Rigging Chronology

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This is a basic rigging chronology that is currently under construction.

Date Event Image Comment Source
50,000 BC Colonization of Australia Archaeological finds Bellwood 1979, 38-43.
11,000 BC Sailing in the Mediterranean Obsidian from Melos in SE Peloponnese Franchthi Cave Cherry 1990, 193.
3500 c. BC First depiction of a sail (square)
First Depiction of Sail Casson14-11.jpg
Egypt - Pot from the Gerzean period. Probably not Egyptian, as the ship has high prow and stern, looking more like Mesopotamian Bass 1972, 12-13
3000 c. BC Stone buildings and plank boats Egypt Casson 1994, 15
2500 c. BC Rowing and tiller bar Egypt Casson 1994, 19
2450 c. BC Seagoing ships with hogging trusses and bipod masts
2450BC Casson22-17.jpg
Egypt - Relief in Sahure pyramid. Casson 1994, 22
2000 c. BC Low aspect sail Egypt Casson 1994, 36
1900 c. BC Pole mast stepped amidships
1900BC Casson20-16.jpg
Egypt Casson 1994, 20
1500 c. BC Seagoing ships with pole masts
1500BC Casson24-18.jpg
Egypt - Hatshepsut tomb relief Casson 1994, 24
1400 c. BC Round ships. Sails still have booms.
1400BC Casson37-30.jpg
Egypt - Painting in tomb in Thebes Casson 1994, 37
1190 c. BC Loose-footed square sail Relief on the temple of Ramses III. Casson 1994, 24
510 c. BC Brails
510BC Casson45-36.jpg
Athenian cup in the British Museum Casson 1994, 44-46
480 c. BC Artemon mast 480BC_Casson46-38.jpg Etruscan tomb in Tarquinia Casson 1994, 44-46
400's BC Large merchantmen: ten-thousenders Greece Casson 1994, 121
230 c. BC Syracuse: three masts Description by Atheneus Casson 1994, 122
Sails (leather): ships of the Veneti
100's Lateen rig
100s lateen2ndCasson118.jpg
Tombstone found in the Piraeus, now in Athens, dated to the 2nd century. Casson 1994, 118
200 c. Sprit rig
100s lateen2ndCasson118.jpg
Tombstone, Istanbul Casson 1994, 116
200 c. Leather sail?
200AD Leather Casson135-100.jpg
Relief in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Trier, Germany. Battens suggest a leather sail. Casson 1994, 135
400 c. Yassiada II Shipwreck
400AD ya4-398.jpg
500 c. Tantura A Shipwreck
500AD TanturaA-K338.jpg
510 c. Square sail
510AD 504-526SantApollinareNuovo.jpg
Last representation of a square sail in the Mediterranean. Dated to 504-526. Church of Sant Apollinare Nuovo. Ravena. Casson 1994
600-625 St. Gervais II Shipwreck
625 c Yassiada I
sec IX Two-masted lateener Representation in Greek manuscript Carbonell Relat s/d, 28
800 c. Tantura F Shipwreck
850 c. Sails (square) in Viking ships: Gokstad Ship Casson 1994, 147
850 c. Square sails in the Mediterranean?
850AD Carolingianshipc850.jpg
Representations of a square sails in Carolingian manuscripts. Haywood 1999, 180 and Cassagnes-Brouquet 2003, 28-29.(1)
874 c. Bozburun Shipwreck
900 c. Agay A Shipwreck
900 c. Agay B Shipwreck
900 c. Bateguier Shipwreck
115... Central rudder: Kolerup cog
1025 c. Serçe Limani Shipwreck
1150-1200 Central rudder: iconography
1150AD Casson153-114.jpg
Relief Winchester Cathedral Casson 1994, 153
Earliest representation of a square sail in the Mediterranean after the 5th century. Church in Pec. Bellabarba
First mention of a caravel - Genoa Ciciliot 2005
Carracks with two masts Alfonso X, Las siete partidas Carbonell Relat s/d, 28
FIRST COCCHE iconography?
1200's three-masted lateener "St. Mark approaching Egypt", mosaic, Basilica of St. Mark, Venice. Casson 1964, 78
1226 Mention of a caravel in Portugal Foral de Gaia? Elb 1986, 546
1438 Caravels built for the king of Burgundy Paviot 1989, 309
1300 c. Contarina I Ship
1310-1350 Painting by Paolo Veneziano w/ skeleton first
1310AD Casson31-23.jpg
Bash 1972, fig. 12
1300-1325 Culip VI Shipwreck
Culip vi.jpg
1336-1338 Quadra-latina
Painting "dal Buon Governo" by Ambrosio Lorenzetti, in the Pinacoteca di Siena. Bellabarba 1999, 85
c. 1350 The word carrack appears in the North, referring to the cocche. Friel 1995, 159
1353 Catalonian contract mentioning a quadra-latina Friel 1995, 158
1367 Iconography of a quadra-latina Friel 1995, 158
1300-1350 Bonnets Friel 1995, 159
1350 c. Les Sorres X shipwreck
1400 Flanders: coca with three rudders (1 central and 2 lateral ones) Carbonell Relat s/d, 29
1400 c. Logonovo Ship
1409 Foremast in Catalonian drawing: first representation of a three-masted, ship-rigged ship
1409 - catalonian 3-masted.jpg
Mott 1997, 146
1410 First quadra-latina in England: a Genoese carrack captured by pirates, Sancta Maria & Sancta Brigida Friel 1995, 159
1416 Balinger Anne, built w/ two masts in England Friel 1995, 159
1416-1418 Grace Dieu built (w/ 3 masts?) Friel 1995, 159
Carvel in England
1425 Northern ship with two masts Salterio? Of Henry V of England
1425 c. Portuguese three-masted ship
Deep plate, possibly made in Spain. Victoria and Albert Museum. Landstrom
1435 Foremast in N. Europe Friel 1995, 160
1441 Flanders: two Llenys with three rudders (1 central and 2 lateral ones) Carbonell Relat s/d, 29
1450 Flanders: Caravel with three rudders (1 central and 2 lateral ones) Carbonell Relat s/d, 29
1453 Flanders: Caravel with three rudders (1 central and 2 lateral ones) Carbonell Relat s/d, 29
1459 Flanders: Caravel with three rudders (1 central and 2 lateral ones) Carbonell Relat s/d, 29
1463 Flanders: one Barca with three rudders (1 central and 2 lateral ones) Carbonell Relat s/d, 29
1465 Flanders: Lleny with three rudders (1 central and 2 lateral ones) Carbonell Relat s/d, 29
1465 c. Main Topmast
Italian engraving dated to 1470-1480. Friel 1995, 160
1465 c. Spritsail yard Friel 1995, 160
1470 's, late Bonaventure mast and outrigger Friel 1995, 160
1475 c. Stern panel in painting in Catalonia Church of San Pedro de Zumaia Casado Soto 1995, 40
1492 Columbus arrives in America
1495 c. Foretopmast - Regent Friel 1995, 170
1495 c Main topgallant - Regent Friel 1995, 170
1498 Vasco da Gama arrives in India
1500 c. Gun ports Bass 1972,
1510 Mary Rose built Friel 1995, 170
1514 c. Mizzen topmast Henry Grace a Dieu Friel 1995, 170
1514 c. Mizzen topgallant Henry Grace a Dieu Friel 1995, 170
1514 c. Bonaventure topmast Henry Grace a Dieu Friel 1995, 170
1550 c. Contarina I ship
1600 c. Mast on bowsprit


Created by

Original table created by Filipe Castro and Mark Polzer, 2007, Rigging Chronology, World Wide Web, URL, http://nautarch.tamu.edu/shiplab/, Nautical Archaeology Program, Texas A&M University. They state "(1) I am greatly indebted to Furio Ciciliot for showing me the original color image published by Haywood in Sophie Cassagnes-Brouquet's work."

Bash, Lucien, "Ancient wrecks and archaeology of ships," International Journal of Underwater Archaeology (1972) 1.1:1-58.

Bass, George, A History of Seafaring based on Underwater Technology, London: Thames and Hudson, 1972.

Bellabarba, Sergio, "Note sull'origine della nave a tre alberi" in Archeologia delle Acque, Nucleo Archaeologia Subacquea del Veneto, (Jul-Dec 1999) 1.2.: 81-93.

Carbonell Relat, Laureano, "La navegacion pel mediterrani en el segle XV, epoca de la coca de Mataro" in Jose Maria Martinez-Hidalgo y Teran, Laureano Carbonell Relat, y Xavier Pastor Quijada, Evocaciones a l'entorn de la Coca de Mataro, Cambra Oficial de Comerc, Industria I Navegacio de Barcelona, s/d.

Casado-Soto, Jose Luis, El Pais Vasco y el mar. Desde los origines hasta el siglo XVIII, San Sebastian: Diputacion Foral de Guipuzkoa, Departamiento de Cultura y Turismo, 1995.

Cassagnes-Brouquet, Sophie, 2003, La passion du livre au Moyen Age, Rennes : Editions Ouest-France.

Casson, Lionel, Ships and seafaring in ancient times, Austin, Texas : Universisty of Texas Press, 1994.

Ciciliot, Furio, Le superbe navi. Cantieri e tipologie navali liguri medievali, Savona: Società Savonese di Storia Patria, 2005.

Elbl, Martin Malcolm, The Portuguese Caravel and European Shipbuilding: Phases of Development and Diversity, RUC, Coimbra: BGUC, 1985, vol. XXXIII, 543-572 (reed. Lisboa: CEHCA, 1985, sep. 183).

Friel, Ian, The Good Ship, Avon: British Museum Press, 1995.

Haywood, John, Dark Age Naval Power, Norfolk: Anglo-Saxon Books, 1999. Landstrom, Bjorn

Mott, Larry, The Development of the Rudder, College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1997.

Paviot, Jacques, La politique navale des ducs de Bourgogne, 1384-1482, Lille: Presses Universitaires de Lille, 1989.

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