The Gurob Ship-Cart Model and Its Mediterranean Context

Overview

When Shelley Wachsmann began his analysis of the small ship model excavated by assistants of famed Egyptologist W. M. F. Petrie in Gurob, Egypt, in 1920, he expected to produce a brief monograph that would shed light on the model and the ship type that it represented. Instead, Wachsmann discovered that the model held clues to the identities and cultures of the enigmatic Sea Peoples, to the religious practices of ancient Egypt and Greece, and to the oared ships used by the Bronze...

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The Gurob Ship-Cart Model and Its Mediterranean Context: An Archaeological Find and Its Mediterranean Context

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Overview

When Shelley Wachsmann began his analysis of the small ship model excavated by assistants of famed Egyptologist W. M. F. Petrie in Gurob, Egypt, in 1920, he expected to produce a brief monograph that would shed light on the model and the ship type that it represented. Instead, Wachsmann discovered that the model held clues to the identities and cultures of the enigmatic Sea Peoples, to the religious practices of ancient Egypt and Greece, and to the oared ships used by the Bronze Age Mycenaean Greeks.

Although found in Egypt, the prototype of the Gurob model was clearly an Aegean-style galley of a type used by both the Mycenaeans and the Sea Peoples. The model is the most detailed representation presently known of this vessel type, which played a major role in changing the course of world history. Contemporaneous textual evidence for Sherden—one of the Sea Peoples—settled in the region suggests that the model may be patterned after a galley of that culture. Bearing a typical Helladic bird-head decoration topping the stempost, with holes along the sheer strakes confirming the use of stanchions, the model was found with four wheels and other evidence for a wagon-like support structure, connecting it with European cultic prototypes.

The online resources that accompany the book illustrate Wachsmann’s research and analysis. They include 3D interactive models that allow readers to examine the Gurob model on their computers as if held in the hand, both in its present state and in two hypothetical reconstructions. The online component also contains high-resolution color photos of the model, maps and satellite photos of the site, and other related materials. Offering a wide range of insights and evidence for linkages among ancient Mediterranean peoples and traditions, The Gurob Ship-Cart Model and Its Mediterranean Context presents an invaluable asset for anyone interested in the complexities of cultural change in the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age.

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Editorial Reviews

Andrew M.T. Moore

“Professor Wachsmann has written a masterly account of an extraordinary archaeological find, the Gurob ship-cart model. From his comprehensive knowledge of second millennium B.C. nautical technology, he has identified the prototype for the model as a Helladic galley of Mycenaean type. This extraordinary insight has illuminated the Eastern Mediterranean world at a time of upheaval in which cultural cross-currents from Central Europe to Egypt provided a rich array of influences that lay behind the fashioning of this unique object.

Combining wide-ranging scholarship with deep knowledge of shipbuilding techniques, Professor Wachsmann has reconstructed the manufacture of the ship-cart model, and has created a remarkably complete virtual impression of its original form. Then, from this single artifact, he has gone on to delineate a system of maritime contacts and exchanges that embraces movements of peoples, ideologies and religious practices across the Aegean, Asia Minor, the Levant, and North Africa. It is a remarkable achievement.

Professor Wachsmann has, through brilliant analysis based on a lifetime of scholarly endeavor, put together a book of astonishing insight and great import that has brought to life a lost world three thousand years old.”--Andrew M.T. Moore, First Vice President for the Archaeological Institute of America; Former Dean of Graduate Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York

Dr. Peter Lacovara

“Dr. Wachsmann has made some brilliant discoveries based on very careful research . . . a real tour de force.”—Peter Lacovara, senior curator of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern Art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University
Gil J. Stein

“Shelley Wachsmann is one of the world’s leading experts in nautical archaeology. He effortlessly combines deep knowledge of the subject with a wonderful ability to explain this complex topic to both professionals and the general reader.”—Gil J. Stein, professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and director of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Kristian Kristiansen

This richly textured book about a remarkable find of a wooden ship model on wheels from Egypt becomes the starting point for a stunning work that delves into the decades of turmoil during the period of the Sea Peoples in the East Mediterranean. Wachsmann convincingly reconstructs the historical context of the Gurob model as belonging to the Sherden and Weshesh Sea-Peoples of Urnfield origin who settled in Egypt and quickly became assimilated.”—Kristian Kristiansen, professor of archaeology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; coauthor, The Rise of Bronze Age Society
Dr. Jan Bouzek

“Shelley Wachsmann is one of the leading world specialists in the field of Bronze and Early Iron Age ships and seafaring in the Mediterranean. In his new book he brings a detailed reconstruction of the Gurob ship model, a unique monument of its kind, closely related to ships of the Sea Peoples and to those of the Mycenaeans. Based on new evidence collected from many archaeological and written sources the author gives a thorough survey of the general historical situation in the east Mediterranean countries in late second millennium B.C. His book contributes essentially to our knowledge of the period of collapse of Bronze Age empires and of a new start of Greek, Phoenician, and Hebrew cultures. His sophisticated approach opens new horizons to historians, archaeologists, and philologists and should be widely read.”—Jan Bouzek, professor of Classical Archaeology, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, author of The Aegean, Anatolia and Europe: Cultural Interrelations in the Second Millennium B.C., and Greece, Anatolia, Europe: Cultural Interrelations during the Early Iron Age
Dr. Aren Maeir

“Shelley Wachsmann has carried out an exemplary and exhaustive study of a relatively forgotten wooden ship model that was found by Petrie in Gurob in 1920. . . . Through his meticulous analysis, turning over every stone on the way, Wachsmann has uncovered an important piece of evidence relevant for the study of early Mediterranean shipping and evidence of the origin of the ships of the Sea Peoples. Written in an engaging and convincing manner, using a wide and impressive range of evidence, this book is recommended for scholars of many fields—maritime archaeology, Egyptology, Aegean archaeology, Levantine and biblical archaeology, to name a few. Well done!”—Aren Maeir, professor of biblical archaeology, Bar Ilan University, Israel
John R. Hale

“In his pioneering study of the Gurob boat model, Shelley Wachsmann has brought to light an extraordinary web of connections that links New Kingdom Egypt to Mycenaean Greece and establishes new links between the fields of ancient history, nautical technology, and religious ritual in widely separated parts of the Mediterranean. The boat model is a small artifact in itself, and easily overlooked, but Wachsmann’s research shows that it may have a cosmic significance for our understanding of the late Bronze Age world.”—John R. Hale, director of Liberal Studies, University of Louisville and author of Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy
Doctor - Peter Lacovara
“Dr. Wachsmann has made some brilliant discoveries based on very careful research . . . a real tour de force.”—Peter Lacovara, senior curator of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern Art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University
Doctor - Jan Bouzek
“Shelley Wachsmann is one of the leading world specialists in the field of Bronze and Early Iron Age ships and seafaring in the Mediterranean. In his new book he brings a detailed reconstruction of the Gurob ship model, a unique monument of its kind, closely related to ships of the Sea Peoples and to those of the Mycenaeans. Based on new evidence collected from many archaeological and written sources the author gives a thorough survey of the general historical situation in the east Mediterranean countries in late second millennium B.C. His book contributes essentially to our knowledge of the period of collapse of Bronze Age empires and of a new start of Greek, Phoenician, and Hebrew cultures. His sophisticated approach opens new horizons to historians, archaeologists, and philologists and should be widely read.”—Jan Bouzek, professor of Classical Archaeology, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, author of The Aegean, Anatolia and Europe: Cultural Interrelations in the Second Millennium B.C., and Greece, Anatolia, Europe: Cultural Interrelations during the Early Iron Age
Doctor - Aren Maeir
“Shelley Wachsmann has carried out an exemplary and exhaustive study of a relatively forgotten wooden ship model that was found by Petrie in Gurob in 1920. . . . Through his meticulous analysis, turning over every stone on the way, Wachsmann has uncovered an important piece of evidence relevant for the study of early Mediterranean shipping and evidence of the origin of the ships of the Sea Peoples. Written in an engaging and convincing manner, using a wide and impressive range of evidence, this book is recommended for scholars of many fields—maritime archaeology, Egyptology, Aegean archaeology, Levantine and biblical archaeology, to name a few. Well done!”—Aren Maeir, professor of biblical archaeology, Bar Ilan University, Israel
Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections - JAEI Staff

“Those familiar with Wachsmann’s Seagoing Ships and Seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant know the author’s predilection for (and skill at) assembling extensive references of both period and ethnographic parallels. It is not different in the current volume. . . Great analysis can transcend its object. One need not have any interest at all in the ship-cart itself, or indeed in watercraft, to need The Gurob Ship-Cart Model and Its Mediterranean Context. An interest in virtually any aspect of the Late Bronze Age, Eastern Mediterranean or Egypt will do.”—JAEI Staff, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections
International Journal of Nautical Archaeology

" . . . a deep and rich study of ships from the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the first Iron Age, along with analysis of their ethnic and cultural context. . . richly illustrated with 200 illustrations in black-and-white and numerous appendices and annexes. A website . . . offers a virtual-reality model of the ship in all its detail as well as comparative material, and constitutes an original and valuable innovation. Easy to use, the website is a useful animated colour complement to the work. . . The conclusion that completes this long study is all the more important as Wachsmann has united in a synthetic way the pieces of the puzzle, in spite of their complexity. . . A glossary of nautical terms, numerous notes, a substantial bibliography and an index usefully complete the publication . . . the conclusion puts all the pieces in place and the reader on the right path . . . the identification of the Gurob ship model as a Helladic ship is quite convincing . . . Exceeding the limits of his subject, the author also offers us a broad vision of the complexity of the cultural exchanges of the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age. . . an attractive book that is stimulating for the spirit . . . . it should occupy a prominent place in any library of Mediterranean archaeology and specifically of nautical archaeology."--International Journal of Nautical Archaeology
The Nautical Archaeology Society - Patrice Pomey

". . . a deep and rich study of ships from the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the first Iron Age, along with analysis of their ethnic and cultural context . . .offers a virtual-reality model of the ship in all its details as well as comparitive material, and constitutes an original and valuable innovation. Easy to use, the website is a useful animated colour complement to the work. The conclusion that completes this long study is all the more impotant as Wachsmann has united in a synthetic way the pieces of the puzzle, in spite of their complexity. A glossary of nautical terms, and numerous notes, a substantial bibiography and an index usefully complete the publication. . . . the conclusion puts all the pieces in place and the reader on the right path. . . . the identification of the Gurob ship model as a Helladic ship is quite convincing. Exceeding the limits of his subject, the author also offers us a broad vision of the complexity of the cultural exchanges of the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age. . . . an attractive book that is stimulating for the spirit . . . is should occupy a prominent place in any library of Mediterranean archaeology and specifically of nautical archaeology." - Patrice Pomey, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology
INA Quarterly - Christoph Bachhuber

"This book... remains... the most authoritative work on Bronze Age seafaring. Gurob Ship-Cart is accompanied by an innovative, open source, and interactive digital supplement that highlights reconstructions of the object... [This book is] very readable... This volume... [offers] valuable insights on ship design and maritime-related ritual in ancient Egypt and the Mediterranean region more broady. The accompanying open source digital supplement is also a novel illustration tool that should be widely emulated in archaeological monographs." --Christoph Bachhuber
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Product Details

Meet the Author


The Meadows Professor of Biblical Archaeology at Texas A&M University, SHELLEY  WACHSMANN  is also the author of Seagoing Ships and Seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant (Texas A&M University Press, 1998), which received the Irene Levi-Sala Book Prize in the Archaeology of Israel, and The Sea of Galilee Boat: An Extraordinary 2000-Year-Old Discovery (Texas A&M University Press, 2009), which won the Biblical Archaeology Society’s Award for best popular book.
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The Gurob Ship-Cart Model and Its Mediterranean Context


By Shelley Wachsmann

Texas A&M University Press

Copyright © 2013 Shelley Wachsmann
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60344-429-3



CHAPTER 1

The Gurob Ship-Cart Model


In 1920 William Mathews Flinders Petrie assigned two of his assistants, Guy Brunton and Reginald Engleback, to excavate Gurob, a site that he had first examined three decades earlier (Fig. 1.1). Petrie's renewed interest in the ancient settlement resulted from his concern for the site's destruction and the loss of antiquities to illicit excavations carried out by various antiquity dealers, as well as the collection of sabbâkhin (settlement deposit used as fertilizer) by the local fellahin, which had lowered the level of the site to that of the surrounding desert. The expedition's primary goal was the examination of the site's tombs, which were still believed to hold promise.

The 1920 season yielded a remarkable wooden model of a ship, found in Tomb 611 and now located in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London (Fig. 1.2). No photographs exist of the artifact in situ. The terse tomb registration card, apparently filled out by Petrie himself, notes only "Frags of painted wooden boat on wheels" (Fig. 1.3). No other documentation of the tomb is known to exist. The excavation report describes the tomb simply as a "shallow shaft with chamber on west."

The model was the only artifact found in Tomb 611. Along with a reconstruction drawing by Petrie showing the model in port sheer plan, as well as plan views, the excavation report included the following laconic description of the model (Fig. 1.4):

Professor Petrie has reconstructed this in his drawing which also shows the colouring in red, blue and yellow. The short pegs, of which eight of the twelve remain, are loose and fit the holes in the deck. The tall poles, six in number, are broken off, leaving their stumps in the deck. The awnings are cut out to pass between the tall poles. The gap between the awnings is to allow entering over the side. The figure of a man has been drawn in to show the relative size. It would seem to be the model of a war galley with a ram(?) and projection at the prow for boarding other vessels. The circles along the sides are doubtless meant for oars.


Six years later, in the second of a two-part article dealing with Egyptian watercraft, Petrie supplied another, somewhat different, drawing—this time in an elevated starboard view along with the following description (Fig. 1.5):

[This] is another vessel of much the same date [as the ships depicted at Medinet Habu], a little pirate boat, designed for rapid attack and boarding. There are four thwarts, seating eight rowers. A light wood roof shades part, and would suffice to bear a cloth thrown over it. In the bows is a platform for landing, and below it a deadly little ram. The action would be for the pirates to lie to by some island, and when a small trading vessel passed them row out swiftly, ram it so that the crew would be occupied in saving the vessel; the pirates would then swarm up, catch the top of the stern [sic] post to swing on to the boarding platform and so on to the trading vessel. Seizing what they could secure by force, they could return quickly and be off while the trader was saving himself from sinking. The model was mounted on wheels as a child's toy, and was found broken up in a late tomb, probably dating from c. 1,000 B.C.

747. A model boat. (UC 16044) ...

Wood, painted blue, red and yellow. The boat has a ramming device in the bows, with a platform above. There are four thwarts seating eight rowers. Six tall poles forward and four aft bear light awnings. There is a large steering oar. The boat is mounted on wheels as a child's toy, and was found in pieces. Tomb 611.

N.K.

Very fragile. Not quite complete, with some unplaced fragments.

As the boat is extremely fragile and is tied together in a display case in the Petrie Collection, it could not be removed for close examination. It may have been a funerary boat adapted for use as a child's toy.

L. 405mm


The model's deteriorating condition led the Petrie Museum to have it conserved in 1998. An unnamed conservator submitted the following report:

Has beee [sic] previously joined and badly gapfilled using plaster. Old joins failing, plaster detaching and breaking the wood. Some parts have been made out of modern wood (eg balsa wood) to replaced [sic] missing parts. Some pieces have bee [sic] glued in the wrong place Dirty.


Commenting on the painted designs decorating the wheels found with the model, M. A. Littauer and J. H. Crouwel note that "the wheels, which are solid, are painted in an unintelligible manner." Martha Bell mentions the model in her discussion of nearby Tomb 605, C. Monroe includes a photo from Thomas's publication in a revised version of his master's thesis, and P. P. Creasman and Noreen Doyle discuss the model in relation to evidence for overland transport of ships in ancient Egypt. Most recently, Ann Merriman references the model, noting that it "is unique since the boat has a nonstandard bow finial on a platform and an odd projection under the waterline that has been interpreted as a 'ram' by some scholars." This appears to be the sum total of extant documentation regarding the model—a stunning lack of discussion given the artifact's importance.

In her monograph on Gurob, Angela Thomas published a photo of the model in port sheer view (Fig. 1.6: A). In this photo the model is arranged in a manner identical to Petrie's second drawing with two important changes: The quarter rudder is incongruously propped up at the bow and the hull rests on a modern carriage fitted with the four wheels found with the model. A second, until now, unpublished photograph in the Petrie Museum collection, apparently taken at the same time, shows a top view of themodel (Fig. 1.6: B). Thomas describes the model in the accompanying catalogue thus:

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]


The hull.—The model was broken in half in antiquity, apparently intentionally (Figs. 1.7–8). A section of the starboard side is missing at this break (Fig. 1.2: B). A white substance, presumably the remains of the plaster referred to in the conservation report, covers portions of the break. When the two parts of the hull are aligned, the model is 38.5 cm long in a straight line from stem to stern, approximately 43 cm long following the bottom line of the hull, and 40.3 cm long along the caprail (Fig. 1.9). The hull's maximum breadth is 5.5 cm, giving the hull a 1:7 beam-to-length ratio.

The hull is rockered (Fig. 1.2: A–B). The wood used in its construction, which is light in weight and porous, has been identified as sycomore fig (Ficus sycomorus).

The bow section is 20.2 cm long (Fig. 1.7). The starboard side of this section is well preserved, while the port side has been severely damaged by wood-boring insects (Figs. 1.7: A, 10: A).

The stem is nearly vertical, sloping slightly inward. A robust waterline projection extends 1.5 cm beyond the end of the lower extremity of the bow (Figs. 1.7, 10: A, 11: B, 12: C–D). A flat, roughly triangular, forecastle deck extends over the model's bow (Figs. 1.12, 13: A). The waterline projection's extremity is now in line with the forward edge of the forecastle deck above it, but as the end has been abraded and damaged by woodborers, it could have been longer originally.

The forecastle deck is 2–3 mm thick and extends by 1.3 cm over the hull at the bow, by 6 mm to starboard, and by 5 mm to port. Remnants of light blue paint survive along the upper perimeter. Inboard of this is a dark horse-shoe-shaped stain that indicates the location of a now-missing forecastle screen. The stain continues onto the caprail to starboard, suggesting that the screen also may have continued this far (Fig. 1.12: B–C).

Figure 1.12: C: C represents a tentative reconstruction of the missing screen. The blue paint of the port side shows a clear edge where the screen piece had sided to it (Fig. 1.12: A: A–B, B: A–B). This border is also evident on the starboard side but to a lesser degree. These details indicate that at least part of the screen had been painted blue.

The model carries a prominent stempost in the bow (Fig. 1.11: A–C). The stempost does not continue the line of the stem, however. Rather it rises, oddly, in the center of the forecastle. In this case, the model maker sacrificed accuracy for convenience, as the stempost serves to lock the model's forecastle in place.

The stempost originally had an amygdaloidal-shaped vertical continuation at its upper extremity, visible in Petrie's drawings and the museum's photographs. In the 1927 publication this element faced the bow (Fig. 1.4: A). By 1933, however, the stem had been reversed, presumably by Petrie, so that the protuberance faced the stern (Figs. 1.5, 6: A). The stempost is now glued solidly into the hull, and the vertical continuation has broken off (Fig. 1.11: D). Table 1 presents the dimensions of these pieces.

The base of the hull is flattened amidships to permit the model to sit upright on a flat surface (Fig. 1.10). A knot is visible at the bottom of the hull on the bow section adjacent to the midship break (Fig. 1.10: A).

On the underside of the model at the break is a hole, 1 cm in diameter by 1.3 cm deep (Fig. 1.14: B). This hole served to receive a peg that would have attached the hull to its support structure. Remains of blue paint are evident at the hole's lower edge (arrow).

The model is hollowed to signify a planked watercraft (Figs. 1.13, 14: A). The caprail, where it is preserved, averages 8 mm sided. The hull groove begins immediately aft of the forecastle deck and continues to 7 cm from the stern. The interior of the hull is carved out to a depth of 2 cm below the caprails. The upper surface of the hull is covered with a layer of white to yellow gesso, which, in areas in the bow and stern, is applied in globs.

The stern section's port side is better preserved than the starboard side (Fig. 1.8). On the port quarter is a hole for attaching the quarter rudder (Fig. 1.8: A: arrow). It is located 6.5 cm from the stern and 5 mm below the caprail. Astern of it is a blue line in an "L" shape turned 90 degrees clockwise. Also, just below the caprail, forward of the quarter-rudder hole, is a small patch of blue paint. The stern ends in a shallow 5 (deep) × 4 (wide) mm notch (Figs. 1.13: B, 15: A–B). A stanchion (no. 15) experimentally placed in the notch canted at a 70-degree angle above the stern (Fig. 1.15: C).

Originally, the model had nine pairs of stanchion holes on either side (Fig. 1.13). The first pair is set back 5.5 cm, measured from the aft end of the stem platform to the centers of the holes. The average distance between the holes is 2.7 cm.

The bow section of the model has three holes on either side. The first two of these on either side now have long pegs solidly glued into them. The third hole on the starboard side is destroyed at the midship break; its port companion is 5 (diameter) × 4.5 (depth) mm.

The port side of the stern section is 22.5 cm long and contains six stanchion holes (Fig. 1.8: A, 13: B). The forwardmost of these holes split in half when the model was broken. The hole is 7 (depth) × 4 (width) mm. A stanchion is solidly glued into the second hole from the bow, and a long peg is glued into the third hole.

Table 2 lists distances between the centers of the stanchion holes. Table 3 lists the depths and diameters of the stanchion holes on the port caprail.

The gesso covering the stern is absent in a clear pattern along the upper edges of the caprail (Fig. 1.13: B, 15: A: white arrows). These lines of missing gesso are 2–3 mm wide and run for 7 cm on the starboard quarter and 6 cm on the port quarter. In the center of this area is an elongated oval lacking gesso (Fig. 1.15: A: black arrows). Together, these areas of missing gesso strongly suggest that some form of sterncastle and screen existed there.

The model has three attached broad thwarts (Figs. 1.4: B, 5, 6: B, 13). Their upper surfaces are covered with gesso. A fourth sternmost thwart has come off the model and is now glued to a broad peg that has been reconstructed as a quarter rudder stanchion (Figs. 1.5, 6: A, 19). Its original location on the model is indicated by patches of missing gesso inside the hull next to stanchion hole station no. 8 (Fig. 1.13: B). Judging from this dislocated thwart, no pegs or other attachments served to attach the others to the hull. Rather, they were wedged into place inside the hull (Fig. 1.14: A). This caused the thwart attached to the stern to crack down its center (Fig. 1.13: B). Table 4 gives the measurements of two of the thwarts.

There is no sign of a hole to step a mast. The break itself seems to have caused the small opening at its top center. On the other hand, gesso is missing amidships along the inner side of the hull (Figs. 1.13: A,17). This is particularly noticeable on the port side, where the area lacking gesso extends for 8 cm. Some evidence appears on the starboard side also, but much of this area is lost in the break. These considerations suggest that a now-missing thwart or maststep/partner piece had been in place when the hull's interior received its coating of gesso.

Some of the hull's details are rendered in paint. The polychromatic decoration is best preserved on the starboard side of the bow section, which is probably indicative of the original appearance of the rest of the model (Fig. 1.7: B).

The bottom of the hull (from 0.0 to a height of 2.5 cm) is painted black. Above the black paint and about half of the distance between its upper edge and the caprail runs a sloppy line of irregularly spaced black dots (0.5 to 1.3 cm apart, from center to center) painted over a light wash of gesso. The dots begin at the stern edge of the forecastle deck. In Petrie's 1927 reconstruction, however, the dots begin almost at the stem (Fig. 1.4: A). These are not visible today.

The starboard side of the model's forward section bears nine irregular dots along a length of 9 cm (Fig. 1.7: B). The dots seem to have been applied haphazardly, and not all are equidistant. The distance between centers varies from 0.7 to 1.5 cm, with an average distance of ~1.0 cm. On the starboard side the foremost dot appears behind the sternward termination of the forecastle deck, and the last visible dot is located beneath the last stanchion hole on the stern section. The distance from the stern end of the stem deck platform to the last stanchion is about 25 cm, and if the well-preserved starboard section is representative of the entire model, 25 dots per side seems a reasonable number.

Above the line of dots, at a height of 3.5 cm from the bottom of the hull, and situated just below the caprail, runs a continuous, faded horizontal line of red paint, which continues under the forecastle deck but disappears beneath the edge of the stempost. Where it is best preserved, the line is 4 mm wide. As the stem section has suffered the loss of its painted surface, the red line may well have continued around the stem.


Detached Pieces

Thirty unattached pieces are associated with the model. While the purpose of some items, such as the stanchions, quarter rudder, and wheels, is self-evident, the fragmentary condition of some pieces makes it difficult, if not impossible, to determine their purpose on the model. Indeed, some items may not even be related to the model. In some cases items were added in the modern era. No human or animal figures are associated with the model.


Stanchions.—Brunton mentions eight "short pegs" found with the model. Today only five of these have survived: One is glued into a stanchion hole on the stern starboard quarter, and four (nos. 13–16) are loose (Figs. 1.8, 16). Clearly, these items served as stanchions.

Brunton assumes an original total of twelve short pegs. His calculation apparently refers to Petrie's accompanying reconstruction (Fig. 1.4). The model had a total of eighteen stanchion holes. Petrie inserted the six long pegs into the midship stanchion holes, thus leaving twelve holes for the stanchions.

The stanchions probably slotted into pieces representing wales that ran over them. None of the surviving fragments appear to have served this function, however.


Quarter rudder.—The model carried a rudder (no. 17) on its port quarter attached by a now-missing peg through holes at the center of the rudder and on the model (Figs. 1.18, 8: A: arrow). The rudder is constructed from a single piece of wood: The loom and blade merge gently. The exterior (port) side of the quarter rudder is decorated with alternating black and red stripes. The lower 9 cm of the object are painted black, matching the appearance of the hull. The top of the loom has a groove. There is no evidence of a tiller. Presumably, the quarter rudder would have been positioned on the model so that the blade's shoe rode horizontal.


Thick peg.—In his initial reconstruction Petrie's axial, or stern-mounted, steering oar did not feature a supporting stanchion (Fig. 1.4: A), but by 1933 he had moved the quarter rudder to the port quarter and added a stanchion for it (Fig. 1.5). The stanchion is now attached with modern glue to the sternmost thwart, which has detached from the model (nos. 26 A–B) (Fig. 1.19). There is no hole for the attachment of a quarter rudder stanchion, however. Thus, this model appears to have lacked one in its original state.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Gurob Ship-Cart Model and Its Mediterranean Context by Shelley Wachsmann. Copyright © 2013 Shelley Wachsmann. Excerpted by permission of Texas A&M University Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Maps,
Preface,
Acknowledgments,
Note Regarding Online Resources,
Chapter 1. The Gurob Ship-Cart Model,
Chapter 2. The iconographic Evidence,
Chapter 3. Wheels, Wagons, and the Transport of Ships Overland,
Chapter 4. Foreigners at Gurob,
Chapter 5. Conclusions,
Appendix 1: Lines Drawing of the Gurob Ship Model Alexis Catsambis,
Appendix 2: The Gurob Ship-Cart Model in Virtual Reality Donald H. Sanders,
Appendix 3: Ship Colors in the Homeric Poems Dan Davis,
Appendix 4: Sherden and Tjuk-People in the Wilbour Papyrus,
Appendix 5: Radiocarbon Age Analysis of the Gurob Ship-Cart Model Christine A. Prior,
Appendix 6: Analysis of Pigments from the Gurob Ship-Cart Model Ruth Siddall,
Appendix 7: Wood identification Caroline Cartwright,
Glossary of Nautical Terms,
Notes,
Bibliography,
Index,

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