Athlit Ram (c. 190 BCE)

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This was a warship--a galley--possibly a "four." It was dated by the symbols on the ram as possibly late 3rd, but more likely the first half of the 2nd century BC; attempts at wood dating were not reliable. It was identified by William Murray as Hellenistic, probably belonging to the Cyprian fleets of Ptolemy V or Ptolemy VI.

The remains consist of 400 kg bronze ram and 16 small hull timbers, most of which did not survive outside the confines of the ram. It was excavated by the Center for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa; project director, Elisha Linder; structural studies by J. Richard Steffy; metallurgical analysis by Shlomo Eisenberg; symbols and classification by William R. Murray.

Location of site

200 m offshore in a bay near Athlit on the coast of Israel, about 12 miles south of Haifa; depth of site - 3 m; date of excavation - November, 1980.

The wood and bronze ram have been preserved and are now on display at the National Maritime Museum, Haifa, Israel.


Other components

1. a very complex ramming timber, the largest surviving member, made from cedar 2. an elm chock that filled the angle between the stem and the top of the ramming timber 3. a nosing piece of elm that curved aftward and upward from the top of the ramming timber, along the chock, to the forward edge of the stem 4. a tiny fragment of a false stem fitted into the top of the chock1


References

1. Richard Steffy, INA Shipdata Project, Texas A&M University.

2. Casson, L., and J. R. Steffy (eds.), The Athlit Ram, College Station (1991).

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