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Guido Ucelli and the Recovery of the Nemi Ships

It has been more than seventy years since Ucelli's Le Navi di Nemi first was published in 1940, the same year that Italy entered World War II. Printed on the coated paper stock used in magazines, the book is fragile and likely to be found only on the shelves of a large university library. Because it is not often seen, some of the photographs taken during the recovery of the Nemi ships are shown here.

Fig. 74
The first ship (prima nave), which was closer to shore, is still half buried in the mud of the partially drained lake.

Fig. 83
Supported by a framework of braces, the hull is being moved along rails to a temporary shelter on land.

Fig. 96
Workmen are filling push carts with mud excavated from beneath the second ship (seconda nave).

Fig. 100
With the mud removed, the hull is shored by beams.

Fig. 102
Unlike the first ship, which was transported on metal rails, the second was winched over wooden beams..

Fig. 108
Museo delle Navi Romane ("The Museum of Roman Ships") on the shore of Lake Nemi, with a gallery for each ship.

Fig. 112
Here the massive steering oar of the first ship has been placed into position, together with the bronze protomes..

Fig. 114
The second ship on display in the western gallery.

Fig. 322
The ashes of the second ship after the Museum was destroyed by retreating Germans on May 31, 1944.

Reference: Le Navi di Nemi (1940, 2nd ed. 1950) by Guido Ucelli.

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