Mediterranean shipwrecks show transition to modern shipbuilding

Published on September 20th, 2010 | by Admin


The discovery of three shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea is revealing new details about the transition between medieval and modern shipbuilding.

The remains of the three craft – all dating from between 1450 and 1600 – were found in the straits between Turkey and the Greek island of Rhodes. One ship appears to be a large English merchant ship, while the other two are smaller – perhaps a patrol craft from Rhodes and a small trading boat that could have been Turkish, Italian or Greek.

Though the three shipwrecks were discovered near each other, they are not thought to be related, or to have foundered in the same event.

“The real import of those vessels were they just happen to be from that period when you’re moving from those oared vessels that had guns on them to sailed vessels that had guns on them,” said archaeologist Jeffrey G. Royal of the RPM Nautical Foundation in Key West, Fla. “We were fortunate to find several vessels that spoke to that era.”

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