The Birth of the Stocked Anchor and the Maximum Size of Early Ships. Thoughts Prompted by Discoveries at Kition Bamboula, Cyprus

By Honor Frost, published August 1982


Two small sixth century BC stone anchors have been unearthed in a temple dig in Cyprus.  The pierced anchor and the stone stock are interesting because of their propinquity, their date and the sacred location.  They represent a transition in anchor design.  This is the first proof of the co-existence of these two distinct forms at the turn of the sixth and seven centuries BC.   Heavy, durable anchors indicate large ships; however, stone stocks are frangible. The weight of the stone anchor is equivalent to later large lead-stocked anchors, implying very large ships existed then.

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

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