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Notes on the Identification of the Roman Masts Found in the Port of Olbia, Sardinia

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Abstract

This paper presents both archaeological evidence and technical features that allows the identification of two of the wooden objects discovered in 2001 at the site of a 1st-century-AD shipyard in Olbia, Sardinia, as masts. The structure and dimensions of the objects are presented and compared with similar artefacts which have been interpreted as rudder-stocks in order to establish their specific and distinct features. Possible retaining and lowering systems for the masts, and evidence of wooden mast-ladders are discussed through examination of archaeological parallels and Roman iconography.

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