Ancient roman trade ship on show in Marsala. Recovered in 2008 thanks to work of Tusa

 

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  An exhibition of the ‘Late Roman trade vessel’ found in 1999 and recovered in 2008 off the shore of Marausa in northwest Sicily will be inaugurated on Saturday, April 13 at the Lilibeo Regional Archaeological Museum in Marsala.

A statement from the museum, which is run under the direction of architect Luigi Biondo, said the shipwreck "is a one-of-a-kind that places at the forefront the refined operation that was instituted and directed by Sebastiano Tusa".

Tusa, who was an underwater archaeologist and the Sicilian regional culture councillor, died in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on March 10.

The ship was found at the mouth of the Birgi River, which the museum said in ancient times served as a strategic military and commercial harbor, as shown by the cargo of African amphorae and other material found on board. When the keel of the ship was put on display at the Lilibeo Museum in December 2015, Sebastiano Tusa said, "The shipwreck contributes to deeper knowledge on the intense trade relations between Sicily and Africa in the late Roman era, offering a picture of economic integration above all in the area of agricultural production".

In the current exhibition at the Lilibeo Museum, which was renovated in 2017, there is also a Punic ship and Medieval shipwrecks found in the sea off the coast of Signorino, just south of Marsala. The Marausa shipwreck, of notable size for its era, has been rebuilt only on the right side.

On the other side, for didactic purposes, the shipwreck was left in the condition in which it was discovered.

 

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