The Survival of Ancient Mediterranean Boat Designs

By A. F. Tilley , published November 1973

Abstract

The sea-going Phoenicians colonised the Mediterranean and Portuguese shores.  From ancient carvings of their boats, it is perhaps possible to recognise modern survivors of those designs. Common characteristics, irrespective of size, are double-ended carvel-built hulls, with conspicuous bow and stern, tilt or turtle canopies, and similar oarage.  Examination of construction, related myths and linguistic characteristics of the modern Maltese dghaisa, Venetian gondola, Gozo luzzu and cargo-boat, Sicilian ontro and dritto poppa, Portuguese muleta, speronara, and saveiro  – all once Phoneician and Carthaginian colonies – suggest evolved survivors of ancient craft.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Early Middle Ages | Late Middle Ages | Antiquity | High Middle Ages | Mediterranean | Other (Twentieth C) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Shipwrecks
Subjects include: Archaeology | Leisure & Small Craft | Merchant Marines | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Shipbuilding & Design

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