In the north-east corner of the basin of Claudius five ships were found during the construction of Leonardo da Vinci airport - between 1958 and 1965 -, and excavated by Scrinari. It has been suggested that this was a "ship cemetery", for old ships that were no longer of use. A museum was built on the exact location where the ships had been found. It was opened in 1979.
The ships were used for different goals. Ship 4 was a small sea-going vessel, only ten metres long. It may have been built in the late second or early third century AD. Ship 5 was a fishing boat, with a basin in which the fish were kept alive. It was built in the second century AD and is a bit over 5 metres long. Ships 1, 2 and 3 were river boats, towing vessels, in which goods were taken to Rome. These three ships were built in the fourth of fifth century AD.
Plan with the location of the museum and the place of discovery of the ships.
In the upper right part is the Capitaneria (nr. 4). Testaguzza 1970, p. 135.
Ship nr. 1, a towing vessel. Testaguzza 1970, p. 137.
Ship nr. 4, a small sea-going vessel. Testaguzza 1970, p. 141.
Ship nr. 5, a fishing boat with a basin for the fish. Testaguzza 1970, p. 143.