Research at the RGZM
Main Research Areas
Mediterranean Shipbuilding Traditions in Western, Middle and Southern Europe
In the course of the archaeological research conducted on the Roman fleet and carried out in the research department for Ancient Seafaring, one question repeatedly turned up regarding the geographic limitation of technical peculiarities (“shipbuilding traditions”) and their corresponding diffusion (“technology transfer”). At the same time, it became apparent that such questions can not be limited to one period and can only be answered using various types of sources and a geographically-widespread inventory of monuments. This was achieved by through the gradual collection of archaeological data (wrecks, ship iconography, etc.) as well as the historically-relevant written evidence.
The scientific examination of ancient wrecks from the Mediterranean and the Roman provinces as well as prehistoric finds from northern Europe suggests technological, and more specifically, constructive overlaps. Construction, on one hand, can refer to the procedural details like the caulking of ships, constructional elements and the assortment of materials or, on the other hand, can also be observed through metrological traces and hints of a construction plan. Generally, it can be seen as a technological cross between the shipbuilding of middle-dynastic Egypt and the early- middle Bronze Age plank-vehicles from England and Wales, or, on another chronological level, between Iron Age ship building in Northern Europe and the Greek-Roman world.
Forschungsbereich Antike Schiffahrt
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