Station: [10] Food and goods transport

Many herbs that were typically used by the Romans have been planted in the gardens of the Roman museum. There are also fruits such as figs and peaches that were imported to Passau back then. The grapevine is a symbol of the wine trade that is indicated by the tombstone of a north Italian wine trader. The display-cases, designed to resemble transport crates, show a number of archaeological finds that represent food supply. These include amphorae used to transport olive oil, a mortar, a jug and a measuring weight. Various models show how goods were transported on water and over land. The barge you see is a so-called Prahm. The reconstruction is based on an archaeological discovery made in Zwammerdam, in the Netherlands. Barges of this type were used for transporting goods on level waters such as rivers. Archaeologists excavating the Zwammerdam barge discovered traces of cereals and grain on board the ship. The sacks in the reconstruction symbolize grain transport. A steering oar was used to control the barge during downstream journeys. It would be driven by the current and a sail. Upstream journeys were labour-intensive, as the barges had to be towed against the stream by animals or people. Various goods such as foodstuffs, ceramics and glassware were also transported overland by cart or wagon. This model of an ox-cart with a cargo of wine barrels is based on an archaeological discovery made in Neupotz in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany. In addition to oxen, donkeys and horses were also used as draft animals. The extensive Roman road network was also used for travel and made it possible to rapidly relay news or messages. Of course, the Roman army also used the roads, as troops marched from one garrison to another.