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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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Roman rigging material from the Red Sea port of Myos Hormos
International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 36.2
Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford-Malden, MA, 2007, p. 282-292

[1, 200]
(p. 283)
ship rigging material includes: brail-rings, deadeye, sheaves from rigging-blocks.
- deadeye (oval-shaped tablet of wood, pierced by three holes set alongside one another in the center of the block, 214 x 144 mm and 55 mm; outside edge grooved to take a rope strop; likely that it was one of a pair of blocks in the shrouds of a ship, in much the same fashion as on modern sailing ships. For modern analogies, see p. 284), listed parallels from shipwrecks, see Fig. 2 for views and section drawings.
- rigging-block sheaves (flat circular discs of wood, 46 to 81 mm in diameter, consistently between 14 and 16 mm thick, grooved outer edges to carry the associated rope, no shells or axles ), second half of 2nd century AD, one Early Roman; sheaves of this kind could have also been used for other non-nautical activities like moving heavy objects, listed parallels with references, see Fig. 3 for views and section drawings.
-cylindrical sheave of a type associated with distinctively Mediterranean-style single-sheave blocks. Listed parallels (including one from Caesarea Maritima) with references.
- brail-rings, by far the most numerous class of maritime artifacts from Myos Hormos: 169 with 51 of these made of wood (others from horn); consistent with finds from Berenike (Wild, Wild 2001: 214), obvious differences in size and cross-section, see Fig. 4 for a number of different brail-rings and Fig. 5 for a Roman sail with a brail-ring still attached to it. Listed analogies with references.
(pp. 287-291: discussion putting forward the classical Mediterranean tradition of sailing rigs, inconsistent with any of the other sailing rings known to have been used in the Roman period in the Mediterranean or Indian Ocean; reasonable assumption that Roman trading vessels engaged in trade in the Indian Ocean were outwardly similar in appearance, operation and capability to their Mediterranean contemporaries, at least in terms of sailing rig. Archaeologically-visible differences between rigging elements from the Red Sea and those from the Mediterranean are discussed for each category. They suggest that ships engaged in the trade with India were refitted en route using local materials or using low-value bulk materials imported on the return leg of the journey. Finally, it is possible that sailing vessels of Indian Ocean origin were rigged in Mediterranean style.

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