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    Ancient Greek, Roman, and Medieval Ships

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  1. Just a quick message to say this isn't dead! Just on hold for awhile as I've been really busy these past few months, and will probably only be able to pick back up in February or so! Happy New Year to everyone!
  2. Thought this was pretty interesting! A collaboration between Australian, Icelandic, and Dutch archaeologists created this 360 virtual shipwreck dive of the 17th century Dutch Fluyt Melckmeyt that sank off the coast of Iceland. The wreck is recorded in Icelandic annals: it occured while the ship was sheltering during a storm, and all the crew bar one survived. The ship was on a clandestine trading run under a false Danish flag - the Danish government, which controlled Iceland, only allowed Danish ships to trade with Iceland. The experience is viewable on a VR headset or on your phone. Link is in the article below. Might be a cool ship for someone to build! They provide a reconstruction based on a scanned, authentic, 17th century ship model. https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/10/360-degree-virtual-dive-in-iceland.html?m=1#8sUFPIhg4oOgkSA2.97
  3. It’s interesting to read through your working process! I’m earning about a ship type I wasn’t familiar with. Good work, and that cedar veneer looks very nice! I was researching more about egyptian ships online and I found this article you might find interesting: https://www.britishmuseum.org/PDF/Ward.pdf
  4. The breasthook design was based on the aft breasthook of the small longship, Skuldelev 5: Also found a component in the box that isn’t listed in the instructions!
  5. Hey everyone, mainly pictures here! Filled in some gaps between the stringers and rear bulkheads cause by an incorrect measurement. Then used some filler to smooth the transition between the front bulkhead and the extensions forming the bitts. Following that I cut, carved bent, and filed out fore and aft breasthooks using scraps from the plywood sheet the planks and shields were in. Plus, some of the figures for scale!
  6. Thanks for the likes, comments, and words of encouragement everyone! Steven great bit of background info on the Mora, thanks! For an older kit it is pretty good, you can see how they tried to adapt the info they had. md1400cs the Amati kit is a very nice model of the Oseberg ship! I’ve seen a couple of them on the forums. Thanks for the links, that Gokstad ship model is amazing! stuglo thanks, I feel like I’ve learned a lot already! The PVA is working pretty well, but I still get nervous about gluing stuff down. It’s true that it least it can be changed and fixed. I am enjoying the hobby a lot so far! Update on progress: Putting in the stringers. Made a bending jig for the top stringers. Glued in top stringers tonight. Also, a preview of some of the 1/72 Viking crew figurines I got from Munich kits and some Vikings from Hecker Goros!
  7. That does look like a good book! Added to my wish list. What boats are covered in it? Looks like the Nydam boat on the cover. I have Conway's The Age of the Galley too which is great.
  8. No problem! Apparently she has been! Probably the best starting point for recreating the Mora would be this kit really. You can bash in the figureheads, and get some kite shields to replace the round shields. Mr. Dusek is really great and helpful, he's probably going to be my go-to for kits. I've been eyeing up his 'bireme' kit too. I wish! I work in commercial archaeology in California. Most of my published reports are for pre-construction archaeological surveys or reports about sites/artifacts found during construction jobs. A lot of local Native American and late 19th/early 20th century historic archaeology. It's mainly compliance stuff to meet California's environmental regulations. My MA was in Roman Archaeology, and my thesis on Hadrian's Wall was published a few years ago in Archaeologia Aeliana (I'm pretty proud of that, haha). Researching naval archaeology is more of a hobby
  9. Nika, no need to apologize! There is a lot of bad info out there on Viking ships. That image is another reconstruction of the c. 890 CE Gokstad burial ship, so whoever is calling it the Mora is mistaken. The Gokstad ship has essentially become the standard "Viking Ship" for the whole Viking period in the popular imagination - perhaps because of its exceptional preservation. It was only the second Viking ship found and has been reconstructed numerous times since the late 1800's. Carved dragon heads like the ones depicted in the image were found in the ship, but were not on the stem and stern. They were for tent posts and bed posts. That tent design is hypothetical as well, I'm not aware of any evidence of a tent being used like that on a ship. As a good rule, any resource that uses the word 'Drakar' to describe a Viking ship is immediately suspect. Dreki, meaning 'Drake', is used a few times in Skaldic poetry to talk about warships but is probably a kenning (a figurative descriptive phrase) and not the name for a ship type (source). I suspect 'Darkar' caught on because it has a romantic, mythical, ring to it. The best online source for solid, detailed, Viking ship information that I have found is the website for the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. The NAVIS I database also has some good information on Scandinavian ship archaeology. Dusek does a good replica kit of the Gokstad ship in both 1:35 and 1:72 scale. Jack Aubrey did a build log of the 1:35 kit here on MSW that has been very inspirational to me. The original 1882 excavation report of the Gokstad burial is available to read and download here if you are interested. It has great illustrations of the more interesting objects found on board. The ship itself is very interesting on it's own! It was found with 32 overlapping shields painted in black and yellow arrayed along the sheerstrakes, but there was no evidence of how they had originally been attached.
  10. Hey Nikiforos, unfortunately that kit does not seem to be period accurate for a ship from the Norman conquest. The design seems to be inspired by the earlier Gokstad (~890 CE), Tune (~900 CE), and Oseberg (~820 CE) burial ships from Norway. In 1066 a longship like the Mora would probably look a lot like Skuldelev 2 and the other longships I was discussing above. Specifically, other images of this kit I found online show a flatter bottom to the hull, like on the earlier ships, and not the more rounded profile of Skuldelev 2. The biggest giveaway though is the lack of thwarts/rowing benches and the exposed mast step. These are design elements taken straight from the Oseberg and Gokstad ships. The lack of rowing benches on those earlier ships is always something I've found strange. A popular theory I've seen is that on 9th century ships the rowers sat on sea chests. That doesn't seem to be like a particularly good way to row to me - I could easily imagine the chests moving with the motion of the ship and the movements of the rowers. I'm not sure what the source for the sea chest theory is (does anyone know? I'm assuming it's from a Skaldic poem). Since it's only the burial ships that lack fixed rowing benches, I've always wondered if this was just because they were purpose built for burials. It wouldn't be easy to fit all those grave goods on a ship with rowing benches. However, it appears there are some traces of use wear on the burial ships. Norwegian archaeologist Knut Paasche wrote his PhD thesis on the Tune ship arguing that it was not just ceremonial, but the thesis isn't available for download. This is the only english summary of Paasche's thesis I could find: https://www.newsinenglish.no/2011/05/09/viking-ship-not-just-ceremonial/
  11. That was a fast build, but it came out very nice! I like it Barry, I like the dark stain too. Might try that dark walnut for my Viking ship as well. It looks like the shield rack they provided is based on the rack found on the Skuldelev 5 longship. Interestingly if shields were placed in the rack on that ship, they would have blocked the oarports. So at least on that ship, if they did use the rack for shields they couldn’t put the shields out while rowing.
  12. Very cool! What will the software simulation be used for? I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one interested in the results! I’m curious how they made the ram for Olympias too. I have their book The Athenian Trireme but it doesn’t talk much about the ram. Casting a 200kg bronze ram can’t have been cheap. Though if they were trying to be as accurate as possible, making it out of plate would be strange.
  13. My jaw is firmly on the floor. This is amazing, and a great subject too! Your technical skill and precision are next level! What are you going to do for the ram? Are you going all the way out and casting it in bronze? Are you sticking with the ram design they used on Olympias or going with one of the more recently found trireme rams?
  14. Oh wow, I actually thought the Dromon had a greater L/B ratio. I guess that's not too surprising though since it would need to fit oar crew on two decks. Interesting how much narrower the Viking longships are then. I hadn't really considered about the possibility of breaking its back, but now that I think about it it is pretty amazing. Especially since the hull planks were no more than 2.4 cm thick, and the keel was so heavily worn it was only 6 cm tall by the time the ship sank. The planks on the ship were also very wide and very long, between 25-37 cm wide and over 10 meters long. They estimate there were probably only 7 strakes. By comparison, Skuldelev 2 had about 12-13 strakes, with planks 2.5-2.8 cm thick, 20-26 cm wide, and max 6.5 meters long, and a keel that was originally 16-17 cm tall but was worn down to 14 cm when found. The keel wear is likely from beaching the ships. In terms of stringers, the reconstruction cross section for Haithabu 1 shows two thick internal stringers, but it's unclear from the sources if these are hypothetical or if they actually found traces of them: Internal stringers were found in all the Skuldelev ships, so it's likely Haithabu 1 had them as well. I don't think wales are known from any Scandinavian ships, only internal stringers. The Skuldelev 2 wreck has parts of the lower stringer intact, and the reconstruction has three (you can see them in my photos in one of the previous posts). The model kit has two stringers. These ships would have also had a hefty keelson with a bulbous mast step, the one in Skuldelev 2 being 14 m long and almost entirely preserved (you can see it in the hull line drawing a few posts back, along with the stringer remnants). My sources for Haithabu 1 are the NAVIS Database ( https://www2.rgzm.de/navis/ships/ship008/Ship008Engl.htm ) and the Viking Ship Museum website ( https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/professions/education/viking-knowledge/the-longships/findings-of-longships-from-the-viking-age/the-longship-from-haithabu-harbour/ ). The latter has sections for other longship finds, as well as sections for all the other Skuldelev ships. EDIT: Oh yeah, another interesting factoid about Haithabu 1 is how it met it's end. It appears to have been floated out to the middle of Haithabu harbor and set on fire sometime between 990-1010! The current theory is it was used as a fire ship while defending the harbor from a raid. There is obvious charring on the top of the 4th strake, so the ship probably burned down to the waterline before sinking.

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