Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Ship model

Cat. No.







L: 21 cm; W: 7.5 cm; H: 4 cm; hull ratio: 1:2.8


Terracotta model, reddish clay. Stem protruding elements and mast broken off

Accession Number

Argos Archaeological Museum 6098


Palaiologou 1985: 217- 228; Wedde 2000: 310, no. 314; Wachsmann 1998: 152-53, figs. 7.53, 7.54

Flat-bottomed hull angular in section, with concave interior and pointed extremities. Palaiologou argues that the base's shape is a convention in order to provide a flat surface for stability of the model rather than an actual feature of the hull. There is no indication of a keel. The posts slope outwards, rising at a steep angle from the keel. The right extremity (drawing) is interpreted as the bow, while the left is identified as the stern. The stern area is oval and more spacious, with a small ledge/platform on which there is a low cylindrical projection with its upper part broken. This is thought to represent the beam that supported the steering oar. Next to it is another piece of clay that resembles a heap under the platform aft, which then thins out as it goes up and loops over the gunwale where it is broken. This piece likely represents rope that was used either to fasten the steering oar to the pole or to fasten an anchor. At the center of the model there is a mast stump. Fore and aft of it at an equal distance are two strips of clay that run across the width of the hull, representing ribs. The central position of the mast favours the interpretation of the model as a large vessel.

From a rescue excavation. Votive context suggested by accompanying finds such as fragments of anthropomorphic figurines, a piece from a throne model, fragments of animal figurines, and a glass paste seal bearing the representation of a goat.

Palaiologou, E. 1989. “Aegean Ships from the 2nd millennium B.C.” in H. Tzalas (ed.) TROPIS I: 1st International Symposium on Ship Construction in Antiquity. Piraeus, 30 August – 1 September 1985. Piraeus: Hellenic Institute for the Preservation of Nautical Tradition, pp. 217-228.

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

Wedde, M. 2000. Towards a Hermeneutics of Aegean Bronze Age Ship Imagery. Peleus Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte Griechenlands und Zyperns, vol. 6. Bibliopolis: Mannheim and Möhnsee.

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  • copyright icon © Palaiologou 1985: 228 Click for fullscreen