The ancient ships of Pisa

Exhibition guide

Andrea Camilli (edited by)

Volume Il prezzo originale era: 12,00€.Il prezzo attuale è: 11,40€.


Informazioni tecniche

2021 • 22x22 cm • 76 pages • 74 pics • paperback binding


The thousand-year-long tale of marine trade and sailors, sea routes and shipwrecks, navigation and life on board, and the history of the city of Pisa. 800 exhibits displayed in 8 thematic sections in the evocative context of the Medicean Arsenals.




«More than twenty years have passed since the discovery of one of the most important ancient naval archaeological sites, following an rescue-started excavation for the construction of a railway station. A complex context of ships, organic remains, finds, entangled in a complicated knot that took years of excavation, restoration, study and interdisciplinary research to be understood.

It is the undoubted merit of the discoverer, Stefano Bruni, to have understood the importance of the context and to have shown its peculiarities to the world; because of his having left shortly afterwards for well-deserved teaching assignments, I have had the privilege over the last twenty years of working with dozens of archaeologists, conservators, scholars and technicians from a wide variety of disciplines, some of whom have been trained, others of whom have literally grown old on the site, who have contributed to the reconstruction of a fascinating story, more than a thousand years long, of a stretch of river and a landscape.

A scientific effort, but also and above all a technological one: thanks to the invaluable collaboration with the Provveditorato alle Opere Pubbliche della Toscana (Tuscan Public Works Department), state-of-the-art documentation systems, measures for the safety of materials and storage were developed at the site; spaces dedicated to cataloguing have permitted internships and training for hundreds of students, more than fifty dissertations dedicated to various aspects of the excavation and the deposit, as well as the cataloguing and acquisition of priceless finds for the common heritage.

The creation of the Centre for the Restoration of Waterlogged Wood in 2005 made it possible to optimise the efforts made in planning and carrying out restoration work, leading to the perfection of the elaboration and development of restoration protocols widely practiced and applied throughout the world, and to the training of many young restorers. We intend to continue along this path by setting up professional training and degree courses in restoration.

The future headquarters of the Centre, which for the moment is still at the Cantiere but which we hope will soon be housed in the complex adjacent the museum, will allow the creation of a technical and scientific centre of primary importance. It is impossible to name and mention the hundreds of people who have contributed to this undertaking: the staff of the Superintendency’s Restoration Centre, which has made a fundamental contribution to the creation of the centre in Pisa, all the scholars and teachers who have contributed to the research, all the professionals who with this operation have achieved the result that finds its conclusion in the Museum of the Ancient Ships of Pisa.»

Andrea Camilli


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