Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Ship model

Cat. No.



LH IIIB2 (c. 1230-1190)


Tiryns, Unterburg (Lower Citadel)


L: 9.7 cm; L (restored): 11.3 cm; W (max): 3 cm; H (gunwale): 1.9 cm; H (w/ bow figure): 4.5 cm Hull ratio: 1: 3.2


Terracotta model in four fragments. Fine temper, light ochre clay with dark brown, sometimes diluted paint. Reddish discoloration of the stern fragment

Accession Number


Kilian 1988: 122-23, 140, fig. 37.8; Wachsmann 1998: 150, fig. 7.45; Wedde 2000: 310, no. 315

Slightly rockered keel with a wide V-shaped midships section. The keel continues into a very short upcurving spur. The stempost is vertical (Wedde Group 3: vertical semi-integrated) and ends in a prominent, outward-facing zoomorphic device decorated with a row of bands. This ornament extends forward far beyond the spur. Much of the outside hull is painted with uniform dark brown paint, with reserved areas at the bow on both sides and at the stern at starboard. At the base of the stempost device, roughly at the level of the gunwale, is a horizontal line which Wachsmann tentatively identifies as a wale. Below it the bow is decorated with two vertical zigzag lines on port side and one horizontal zigzag line resembling a W on starboard side. The interior of the hull is painted with two longitudinal stripes (wales) intersected by four vertical lines (frames/spars). When seen from below, the hull has a line that runs the entire length of the ship. Wedde notes that this model argues in favour of a keel.

Kilian, K. 1988. “Ausgrabungen in Tiryns 1982/83. Bericht zu den Grabungen,” AA: 105-151.

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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