Roman barge under Cologne to reveal shipping history

From Monsters and Critics: Roman barge under Cologne to reveal shipping history.

Excited archaeologists are raising part of a Roman barge that sank near the wharf nearly 2,000 years ago in the German riverside city of Cologne.

Cologne, which derives its modern name from the town’s Latin name, Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, is full of Roman remains including a largely intact aqueduct.

But the oaken boat, found 12 metres below the surface during excavations a few days ago for an underground mass-transit line, is something special, offering scientists a new window into life in this cold northern Roman province.

A piece of the vessel’s flat bottom, about 8 square metres in size, with huge iron nails poking out of it, is still in the mud between modern building machinery and materials. [continue]