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Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America and the UNC Greensboro Department of Classical Studies
Our understanding of Bronze Age Aegean ships is largely based on a record of about 400 ship images, most of them small and schematic. On the basis of the characteristics of a Middle Bronze Age boat found at Mitrou, in central Greece, the speaker will argue for a new ship typology for the Bronze Age Aegean that is based on shipbuilding principles rather than iconographic details.
Recently found ship images suggest that in the Early Bronze Age, the East Aegean region had advanced shipbuilding technology and was the first area of the Aegean to use the sail. All this would have given East Aegean seafarers a decided advantage over those from the other parts of the Aegean, somewhat comparable to those enjoyed by Viking seafarers over other northern European seafarers in the early Middle Ages. The advanced East Aegean shipbuilding and ship propulsion technology in turn would help to explain the sudden appearance of Anatolian cultural features in the Central and West Aegean during the later part of the Early Bronze Age. The East Aegean innovations had a major impact on Aegean boatbuilding and seafaring, as they soon were adopted by shipbuilders in Minoan Crete and other areas.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
2017 Van de Moortel, A., “A New Typology of Bronze Age Aegean Ships: Developments in Aegean Shipbuilding in Their Historical Context,” in J. Litwin (ed.), The Baltic and Beyond. Proceedings of the 14th International Symposium on Boat and Ship Archaeology, Gdańsk, September 21-25, 2015 (Gdańsk) 263-268.
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