An archaeological team has discovered an ancient ship buried in the mud of Venice's Grand Canal and Italy's government plans to raise it next month and restore it, news reports said Saturday.

Ceramics found nearby indicate it could be a Venetian vessel dating from about the 15th century, the ANSA news agency said.Divers found the ship a year ago, but the discovery was kept secret until a Venetian newspaper reported it Saturday.

The ship is almost completely buried in mud, with only a few inches of the prow exposed. Experts say it may be a small cargo ship.

The government hopes to raise the ship, and put it on exhibit in Venice, which was for centuries one of the world's great trading and naval powers.

ANSA said this was the first such find in the Grand Canal.