Pushing the Boat Out

Maritime trade in the Bronze Age Aegean is one of my interest areas and rock carvings are one of the important sources of information about the craft of this era.

Βραχογραφία της 3ης π.Χ. χιλιετίας με παράσταση πλοίου στην Αστυπάλαια. (c) TO BHMA

Βραχογραφία της 3ης π.Χ. χιλιετίας με παράσταση πλοίου στην Αστυπάλαια. (c) TO BHMA

These carvings were recently shown on the web site “TO BHMA”.

Roughly translated the remarks relating to the carvings are:-

“The rock paintings, 70 cm long depicting ships and vertically textbooks and spirals, were revealed by archaeologist Andreas Vlachopoulos, an assistant professor at the University of Ioannina,  in Vathy Astypalaias (halfway between Thira and Kos).

English: Clay frying-pan vessel with incised d...

Clay frying-pan vessel with incised decoration of a ship. Found at Chalandriani on Syros island. Early cycladic II period (Keros-Syros culture, 2800-2300 BC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are located beside three landscaped pathways that lead to a small gated entrance to the Cycladic acropolis of the island which dates from the 3rd millennium BCE . The ships are oared and three of them have to bow their fish (?) and other various issues. They are similar to the ships shown on “frying pans” in  the prehistoric citadel of Chalandriani Syros (Wachsmann 1998, p71, 72) and rock paintings of Naxos. (Wachsmann 1998, p74) The same typology of rock paintings have been found in other parts of Astypalaias.”

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