It displays the huge cargo of a trade vessel dating back to the Augustan age, found in 1981 on the city outskirts near the opening section of the principal drainage canal of Valle Ponti. The vessel, wrecked on the coast in the area of the ancient Po Delta at the end of the I century BC, was meant for the transport of large trade parties and for retail sale in the internal markets of the Po valley plain.
The vessel could not sail in the open sea due to the lack of a proper keel, which did not guarantee stability. It was found close to a beach next to a river mouth: probably it was preparing to go up the river delta towards the inner harbours.
The shipwreck by the Roman coastline, which extended much more backward than today, and the rapid silting have allowed the preservation of the entire load for two thousand years.
It exhibits tools for vessel management and maintenance (mallets, plane, axe, nails, pegs, wool strips used for reparations, small brooms for bilge water). There are also objects of everyday use meant for fishing and free time, footwear, leather garments and anything needed for cooking and personal hygiene.
On the second floor the commercial load is exhibited. It consists of 102 lead bars, wine amphorae, common and North Italic Sigillata ceramics, oil lamps, balsamaria for perfumes and ointments. The six miniature temples made of lead are the only discovery of this kind: they were ex-votos intended for sale and linked to popular devotion, the gods and the emperor.
The hull, which is just over 20 meters long, shows the old building technique used on the sutiles naves. It is not included in the museum, as it is being restored.
Museum of the load of the Roman Ship
Via della Pescheria 2, Comacchio
From November to March
Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
(Closed on December 25 and the morning of 1 January)
From April to October
Open from Tuesday to Sunday
Closed on Mondays
From 9.30 to 1pm and from 3pm to 6.30pm
By appointment, always open for organized groups and schools