Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Two single-levelled galleys

Cat. No.



transitional MG II/ LG I (c. 760 B.C.)


Anavyssos, tomb context



Attic hydriskos

Accession Number


Basch 1987: 174, no.369; Gray 1974: G21, no. E3; Kahane 1940: 472, pl. XXII.1; Kirk 1949: 96, no. A2; Morrison and Williams 1968: 32, geom. 27; Tzahou-Alexandri 1990: 335; Wedde 1999b: pl. XCII, E14; 2000: 169, fig. 16I

Ship facing right, with a low flat hull, massive square bow with a concave post integrating the bow projection, and a high curving stem with a single steering oar. The forecastle is painted as a solid rectangle that appears integrated to the bow, while the aftercastle is an open balustrade with horizontal rails, drawn as a rectangle divided down the middle by two perpendicular lines. The stempost terminates in a horn that inclines forward, then sharply backwards parallel to the hull. The single horizontal line above the hull represents the railing, with the two connected by seven vertical strokes which protrude above the line to depict tholepins. The mast is slightly forward from amidships, with the yard raised to its very top which is at the same height as the stem and stern extremities. There are two braces, one connecting each end of the yard to the fore- and aftercastles, while two other lines running inwards from the yard end to the foot of the mast are most likely brailing ropes.

This hydriskos is now lost, but comes from the same tomb as the previous cup. Two ships stern to stern, separated by a fish in frieze surrounding the shoulder of the vase. The right ship is the only one fully visible on the surviving photo, the stern of the other appears to depict an identical ship.

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

Gray, D. 1974, Seewesen. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.

Kahane, P. 1940. “Die Entwicklungsphasen der Attisch-Geometrischen Keramik,” AJA 44.4: 464-482.

Kirk, G.S. 1949. “Ships on Geometric Vases.” BSA 44: 93-153, pls. 38-40.

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

Tzahou-Alexandri, O. 1990. “Contribution to the knowledge of 8th century B.C. Ship Representations,” in H.E. Tzalas (ed.) Tropis II: 2nd International Symposium on Ship Construction in Antiquity. Delphi 1987 (Hellenic Institute for the Preservation of Nautical Tradition). Athens: Hellenic Institute for the Preservation of Nautical Tradition, pp. 333-61.

Wedde, M. 1999b. “War at Sea: The Mycenaean and Early Iron Age Oared Galley,” in R. Laffineur (ed.) Polemos: Le context guerrier en Égée à l’âge du bronze. Actes de la 7e Rencontre égéenne internationale, Université de Liège, 14–17 Avril 1998. Aegaeum 19. Liège: Université de Liège, pp. 465–427.

―――. 2000. Towards a Hermeneutics of Aegean Bronze Age Ship Imagery. Peleus Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte Griechenlands und Zyperns, vol. 6. Bibliopolis: Mannheim and Möhnsee.

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