In 1998 while excavating a new railway station in Pisa, one of the most important archaeological discovery of the last century took place. In this area once flew an ancient stream, where more than 30 Roman ships sunk, as the result of floods in a spun of over a 1000 years (from III C. B.C. to VII C. A.D.).
The shipwrecks and their load werefound in an incredibly well-preserved state. After years of excavating the archeological site and restoring the findings with a patient and long work, the Ancient Ships Museum was finally inaugurated on June 2019.
The 5000 sqm exposition, displayed in the restored Arsenali Medicei, is divided into 8 sections. It tells the tale of the city of Pisa, from the Etruscans to the Romans, up to the arrival of the Longobards from North Europe.
The exhibition focus on the strict relationship between the city and the water and naturally the catastrophic floods; the ancient Etruscan and Roman ships are displayed in the main hall, where the Alkedo, a magnificent private ship of the Augustan period, plays the main role, while the remaining sections investigate the ships and their loads, the navigation techniques, the life on board, the cults and superstitions.