Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Ship with a furled sail

Cat. No.



c. 750 B.C. (beginning of Euboean Late Geometric)


Knossos North necropolis, tomb 219, no. 71



Euboean krater fragments

Accession Number

Stratigraphical Museum Knossos


Coldstream and Catling 1996: (I) 216, no. 71; (II) 403-404; (IV) pl. 205; Verdan 2006: 101, fig. 5

Fragmentary ship to the right. The first sherd preserves part of the sternpost which is rather vertical, along with an aftercastle and two quarter rudders. The hull is very low and flat. There are two short planks protruding from the sternpost, one quite low near the base of the sternpost and another higher up at the edge of the fragment. The second sherd preserves the upper part of the mast, with a brailed sail furled to the yard depicted with a zigzag below a slightly downwards curving line, a forestay and backstay, and the forward brace. The masthead is forked.

From a disturbed chamber tomb (no. 219) in the Knossos North cemetery that was in continuous use from the Late Proto Geometric to Late Orientalizing (Coldstream and Catling 1996: 210-225). This tomb figures among the richest tombs of the entire cemetery based on numerous criteria: 1) among five tombs with the largest amount of pottery and objects as well as the highest number of oriental imports; 2) among ten tombs with highest number of iron weapons and tools; 3) among 20 tombs to contain imported ceramics; 4) among four tombs to contain ivory; 5) along with tombs in Cluster VI, an exclusive access to Near Eastern imports from the mid-9th century onwards. The tomb includes 166 finds in total, 100 of which are pottery. Among the notable objects are iron and bronze weapons, bronze vessels and obeloi, imported pottery from both the Aegean (Attic, Cycladic, Euboean) and Cyprus as well as local Cypriot imitations, faience and glass from the Near East (beads, vase, bowl), gold and ivory (ivory handles, inlay roundel)(Antoniadis 2012: 110-112). The ship representation belongs to the only Euboean import from the tomb dated to the Late Geometric period. The ship motif fills the space below the krater's handle.

Coldstream, J. N. and H. W. Catling (eds.) 1996. Knossos North Cemetery. Early Greek Tombs. BSA suppl. 28. London: British School at Athens.

Verdan, S. 2006. “Un nouveau navire géométrique à Erétrie,” AntK 49: 97–106.

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