Off Sicily, a waterlogged ship which has been under water for 2,000 years is being painstakingly brought to the surface and reassembled in the town of Marsala.
GV Favignana Island, fortress on headland
SV Divers preparing air bottle before dive
SV Divers in water descending (2 shots)
SV Diver surface with shard from ship
GV INTERIOR Laboratory and racks of parts of the ship
CU Dunnage twigs and branches from ship
SV Timber from the ship being lifted from talk of preservative
SV PAN Workers carrying sternpost from the talk to a table
SV PAN Worker joining part of sternpost together and PAN ALONG sternpost
SV Keel and sternpost being uncovered from plastic wraps
SV A shaped part of ship, and drawing it (2 shots)
GV PAN EXT Old wine factory with tanks outside, where reconstruction to take place
GV & SV INT Machine being used to place keel blocks ready for ship reconstruction (3 shots)
SV Workers manhandling keep girder into place on blocks
GV Plastic tent being erected over the site
CU Drawing of the oar-powered Punic warship
GV Welding frame from which to hang sternpost
SV Testing the shape of the frame with a template of the original sternpost
SV Work continues under plastic tent (2 shots)
TGV Keel blocks and girder, workers nearby, 'PAN DOWN TO sternpost
6th September, 1978
Dear Mr. Kuo,
With reference to the film of the Marsala Punic Ship, I should be glad you would give me credit for copy-right on any of it you may use. Visnews have my permission to make any use of the film they may decide.
Should any foreign Film or T.V. Company wish to use more than 5 minutes of the material they should contact me.
I should also be grateful for a print of the material I shot and any offcuts which you may have.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Off Sicily, a waterlogged ship which has been under water for 2,000 years is being painstakingly brought to the surface and reassembled in the town of Marsala. The Punic warship was found and identified 10 years ago by British archaeologist Miss Honor Frost. It is rowing galley which was sunk in battle by a superior Roman fleet. The find is a significant contribution to knowledge of the Phoenicians.
SYNOPSIS: Near this headland on Favignana Island in 250 BC, a battle between Phoenician galleys and a superior force of Roman ships left the sea-bed littered with hulks. Remnants of the hull timbers of one of them have survived for 20 centuries, and are a source of fragments of great interest to archaeologists.
Each piece of the ship was measured and drawn underwater before the wreck was dismantled. Then the timber had to be prevented from drying to dust by a year's soaking in a special wax which replace the water in the wood cells. The fragile piece range from small twigs to large structural members, and much planking from one side of the ship that over the centuries was protected from destructive worms by a sandbank. The sternpost which had broken in two was pinned together ready for reassembly with the other remains.
Each piece is matched to the drawings done underwater before the reconstruction began in a derelict wine factory in Marsala, the ancient port in sight of the original battle. With the old wine vats removed, and a new floor, the factory is large enough to accommodate the 100-feet-(30 metres)-long ship. Concrete blocks are placed to support a girder on which the keel is to be mounted. With the roof not yet watertight, a large plastic tent is needed.
The original Punic ship was powered by 40 oars, each handled by two men. the British team was assisted by French experts to work out the original shape of the vessel, from the pieces available. Working to the plan, the specialists welded a frame from which to suspend the timbers. The full reconstruction will be long and tedious process, fitting together hundreds of treated pieces to build up a further insight into the Phoenician civilisation.