Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project


Cat. No.





Amathus, Site D, tomb 176 (?)


L: 18 cm; H (amidships): 3 cm; beam (amidships): 4.5 cm


terracotta boat model, grey clay with black and yellow decoration. Traces of fingerprints inside the hull. Painted decoration on both sides the same but better preserved on the starboard side.

Accession Number

British Museum 1894,1101.517


Basch 1987: 252, no. 534; Göttlicher 1977: 37-38, no. 172, pl. 13; Gray 1974: G. 31, 3 e); Karageorghis 1996: 73, no. V(a):6, pl. XLVI: 5; Murray et al 1900: 113, fig. 164; Walters 1903: A 206; Westerberg 1983: 36-37, no. 40, fig. 40

Flat hull with a slightly uneven flat gunwale. The stempost resembles an animal head. It begins by rising vertically, then transitions abruptly into a hollow/concave edge, and finally terminates in a straight, outward pointing horn. Its total height is 5 cm. At its base is a short, snout-shaped ram painted black, with an additional near vertical black line parallel to the ram's painted edge. The horn has faint traces of yellow paint. The bow has a large almond shaped "eye" with a pupil and eyebrow painted in black on either side. The sternpost curves upward near vertically and is damaged above gunwale level. The hull is decorated with three horizontal lines: one running somewhat unevenly immediately below the gunwale (c. 1cm), and two parallel lines running along the waterline, of which the inner one is thinner. At the bow, these horizontal lines are interrupted by two vertical parallel black lines running from gunwale to keel. At the stern, the horizontals simply curve with the hull, eventually meeting. The space between these horizontals is filled with a zigzag motif in yellow paint. According to Basch, this element represents a light screen made of fabric. Tomb 176 was a cave that was entered through the roof about 7 feet down.

Recorded finds include 1 clay boat, a small-handled amphora, 1 small shoulder-ray jug, 1 cow (model?), fragments of bronze, and a porcelain ornament.

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

Göttlicher, A. 1977. Materialien für ein Korpus der Schiffsmodelle im Altertum. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern.

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

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.

Walters, H.B. 1903. Catalogue of the Terracottas in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum. London: Order of the Trustees.

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

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