Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Ship shaped vase

Cat. No.



1375-1300 B.C. (LH IIIA2/LC IIB)


Maroni, Zarukas, Site A, tomb 17


L: 12.3 cm; W: 6.4 cm (max)


LH IIIA2 (late) fragment of a vase in the form of a ship with supporting legs. Buff slip, various patterns painted in lustrous dark brown paint with some incision work. Furumark type 337

Accession Number

British museum nř 1998,1201.146


Åström 1972: 512; Carbillet 2011: 227 + n. 21; Johnson 1980: no. 132; Keswani 2004: 131; Knapp 2019: 143; Manning et al 2002: 110, n. 37, fig. 4; Wachsmann 1998: 187, fig. 8.48; Wedde 2000: 311, no. 324

The hull fragment is V-shaped in profile. It is too fragmentary to provide any technical insights. The hull morphology favours an identification as a galley, but given how fragmentary the model is and the resultant lack of diagnostic features, its reading is far from certain.

Tomb 17 has eight recorded objects ranging chronologically from LC IB-IIA/ LH IIIA2. These include pottery, stone (tripodic mortar with incised decoration), faience, silver, and gold. The excavation notes mention ivory and faience fragments, a marble double saucer, a small cup with a flat bottom, and a clay bull figurine/askos. This was obviously another rich tomb, as noted by the precious metals, ivory, Mycenaean (boat) and Egyptian (faience bowl with figural decoration) imports. The boat shaped vase has lustrous dark brown paint decoration, including longitudinal lines along the lower hull and gunwale, a ladder-pattern, and what Wedde describes as a "rice-grain-shaped motif" with oblique hatching on either side. There is also incised decoration on the supporting leg which has a pronounced knee and a small foot.

Åström, L. 1972. The Late Cypriot Bronze Age: Other Arts and Crafts. Lund: Swedish Cyprus Expedition.

Carbillet, A. 2011. “Naviguer vers l’éternité. Les modèles de bateau en terre cuite chypriotes et leur association à la navigation eschatologique,” CCEC 41: 223-238.

Johnson, J. 1980. Maroni de Chypre. Göteborg: P. Åström.

Knapp, A. B. 2019. Seafaring and Seafarers in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean. Leiden: Sidestone Press.

Manning, S. W., D.A. Sewell and E. Herscher. 2002. “Late Cypriot IA Maritime Trade in Action: Underwater Survey at Maroni Tsaroukkas and the Contemporary East Mediterranean Trading System,” The Annual of the British School at Athens 97: 97-162.

Wachsmann, S. 1998. Seagoing Ships & Seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press.

Wedde, M. 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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