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25 September 2005
8,000-year-old dug out canoe on show in Italy

There is a star attraction at the International Conference of Experimental Archaeology which opened in Anguillara (Lazio, Italy). It's a dug out canoe built 8,000 years ago by primitive people who had set up camp along the shores of Lake Bracciano. 9.5 m long, according to initial studies, the canoe will enable archaeologists to understand the naval construction techniques of this type of craft which, in those days, could also go out into the open sea. The boat, which was found last summer near what is believed to have been a shipyard, is unfinished.
     "At the moment, the canoe has been put inside a reliquary full of special liquid to conserve it. The important date is when it's going to be restored. It will be given by the Monuments and Fine Arts Office to a firm that specialises in this sort of work, which will be done on the premises. Even visitors and scholars will be able to see the techniques during the entire period it is being restored," said Carmelo Capone, the councillor responsible for tourism and productive activities in Anguillara.
     This exceptional discovery also opens up a new prospective for researching the peoples who lived in central Italy during the Neolithic period and in the Bronze Age. In fact, it is known that in the second half of the 5th millennium before Christ, some people coming from the sea, went up the Arrone river, the effluent of Lake Bracciano, where Anguillara Sabazia is located, to reach and then settle below what is today the headland of the place called "La Marmotta". Moreover, it happened before the Neolithic settlement that until now has been found on the shores of only one lake in the whole of Europe. In fact, some villages around lakes in Germany, France and Switzerland only came into being up to ten centuries later.

Source: Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (24 September 2005)

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