Mainz Daily Photo

>High and dry – #24

>Mainz is a nightmare for construction projects.

I’ve been involved in contingency planning for some seriously big projects in my time, and I wouldn’t touch Mainz with a bargepole.

All you have to do is dig a hole somewhere and you’ll end up with something of interest to somebody, who will promptly instruct you to down tools until they’ve had a GOOD LOOK at whatever it is you’ve found.

As in the case of the annex to the Mainz Hilton back in 1981.

The Mainz Hilton is right on the river. Great location, great views, great restaurant. But too small.

Dig a hole for the foundations – this is way back from the river, on far side of a 4-lane road – and find…….a Roman boat.

Great celebration and much jumping up and down ensues. Television interviews. International interest

Dig some more.

Find another one.

Repeat 17 times, with an associated tailing off of expressions of joy and vertical modulation.

It turns out that they’ve dug right into a Roman shipyard that was abandoned in around 400AD in the hasty retreat from the invading Teutons (who had stuffed the Roman Rhine army elsewhere.)

And this really is a significant find.

The city fathers, of course, are a bit concerned about the turn this is taking. (The Mayor was quoted at the time as saying “We’re very pleased, of course, but it’s OK with me if we didn’t find any more..”).

What do you do with the darn things?

1 – Requisition the old Covered Market

2 – Carefully restore and re-assemble of the of most significant (and intact) ships

3 – Construct 1:1 replicas of others

4 – Found the Museum of Ancient Shipbuilding and put everything into an historical context.

Worth a visit. Free, too.


And one of the boats was cast in bronze and sits happily 7.5 metres above where it was found.

In front of the Mainz Hilton.

This entry was published on 12 March, 2007 at 09:05. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “>High and dry – #24

  1. >This sounds exactly like what happened in our area when they tried to build an area to build floating bridege pontoons…right smack dab in an ancient Indian Village. The building was shut down and moved elsewhere. Your narative was very interesting.

  2. >What a fascinating narrative, John, and a great dilemma for builders. I’m enjoying your photos and posts enormously.

  3. >A most interesting post. The photo added interest as did the links. I found the whole post was good to read and I come away learning something. We, in America, have some historical things buried too, but none are so old and none are ships. Most of what we do find are artifacts from those people who once lived here when this land was covered with forests enabling a squirrel to climb a tree along the East coast and that squirrel could travel in trees to the Mississippi River and never have to get down. Now, however, the people who lived here then and those trees and that environment have been destroyed and we are living in conditions as strange as your Roman boat.

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