In February, roadworkers made a special discovery close to the Dutch city Valkenburg: the century-old remains of a Roman ship.
The recovered wooden oak planks may date back to the first century A.D. They probably belonged to a Roman cargo ship with a length of about 30 metres, reports the NOS.
“A special archaeological discovery made in the lower planes of the Tjalmaweg: during excavation work in February, a few oak planks from a ship’s belly have been found. “
A peculiar find
The leading archaeologist René Isarin speaks of a rare — and peculiar — find for the region South-Holland. “We have heard a lot about [Roman] pottery and metals, but Roman ships are not found that often.”
Another peculiarity is the method of construction. The style seems to be Mediterranean but oak is a much more common building material for North-Western Europe.
Isarin also says that the planks link to the so-called mortise technique (pen-gat-techniek) that is entirely untypical for Roman shipbuilding: “Most ships from Roman times have nails and rivets.”
Looks like we’ve got ourselves a mystery, Watson. 🕵️
How do you think this Roman ship made its way to the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments!