Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Single-levelled galley

Cat. No.



Late 8th century





Bronze fibula of the Attic-Boeotian type with decorated catch-plate

Accession Number

Copenhagen National Museum 4803


Basch 1987: 193, no. 410; Blinkenberg 1926: 171, fig. 202; Cherici 2006: 357, fig. 15; Hampe 1936: no. 83; Morrison and Williams 1968: 77, Arch. 16, pl. 8d

Single-levelled ship to the right with a flat hull and a massive square bow with a concave stempost integrating a ram that tapers into a pointed tip. The stempost ends in an S-shaped horn that curves forward then backward parallel to the hull, and curls into a rectangular tip. The forecastle is a solid rectangle integrated to the bow. The sternpost is near vertical, with an incurving horn that curls into a roughly triangular shaped tip. There is a single downward pointing quarter rudder with a tiller and a triangular shaped oar blade. There is no apparent aftercastle. The mast is amidships, with a bisected V top (karchesion), a forestay and a backstay. At its base is a square mast-step system. Two antithetical birds are perched on the posts, while a very large fish swims below (possibly a shark or a large tuna).

(Side A): horse and bird

(Side B): ship to the right, 2 birds and a fish to the left.

Basch, L. 1987. Le musée imaginaire de la marine antique. Athens: Institut Hellénique pour la preservation de la tradition nautique.

Blinkenberg, Ch. S. 1926. Lindiaka V : Fibules grecques et orientales. Det Kgl. Danske Videnskabernes Selskab. Historisk-filologiske Meddelelser. XIII.1. København: Andr. Fred. Høst & Søn.

Cherici, A. 2006. “Talassocrazia: aspetti tecnici, economici, politici con un brevissimo cenno a Novilara, Nesazio e ai Feaci,” Annali della Fondazione per il Museo “Claudio Faina” 13: 439-482.

Hampe, R. 1936. Frühe griechische Sagenbilder in Böotien, Ate¬ne : Deutsches archäologisches institute.

Morrison, J.S. and R.T. Williams. 1968. Greek Oared Ships: 900-322 B.C. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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