The ancient Romans might have traded live fish across the Mediterranean Sea by endowing their ships with an ingenious hydraulic system, a new investigation into a second century A.D. wreck suggests.
Consisting of a pumping system designed to suck the sea water into a fish tank, the apparatus has been reconstructed by a team of Italian researchers who analyzed a unique feature of the wreck: a lead pipe inserted in the hull near the keel.
Recovered in pieces from the Adriatic sea in 1999, the ship was carrying a cargo of processed fish when it sank six miles off the coast of Grado in northeastern Italy.
The small trade vessel, which was 55 feet long and 19 feet wide, was packed with some 600 vases called amphoras.They were filled with sardines, salted mackerel, and garum, a fish sauce much loved by the Romans.
Now the archaeologists suspect that some 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of live fish, placed in a tank on the deck in the aft area, might have also been carried by the ship during its sailing life…
The above and the rest is at Discovery.com.