Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Ship model

Cat. No.



Cypro-Archaic II (?)


Kalokhorio Klirou, *Zithkionas*, west Politiko, Cyprus (bothros)


L: 30 cm; H (amidships): 10 cm; beam (amidships): 14 cm


terracotta boat model of coarse red clay with traces of red colour along gunwale and stems

Accession Number

Nicosia Museum 1953/XII-30/6


Basch 1987: 256. No. 546; Casson 1971: 69, n. 124; Dolan 2023, 474-477, no. 69; Göttlicher 1977: 36, no. 161, pl. 11; Gray 1974: G 31, 3.i; Westerberg 1983: 22-23, no. 23, fig. 23

Heavy crescentic hull with a flattened bottom, a flat gunwale, and a marked keel on the outside. Roughly symmetrical stems that rise near vertically, with a slightly outward slant, extending 6 cm above the gunwale and ending in incurving horns. The sternpost rises slightly higher and curves inward more gently. There are four thwarts, one positioned 7 cm from the stem, while the rest are spaced evenly at a 4 cm interval. The stern has a deck that extends for 7 cm from the sternpost. The front part of the deck has a transverse bulkhead down to the stern thwart. There is a quadrangular opening (3.5 x 4 cm) in the bulkhead's middle. Through the second thwart from the stern there is a mast attached to a socket in the floor. This mast is 8 cm long and 2.5 cm in diameter, and ends in a crow's nest (3.5 cm high, 3 cm diameter). There were originally three figures on board, with the figure at prow now missing. The figures seated at the bow and stern face each other. The third figure is placed in the crow's nest and must therefore be a look-out crew member. The seated helmsman holds a steering oar in his right hand. It is thick and sturdy (13 cm long, 4 cm wide blade), with a central rib indicated by a thicker part in the middle that thins out towards the edges of the oar blade. There are two ribbons (1.5 cm wide) at 3 cm and 6 cm from the tip of the handle which indicate the fastenings to the hull. There is a similar steering oar on the port side, part of which is missing.

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

Casson, L. 1971. Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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 Unpublished DPhil Thesis.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.

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