and restoration, says archaeologist Sandra Grek. (SOUNDBITE)(French) SANDRA GREK, ARCHAEOLOGIST SAYING: "We have to work slowly, because the wood is extremely fragile, so we can't push it, because it's held together with nails, we have to make sure we don't let the pieces come apart from one other." The vessel was 31 metres long and 3 metres wide and was found intact from rudder to mast - the only Roman merchant ship of its size in such a condition. Artefacts found on board have given historians a new insight into international trade within the Roman empire, according to the director of the museum in Arles, Claude Sinttes. (SOUNDBITE)(French) CLAUDE SINTTES, ARLES MUSEUM OF ANTIQUITY SAYING: "You have to remember that in ancient times there was one sort of globalisation that existed even before mail and other forms of exchange happened on a global level. People didn't hesitate to import ceramics that cost dozens of (the equivalent of) euros, from the other side of the Mediterranean." The boat will be rebuilt in a laboratory before being returned to Arles. There, it will be reassembled and put on display - nine million Euros and 2000 years after it sank. Stuart McDIll, Reuters

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Roman barge comes up for air after 2,000 years

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 02:16

Most Popular »

Business »

Moving Pictures »

Images of December Images of December

Tue, 23 Dec, 2014 - (0:30)

Tsunami - unclaimed possessions Tsunami - unclaimed possessions

Tue, 23 Dec, 2014 - (2:23)

Images of October Images of October

Mon, 03 Nov, 2014 - (0:57)

The world in a city The world in a city

Fri, 31 Oct, 2014 - (1:30)

Real-life superheroes Real-life superheroes

Tue, 28 Oct, 2014 - (1:44)

Dance of the northern lights Dance of the northern lights

Mon, 20 Oct, 2014 - (1:08)

Images of September Images of September

Thu, 02 Oct, 2014 - (1:00)

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, 05 Sep, 2014 - (2:05)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, 01 Sep, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, 22 Aug, 2014 - (3:12)

Sports And Leisure »

Mourinho's "Let's go to Wembley" Mourinho's "Let's go to Wembley"

Wed, 28 Jan, 2015 - (1:16)

Diver Daley trains in Rio Diver Daley trains in Rio

Tue, 27 Jan, 2015 - (0:55)

Drogba on his Chelsea hopes Drogba on his Chelsea hopes

Mon, 26 Jan, 2015 - (0:52)

NBA legend shoots from the hip NBA legend shoots from the hip

Wed, 14 Jan, 2015 - (1:13)

Tennis ace Murray proposes to girlfriend Tennis ace Murray proposes to girlfriend

Thu, 27 Nov, 2014 - (0:41)

Sports Spread: Tinkering Liverpool target Chelsea Sports Spread: Tinkering Liverpool target...

Thu, 06 Nov, 2014 - (11:18)

Sports Spreads: Can van Gaal beat Mourinho? Sports Spreads: Can van Gaal beat Mourinho?

Thu, 23 Oct, 2014 - (12:39)

Dateline Asia »

Alibaba could set sights on Yahoo Alibaba could set sights on Yahoo

Tue, 27 Jan, 2015 - (1:24)

Fashion designers finding haste makes waste Fashion designers finding haste makes waste

Tue, 27 Jan, 2015 - (2:07)

Be afraid, the Chinese are spending less Be afraid, the Chinese are spending less

Mon, 26 Jan, 2015 - (1:33)

Asia markets shrug at Greek elections Asia markets shrug at Greek elections

Mon, 26 Jan, 2015 - (1:36)

Asia markets toast ECB stimulus Asia markets toast ECB stimulus

Fri, 23 Jan, 2015 - (1:42)

Asia Week Ahead: Markets await Greece vote Asia Week Ahead: Markets await Greece vote

Fri, 23 Jan, 2015 - (1:18)

Netflix to push play in China Netflix to push play in China

Thu, 22 Jan, 2015 - (1:41)

Japan in a tight spot over hostage crisis Japan in a tight spot over hostage crisis

Thu, 22 Jan, 2015 - (1:05)

Behind the pretty face of K-pop Behind the pretty face of K-pop

Thu, 22 Jan, 2015 - (2:09)

Reuters Investigates »

Where the sea is closing in Where the sea is closing in

Thu, 20 Nov, 2014 - (3:41)

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, 19 Feb, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, 10 Jan, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (13:22)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, 05 Aug, 2013 - (1:36)