Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Naval combat scene

Cat. No.



LH IIIC early/middle


Liman Tepe, southern excavation area mixed context


estimated body diam.: 28-32 cm; thickness: 0.7 cm


Locally produced ring-based krater. Pale yellow to light grey slip, greyish-brown to very dark grey glaze

Accession Number


Aykurt and Erkanal 2017; Knapp 2019: 163, fig. 50

Fragment from a scene of naval combat. A rower facing left, with a hedgehog helmet and his right hand extended forward grasping at his oar. The eye is rendered as a dot in the center of the head, the torso is shown upright and frontally as a triangle, while part of a leg bent at the knee is preserved below the arm. Immediately above the figure's head is a horizontal band of medium thickness, no top of which are the legs of a striding warrior facing right. There is a spike from another warrior still visible at the right-hand edge of the sherd. The positioning on the warrior on the horizontal baseline above the rower indicates the presence of at least a partial deck.

The composition is remarkably similar to the one from Bademgedigi Tepe in virtually every respect. This includes the orientation of the rowers and the warriors, the smaller size of the rowers, the presence of hedge-hog helmets, and the identical placement and rendition of the deck immediately above the rowers' head. The only departure is in the depiction of the rower's torso, which is upright rather than inclined backwards. Based on these considerations, it is very likely that the fragment belonged to a naval battle scene involving two antithetical ships. The horizontal line above the rower's head represents the deck.

Aykurt, A. and H. Erkanal. 2017. “A Late Bronze Age Ship from Liman Tepe with Reference to the Late Bronze Age Ships from Izmir/Bademgediği Tepesi and Kos/Seraglio,” OJA 36.1: 61-70.

Knapp, A. B. 2018. Seafaring and Seafarers in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean. Leiden: Sidestone Press.

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