The secret of abandoned boats near Rome 7000 years ago

The secret of abandoned boats near Rome 7000 years ago

They remained in place for about 450 years, until a potentially catastrophic event that raised the lake's levels forced them to abandon their homes, boats, tools, and even their food containers.

Boats are monooxygen, meaning they are made from a single box. Unlike other Neolithic sites, where canoes are always made of a single type, up to four different types have been identified at La Marmota: oak, elm, beech and poplar. This shows that they were well aware of the properties and uses of wood from different trees. They vary in size. From the smallest 5.4 meters to the largest 10.43 metres.

Reinforcements and possible sailing

The technical complexity of the boats is reflected not only in their length, but also in the presence of some marine elements attached to them. This is the case with the transverse reinforcements made at the base of the canoes and, in particular, with the three “T”-shaped pieces attached to one of the sides of the canoe 1.

These pieces have 2, 3 and 4 holes respectively. Although we have no archaeological or ethnographic references to help us understand their use, we have three hypotheses based on their shape: they may have been used to attach ropes attached to a potential sail, they may have been used to add a stabilizer or they were an intermediary for attaching items to another raft-shaped boat , thus obtaining a double hull.

This technical complexity indicates that there are people with enormous technological knowledge who specialize in making boats.

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