Heavy Freight in Archaic Greece

Anthony Snodgrass

in Archaeology and the Emergence of Greece

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623334
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653577 | DOI:
Heavy Freight in Archaic Greece

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This chapter explores the use of oared galleys for overseas enterprise in archaic Greece. It focuses on sea-borne freight as a central problem, omitting land transport, partly because the inherent advantages of sea transport over land transport in the ancient world must have been further enhanced when it was a question of carrying heavy loads, sometimes (as in the case of marble) in the form of large indivisible units. In archaic times, especially, one suspects that the provision of good roads was such as to widen rather than narrow the gap. This brings us, however, to the question of the facilities for maritime transport in archaic Greece, and above all to the ships. Herodotus tells us that the Phocaeans used pentekontors, not merchantmen, for long-distance trade. This chapter next turns to the question of the cargoes carried. With sculptural marble, the epigraphic evidence throws some important light, not indeed on the provenance of the marbles used for the statues, but on an allied question: the origins of the artists who carved them.

Keywords: Greece; oared galleys; sea-borne freight; maritime transport; pentekontors; trade; cargoes; marbles; statues

Chapter.  5722 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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