Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Galley with oval oarports

Cat. No.



Late Geometric II


Acropolis, Athens




Accession Number

Athens National Museum 251; 252


Basch 1987: 180, no. 377; Kirk 1949: 109, no. 33, 34, pl. 40.2; Morrison-Williams 1968: 36, Geom. 40, 41, pl 7c; Pernice 1892: fig. 10

A160a: Part of the hull of a ship facing right (?). The thick band which represents the hull frames four large oval ports in which are enclosed rowers whose bodies are hidden behind Dipylon type shields. These face left, with only their head and one hand seen holding their oars which protrude below the hull. The corner of a fifth oar appears at the left-hand edge of the sherd. The artist has attempted to show the oarsmen rowing through ports, which have been greatly enlarged in order to show the figures in full. This is the earliest representation showing the use of shields as protection for the rowers.

A160b: Smaller fragment identical in style, preserving only one complete port and the edges of two more.

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.

Pernice, E. 1892. “Über die Schiffsbilder auf den Dipylonvasen,” AM 17: 285-306.

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