Early Shipbuilding in the Eastern Mediterranean

Mark E. Polzer

in The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195375176
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Early Shipbuilding in the Eastern Mediterranean

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This article focuses on early shipbuilding in the Eastern Mediterranean provided by shipwreck and terrestrial excavations. The study of the construction of early watercraft is mainly in the form of artistic representation. Egypt is the largest depository of early watercraft. The details of Near Eastern ships are painted on the Theban tomb of Kenamun. Hull remains from Late Bronze Age shipwrecks excavated off the coast of Turkey provide archaeological evidence for Levantine ships. The only pre-classical Aegean shipwreck to be excavated and studied by nautical archaeologists is that of a trading vessel, that sank on the southwestern Turkish coast. Greek builders strengthened their hulls transversely with internal framing comprised of preassembled “made-frames” alternating with top-timbers. The ancient seafaring cultures of the eastern Mediterranean each developed their own unique set of solutions to create elegant, sturdy, and capable boats and ships well suited to their environments and intended purposes.

Keywords: early shipbuilding; terrestrial excavations; Bronze age shipwrecks; Aegean shipwreck; seafaring culture; eastern Mediterranean shipwreck

Article.  13313 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Industrial Archaeology

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