Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Single-levelled galley

Cat. No.



850-825 B.C. (Early Subprotogeometric III)


Fill of a gully, Skoubris cemetery, Lefkandi.


Diameter: ca. 45 cm


Krater of local production, buff clay, black-brown paint

Accession Number

Eretria Museum


Calligas 1990: 78, fig. 2; Nakas 2011: 2004, fig. 7; Popham et al 1979-1980: 267, pl. 274:918 and 284: 11; Wedde 2006: 260, fig. 4 (left)

Only the bow section survives. Ship to the right with a low flat hull and a vertical, semi-integrated stempost ending in an incurving horn-like device. The ship has a developed bow projection and an enclosed forecastle. Three rowing rooms are preserved, depicted by vertical stanchions represented by short vertical lines joining the gunwale to the hull. These extend slightly above the gunwale as tholepins. The single horizontal line forming the gunwale crosses the bow and extends beyond it into what appears as a primitive subsidiary spur (proembolon). The short horizontal stroke appearing within the middle rowing room is difficult to ascertain.

The bow morphology belongs to Wedde's group 3, meaning the stempost is semi-integrated, expressed as a curving juncture between the gunwale line and the post similar to the Oropos model and the Cypriot rhyta. Wedde interprets this as an open-hulled ship and takes it as evidence of two different yet concurrent ship designs at Lefkandi, with the Skoubris exemplar having a more developed bow projection.

Calligas, P. G. 1990. “Early Euboean shipbuilding,” in H. Tzalas (ed.) Tropis II: Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Ship Construction in Antiquity, Delphi, 1987, Athens: Hellenic Institute for the Preservation of Nautical Tradition, pp. 77-83.

Nakas. Y. 2011. “Νήαι μέλαιναι: Πλοία και ναυπηγική στο Αιγαίο της Πρώιμης Εποχής του Σιδήρου (Νήαι μέλαιναι: ships and shipbuilding in the Early Iron Age Aegean).” In A. Mazarakis Ainian, (ed.) The "Dark Ages" revisited: acts of an international symposium in memory of William D.E. Coulson, University of Thessaly, Volos, 14-17 June 2007. Volos: University of Thessaly Press: 1003-1017.

Popham M.R., L.H. Sackett and P.G. Themelis 1979-1980. Lefkandi I, the Iron Age Settlement and Cemeteries. BSA Suppl. 11. London.

Wedde, M. 2006. “Pictorial Evidence for Partial System Survival in the Greek Bronze Age to Iron Age Transition,” in E. Rystedt and B. Wells (eds.) Pictorial Pursuits: Eigurative Painting on Mycenaean and Geometric Pottery. Paper from Two International Round-Table Conferences on Mycenaean and Geometric Pottery at the Swedish Institute at Athens in 1999 and 2001, Stockholm: Svenska Instituted I Athen, pp. 255-269.

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  • drawing of ship only

    copyright icon © drawing by T. Manolova Click for fullscreen
  • sherd drawing

    copyright icon © drawing by T. Manolova Click for fullscreen