Sea Transport, Part 2: Harbors

David J. Blackman

in The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199734856
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Sea Transport, Part 2: Harbors

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  • Ancient Greek History
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This article discusses the harbor design. From the late sixth century bc onward, the main developments in harbor engineering may be attributed to the Greeks and then to the Romans. Developments in harbor technology are less clear in the Aegean area. Moles and breakwaters help provide protection against both heavy seas and enemy attack. The main quays were usually on the shore, backed by warehouses and all the facilities of a port. The study of the hauling and launching operations on the inclined slipways, and the evaluation of the basic functioning of shipshed architecture, can help toward more precise understanding of the technology of the ships concerned. An important introduction of the early Hellenistic period was the lighthouse. Changes in sea level greatly affect the functioning of harbors, and there is evidence that this possibility caused concern in antiquity.

Keywords: harbor design; harbor engineering; quays; hauling; launching; lighthouse

Article.  14488 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History ; Historical Archaeology

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