Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Ship model

Cat. No.





Amathus, tomb 3, no. 23


L: 20 cm; H (amidships): 3 cm; beam (amidships): 6 cm


terracotta boat model, broken in two pieces but complete. Yellow-red clay with bichrome black and red decoration

Accession Number

Nicosia Museum


Dolan 2023: 413-415, no. 39; Karageorghis 1977: 765-66, fig. 98; 1996: 73, no. V(a): 3, pl. XLI: 6; Westerberg 1983: 23, no. 24, 96, fig. 24

Long, slender crescentic hull with a rounded bottom below the waterline and an unusual concave freeboard painted black (H: 1.5 cm). Triangular bow with a down-pointing triangular bow projection. The stempost forms a straight uninterrupted line starting from the tip of the bow projection that inclines backwards. It ends in a horn device that inclines forward, then curves sharply backwards forming a kind of loop. On either side of the bow is an oval eye with a large pupil painted in black. The sternpost rises gently in a direct continuation of the keel. It does not rise above the gunwale and was no decorative device. At the bow and stern is a cross-beam/thwart which rests on the gunwale and protrudes slightly on either side (bow:3 cm long, 0.5 cm wide; stern: 4.5 cm long, 1 cm wide). The gunwale, cross-beams, the upper edge of the bow projections, as well as the upper parts of the stems are painted red. There are no interior fittings.

A very brief description of the context in BCH 101 only mentions that the tombs discovered in 1976 contained rich burial gifts, but the specific contents of tomb B3 are not identified. Among the finds there was gold and silver jewellery (diadems, earrings, hair ornaments), fibulae, rings, metal bowls, weapons and fragmentary strigils, glass vases and two terracotta boat models.

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 Unpublished DPhil Thesis.

Karageorghis, V. 1977. “Chronique des fouilles et découvertes archéologiques à Chypre en 1976,” BCH 101.2: 707-779.

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

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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