Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Ship model

Cat. No.





Cyprus, further provenance unknown


L: 18 cm; H (amidships): 2.5 cm; beam (amidships): 4.5 cm


terracotta boat model of light-coloured clay painted in bichrome. Colour now faded.

Accession Number

Nicosia Museum 1946/XII-23/1


Basch 1987: 256, no. 549; Dolan 2023: 551-553, no. 104; Göttlicher 1977: 36, no. 159, pl. 10; Westerberg 1983: 24-25, no. 26, fig. 26

Low flat hull with a flat gunwale. The stempost is straight and rises vertically, ending in a flaring extremity with a flat top that resembles the shape of an axe. The sternpost is incurving, with a straight, inward slanting external edge above the gunwale, ending in an extremity identical to that of the stempost. The stems rise c. 4.5 cm above the gunwale. There is a fragment amidships of what was probably a mast-socket. On either side of this socket there are small fragments, probably remnants of belaying-pins. The stems are red painted except for their upper parts. Along the length of the gunwale is an uneven red-painted ribbon c. 1.5 cm wide. The lower part of the hull has faint traces of black colour. The inside the hull is painted with three evenly spaced red lines drawn from gunwale to gunwale, which run uninterrupted across the feet of the figures. These are probably meant to represent frames. There are three figures seated directly on the floor, all facing towards the stern, their arms resting on the gunwale. They have large eyes painted in black. There is also an animal figure with its back part slightly damaged, sitting in front of the mast-socket.

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 Unpublished DPhil Thesis.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.

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