Medieval Ships and Seafaring

Susan Rose

in The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Medieval Ships and Seafaring

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  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology


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Seafaring in northern waters and the Western Approaches developed in a different way from that in the virtually landlocked Mediterranean and Black Seas. This article describes seafaring over different regions during the fourteenth and the fifteenth centuries. Most seafarers during the fourteenth century were involved in commercial trade. During a warfare situation, most ships carried some kind of arms. There were some changes in the rigging of the ships and design of the vessels in the fifteenth century. By the end of the fifteenth century ce, however, these changes were much less pronounced. For use inshore, for fishing, or for the transport of small local cargoes, all kinds of craft existed, exhibiting special adaptations for particular local circumstances. The mingling of seafarers from all the leading maritime powers of the Mediterranean in Iberian ports provided for great advancements science of navigation during the fifteenth century.

Keywords: seafaring; warfare; navigation; Mediterranean Sea; Black Sea; commercial trade

Article.  8356 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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