Madrague de Giens (ca. 60 BCE)

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This big hull was carrying at least 400 tons of wine in 6,000 to 7,000 amphoras. During the excavation and recording period, a section of hull was removed, raised, studied, and reinstalled in its original location on the seabed. Other cargo included pottery and pine cones. A thick layer of caulking material separated the planking layers. The hull was sheathed in lead over a thick layer of fabric. The inner layer of planking was made from elm; the outer layer from fir. Floor timbers and half-frames were made from elm; futtocks from walnut. The keel was double-rabbeted for double planking. The scarfing pattern of the keel is complex. See Rival for a complete description. The keel was not rockered, but a three-planed orientation provided similar results. The 4th and 5th outer strakes are replacements. Unlike Kyrenia, these floor chocks and floor timbers were cut from the same pieces of wood. The publications refer to a keelson, but it is actually a 7.5 m-long mast step, similar in design and placement to that of the Kyrenia ship. The inner layer of planking was 6 cm thick. Mortises were 10 to 12 cm deep and 8 cm wide. Tenons were 20 to 22 cm long, 8 cm wide, and 1.5 cm thick. The joints were spaced on 15 cm centers. Pegs averaged 1.2 cm in diameter at the inner plank surfaces. Tenons and pegs were made from oak. 1


Main publication

Pomey, P. "Le navire romain de la Madrague de Giens" Acadamie des Inscriptions & Belle-Lettres (1982)
Tchernia, A., P. Pomey, A. Hesnard et al. "L'épave romaine de la Madrague de Giens" 34th supplement to Gallia, 1978.


Rival, M. La charpenterie naval romaine: Materiaux, Methods, Moyans. Paris: CNRS, 1991, 147-239.


Gianfrotta, P.A. and P. Pomey. 1981. Archeologia Subacquea: Storia, Tecniche, Scoperte e Relitti. Milano: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.
Pomey, P., P.A. Gianfrotta,X. Nieto, and A. Tchernia. 1997. La Navigation dans l'Antiquité. Aix-en-Provence: Édisud.


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

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