Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Ship model

Cat. No.



Cypro-Archaic (?)


Amathus, Site E, tomb 83 (?)


L: 21 cm; H (amidships): 5 cm; beam (amidships): 7 cm


terracotta boat model, damaged. Coarse reddish clay with faint traces of red and yellow paint on the exterior

Accession Number

British Museum 1894,1101.183


Basch 1987: 254, 257, no. 551; Dolan 2023: 394-395, no. 32; Göttlicher 1977: 37, no. 170, pl. 12; Gray 1974: G.31, 3. e), pl. G. IVe; Hermary 1996: 16-17; Karageorghis 1996: 76, no. V(b): 26, pl. XLIV:1; Murray et al 1900: 113, fig. 164, 19; Westerberg 1983: 31-21, no. 33, fig. 33

Crescent shaped hull with near symmetrical posts. One of the stems is vertical (3 cm above gunwale), with an external edge that is hollow/ slightly concave, ending in a flaring extremity with a concave top. The other stem rises smoothly and curves inward, with an identical concave extremity. It projects slightly higher above the gunwale and does not have the hollow outer edge. About 2 cm aft of the stem with the hollow outer edge is a transverse beam (4.5 cm long, 0.5 cm thick) placed on top of the gunwale that protrudes slightly outside the hull on either side. There is a circular mast socket amidships (2 x 1.5 cm). Below the gunwale (c. 1 cm) between the stem and the transverse beam is a hole through the hull. According to Murray there were two parallel oblique lines on one of the stems. The model was also painted on the inside. The stripes are said to have alternated between red, yellow, and red. This design is no longer observable.

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

Dolan, M. 2023. Ceci n'est pas un bateau: Reassessing terracotta boat models in Late Bronze and Iron Age Cyprus. University of Southhampton. Unpublished DPhil Thesis.

Göttlicher, A. 1978. Materialien für ein Korpus der Schiffsmodelle im Altertum. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern.

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

Hermary, A. 1996. "Figurines en terre cuite des fouilles Anglaises d’Amathonte 1893-4," Cahiers du Centre d’Études Chypriotes 26: 13-22.

Karageorghis, V. 1996. The coroplastic Art of ancient Cyprus. VI. Monsters, Animals and Miscellanea. Nicosia: A.G. Leventis Foundation.

Murray, A. S., Smith, A. H. and Walters, H. B. 1900. Excavations in Cyprus: (bequest of Miss E. T. Turner to the British Museum). London: Trustees of the British Museum.

Westerberg, K. 1983. Cypriote Ships from the Bronze Age to c. 500 B.C. (SIMA, Pocket-books, 22). Göteborg: P. Åströms förlag.

  • copyright icon © The Trustees of the British Museum Click for fullscreen
  • copyright icon © The Trustees of the British Museum Click for fullscreen