Carthage and Rome: Tenons and Mortises

By Lucien Basch, published August 1981


Traces the evolution of Roman shipbuilding techniques, from their first maritime expeditions in 394 BC to the onset of the first Punic War in 260 BC highlighting the Roman adoption of construction using tenons and mortises, which allowed for rapid building of a fleet. Using literature and archaeological evidence it is shown that this technique likely was acquired from Carthage during the time of war with Pyrrhus rather than deriving from Etruscan shipbuilding, which seems to have predominantly used sewn joining of planks.

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Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Archaeology | Shipbuilding & Design

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