Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Ship model

Cat. No.



mid. 11th century B.C. (dated based on ware and decoration)


Cyprus, unknown provenance


L: 18.5 cm; H (amidships): 2 cm


Light beige clay, bichrome technique paint

Accession Number

Eretz Israel Museum MHP2563.63


Artzy 1987: 80-81, fig. 13; Basch 1987: 254, 258, no. 557; Dolan 2023: 363-364, no. 21; Göttlicher 1977: 31, no. 107, pl. 7; Knapp 2019: 143. No. 11; Stieglitz 1972-75: 44-46, pl. VI.3; Wachsmann 1998: 152, fig. 7.51; Westerberg 1983: 18-19, 90, no. 17, fig. 17

Slender crescentic hull. The gunwale is uneven. The stempost is vertical, ending in an outward facing zoomorphic head device. The sternpost is straight and slightly inward slanting. The stempost and sternpost each rise 3.5 cm and 3 cm respectively above the gunwale. The outside of the model has painted decoration composed of horizontal black and red stripes c. 0.2 cm wide. Following the curve of the ship at the bottom of the hull is an irregular black stripe. Above it following the gunwale and crossing the stems is a red stripe. The stems are decorated with three pairs of horizontal bands - starting with red, black, red from top to bottom. The lowest red band is connected to that running along the gunwale, forming a continuous line between the stem. Westerberg notes that at the base of the sternpost there is a small pinching by the maker. It is possible that this represents a cutwater. Note that this feature is very obvious on the photo but not on the drawing.

Artzy, M. 1987. “On Boats and Sea Peoples,” BASOR 266: 75-84.

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 Unpublished DPhil Thesis.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.

Knapp, A. B. 2018. Seafaring and Seafarers in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean. Leiden: Sidestone Press.

Stieglitz, R.R. 1972-75. “An Ancient Terracotta Ship from Cyprus,” Sefunim 4:44-46.

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

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

  • copyright icon © Click for fullscreen
  • copyright icon © Click for fullscreen