Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Double-levelled galley

Cat. No.



Late Geometric I (c. 750-730 B.C.)


Dipylon, Athens



Fragments from a krater

Accession Number

Louvre 528, 537


Basch 1987: no. 336; Kirk 1949: 101, nos. 9-10; Morrison-Williams 1968: 19, Geom. 4, pl. 2a; Torr 1894b: 26, fig. 12

Fragmentary double-levelled ship to the left, in the conventional Dipylon style, with all the verticals and horizontals present, including the tholepins which are painted more heavily than usual. The top of the lower level of the stepped forecastle has three vertical projections which represent belaying pins. The eye consists of an eight-spoked wheel surrounded by dots painted within a larger reserved circle. Only three tholepins remain. The second fragment shows part of the latticed railing of the aftercastle, the sternpost's horn, and three spears stored in the stern. Only the deck and upper wale (lines D and E) are preserved.

Two fragments from a krater depicting a naval battle. Fragment Louvre 528 preserves part of the bow and hull, with the bow projection missing. Fragment Louvre 537 shows the stern of the same ship. There are six warriors aboard the ship preserved in total. From left to right on the first fragment these include: a warrior facing right equipped with a sword, with an arrow through his neck standing on the forecastle, another sword wielding warrior facing him (to the left) in the process of stepping up onto the platform, and an archer facing left standing on deck level (line D) ready to shoot. The arm of another figure holding a spear that abuts on the forecastle is visible behind the left warrior, who was therefore standing on the bow projection. The lower part of the legs of a floating corpse with the feet facing right appears below the stempost. On the second fragment, the first two warriors stand on deck level (line D) facing each other. The second figure has one leg behind the latticed railing of the aftercastle and is equipped with a spear and a sword. A third warrior standing behind the sternpost and facing left is seizing one of the spears stored in the stern compartment. Behind him at the level of his torso is a corpse with the head facing left.

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

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.

Torr, C. 1894b. “Les navires sur les vases du Dipylon,” RA 25 : 14-27.

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