The first group of objects was acquired by the Museo Nazionale Romano in 1906, following the explorations undertaken in the lake by the antiquarian Eliseo Borghi on behalf of the Orsini family, while the second group of art works was found in excavations done between 1929 and 1932.
The group of the animal heads, a common motif in ancient art, belonged to the decorations of the first ship: the three lions and the panther adorned the ends of the lenghtwise beams; the two lions haead on cylindrical caps crowned the long shafts of the side rudders.
The head of the medusa was placed high up, as if to watch over the ship with his glaze.
From the second ship come the hands adorning the beams next to the four rudders and the railing with two faced herms. The bronze decorations stood out from the painted wooden parts and the rich marble cladding. within the structure of the ship.