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d’archéologie orientale - Le Caire

Bois travaillé du Ier au XVe sc.1st to 15th century worked wood

Iwona Zych

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Archaeological evidence for ships and harbor facilities at Berenike (Red Sea Coast), Egypt
The Maritime World of Ancient Rome. Proceedings of “The Maritime World of Ancient Rome” Conference held at the American Academy in Rome, 27-29 March 2003
Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome Supplementary Volume VI
The University of Michigan Press for the American Academy in Rome, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2008, p. 305-323

[1, 400] [401, 700]
cèdre du Liban cedar (lat. Cedrus libani A. Rich.)
teck teak (lat. Tectona)
bamboo bamboo
bois non identifié wood not identified
(p. 308)
Early Roman artifacts related to ships and shipping:
From Berenike:
- bamboo matting in patterns typical of northwestern India today which may have served as awnings (see Sidebotham, Wendrich 2001-2002: 43) or possibly as sails (Chittick 1980: 297, 298).
- papyrus (found in 1999) with list of items related to sailing, including block and tackle equipment (not identified as wood, but has to be of wood, among others) (Bagnall et alii 2005: 45-47, no. 131).
- brailing rings, although the ones mentioned here are of horn (see also Fig. 4)
From Quseir al-Qadim:
- running rigging to raise and trim sails.
- sheaves (wooden pulley blocks).
- brailing rings made of wood and horn.
- sail of Indian manufacture with brailing rings attached (references).
(p. 309)
Dismantled ships’ hulls of cedarwood found in storage in a cave at Wadi Gawaseis, suggesting ship assembly (at least of smaller vessels) along the Red Sea Coast in the Middle and early New Kingdom periods (K.A. Bard, personal communication).
Heavier timbers for shipbuilding or more likely repair could have been conveyed by sea to Berenike from more northerly Red Sea ports, especially from Clysma/Suez.
(p. 310)
Late Roman artifacts:
From Berenike:
- teakwood leveling courses (figs 9-10), recycled, with elaborate dowel holes, nails, some pieces over 3 m long (fig. 11), interpreted either as large packing crates or parts of sailing ships (Vermeeren 1998: 343; 1999: 319). Author discusses the issue of where and how the teak planks would have been used in ship construction and repair.
From Quseir al-Qadim:
Reused timbers, perhaps from ships, were found in two graves of the Islamic necropolis there (Blue 2002: 149; Macklin 2006: 158).
Sources mentioning use and import of teakwood:
- Periplus Maris Erythraei (36), reports that Omana (Oman) imported teak from India (Groom 1995: 189).
- medieval Arab writers mention ships built of teak in the sewn tradition sailing in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean (Hourani 1995: 90- 92-93).
(p. 317)
teakwood and bamboo mentioned again in context of late Roman commercial contacts with the Indian Ocean region (notes 57 and 58: references to excavation reports on archeobotanical remains).

Version 1, données dudata date 18 mars 2012March 18th 2012