Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Bow of a galley

Cat. No.



end of 8th - beginning of 7th century B.C.


Knossos, sanctuary of Demeter


Wall PH: 5.8 cm


wall fragment

Accession Number

Herakleion Archaeological Museum


Basch 1987: 160-161, no. 324; Coldstream 1973: 19, no. 4, pl. 9.4; Wedde 2004: 145, fig. 7

Fragmentary ship to the left, only part of the bow survives. Near vertical, latticed/hatched stempost with a slight inward incline. Two horizontal timbers protrude from the stempost. The bow projection is broken off at the bottom left of the sherd. The horn is attached horizontally to the inboard side of the bow screen and is also hatched. It then curves sharply backwards parallel to the hull - a section which is broader and decorated with a dogtooth filling. The forecastle is latticed, comprised of three thicker, vertical timbers and 6 horizontal ones, four of which are thinner. An oblique line at the top right corner is probably a forestay attached to a peg.

From the southeast corner of the site, overlaying the debris of a LM II building. Rubber fill not associated with architecture. Coldstream remarks that "there is nothing here which is obviously of votive character" but it is reasonable to associate this deposit with the sanctuary since the site was already receiving offerings during this period. Most pieces date to LG and EO, with a few being earlier.

The latticed stempost design harks back to earlier galley versions, while the forecastle is still open (contra the Dipylon ships which show a solid, fully enclosed version).

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

Coldstream, J.N. 1973. Knossos. The Sanctuary of Demeter. BSA Suppl. Vol. 8. Oxford.

Wedde, M. 2004. “The Late Geometric Ship from Khalasmenos,” in N. C. Stampolidis and A. Giannikouri (eds.) Το Αιγαίο στην Πρώιμη Εποχή του Σιδήρου: Πρακτικά του Διεθνούς Συμποσίου, Ρόδος 1-4 Νοεμβρίου 2002. Athens: University of Crete, pp. 143-148.

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