Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Bow of a galley

Cat. No.



Middle Geometric II


Sanctuary of Aphaia, Aigina


H: 7 cm; W: 6.5 cm; thickness: 0.6 cm


Sherd from a medium-sized Attic krater, preserving part of one wing of a double, arching handle

Accession Number


Williams 2015: 253-54, fig. 1

Fragment of a ship to the right preserving only the bow. Massive square bow with a concave post integrating the bow projection, with an incurving horn ending the stempost and an integrated forecastle. The bow projection is somewhat shorter than usual and square ended.

The sanctuary of Aphaia experienced greatly reduced activity after a high point during the LH IIIB, although not a complete cessation. Interest resumes during the Late Protogeometric/ Early Geometric I transition (early decades of the 9th century), manifested by some Attic imports (16 fragments of Attic krateriskoi), continues to grow during the Early Geometric II,1 and markedly intensifies in the second half of the 9th century both in terms of quantity and the range of shapes.2 The first half of the 8th century (MG II) sees a further expansion of imports,3 with a continuing upward trend during the Late Geometric when pottery from the Cyclades and East Greece are added. The overall sense is thus of a gradually increasing and expanding network and activity from the early 9th century onwards. An Attic MG II krater with a ship depiction under the handle, with the back legs of a horse preserved in a curved contour panel to the left of the handle root. Williams suggests it was painted by the same hand as the Louvre A514 pyxis, which he calls the painter of the Fauvel pyxis.

1. Attic krater, amphora, skyphoi, one handled cups, oinochoai, Corinthian amphora.

2. Middle Geometric oinochoai, lekythos-oinochoai, lekythoi, neckamphorae, pyxides, kraters, large skyphoi, and regular skyphoi.

3. Attic tankards, Corinthian oinochoai, kotylai, and skyphoi, Argiveoenochoe, Euboean skyphos.

Williams, D. 2015. “Ship, Horse, Battle: Some Attic Geometric Fragments from the Sanctuary of Aphaia, Aigina and Attic Geometric Gold Jewellery,” in V. Vlachou (ed.) Pots, Workshops and Early Iron Age Society: Function and Role of Ceramics in Early Greece. Proceedings of the International Symposium held at the Université libre de Bruxelles 14-16 Novembre 2013. Études d’Archéologie 8. Brussels: CReA-Patrimoine, pp. 253-266.

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