Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Ship model

Cat. No.





Oropos, Amphiareion area (unstratified context), Attica


L (restored): 35 cm; W (max restored): 8.3 cm; W (at hole at stern): 7.5 cm


Terracotta model in three fragments. Bow and stern nearly intact, midship lost. Orange clay with red paint.

Accession Number

Peiraious Archaeological Museum 474


Basch 1987: 150, no. 317; Catling 1978: 7-8, fig. 5; Crielaard 2006: 279-80, fig. 14.2(h); Van Doornink 1982: 281-82, fig. 6b; Johnston 1985: 33, BA 25; Mark 2005: 110-11, fig. 48; Petrakos 1974: 98-99, pl. 57; Touchais 1978: 655-56, fig. 35; Wachsmann 1998: 149-50, fig. 7.44; Wedde 2000: 311, no. 320

Flat bottomed hull with a low gunwale. The stempost is vertical, with a slight forward inclination over a slender yet prominent spur with a rounded end. The bow is high and rectangular. The sternpost rises in a curve. There are holes at the bow and stern, either used for suspension or to fit wheels. At the bow, one hole is over the spur, while another is located at the tip of the stempost. Both have a diameter of 0.3 cm, while the upper one is 1 cm deep. Another hole at the base of the stern's curve passes laterally though the width of the hull, which causes a hump perpendicular to the model's length.

The dating of the model has been debated. Iacovides suggests an LH III date on the basis of the clay and paint (Petrakos 1974: 99, n.21). Petrakos on the other hand argues that the clay is similar to that of Geometric idols. In light of the history of the settlement and the very close parallel from Skyros, the Geometric date is far more plausible. Wedde notes that the hull morphology fits a Geometric date better (Wedde 2006: 262, n. 57).

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

Catling, H. 1978. “Archaeology in Greece, 1978-79.” Archaeological Reports 25: 3–42.

Crielaard, J.P. 2006. “Basileis at Sea: Elites and External Contacts in the Euboian Gulf Region from the End of the Bronze Age to the Beginning of the Iron Age,” in S. Deger-Jalkotzy and I.S. Lemos (eds.) Ancient Greece from the Mycenaean palaces to the Age of Homer. Edinburgh University Press, pp. 271-97.

Johnston, P. F. 1985. Ships and Boat Models in Ancient Greece. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press.

Mark, S. 2005. Homeric Seafaring. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press.

Petrakos, B. 1974. ‘’Eϰ τῆς Μυκηναϊϰής Ώρωπίας.’ ArchDelt 29: 95-99.

Touchais, G. 1978. Chronique des fouilles en 1977. Bull. Corr. Hellénique, 102: 655-66.

Van Doorninck, F. H. 1982. “Protogeometric Longships and the Introduction of the Ram,” IJNA 11.4: 277–286.

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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