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19 September 2014
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Reconstructing Famous Ships

By Barrie Andrian
Prow of a Viking ship
The elegant prow of a Viking ship 

Dramatic discoveries of ancient ships have stirred the imaginations of many - from explorers to archaeologists. And they have led to some amazing voyages, in crafts made using ancient techniques, and a new understanding of the ships and shipping of the past.

Maritime traditions

Ships are an obvious choice for experimentation and reconstruction, due to a wealth of sources to research - from early texts and manuscripts to rock carvings, paintings, and long-lost burials and shipwrecks.

The abundance of material preserved underwater or in waterlogged deposits, with exciting discoveries of partial and near complete ship remains, has encouraged us to look into the detail of boatbuilding traditions, as well as to find out what the ships of ancient times could and could not do.

The following sections refer to a few of the many reconstructions that have already been made of ancient ships, while many more projects are being attempted all the time.

Published: 2005-01-26



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