2,500 Years Ago, Herodotus Described a Weird Ship. Now, Archaeologists Have Found it.

Live Science | 3/19/2019 | Staff
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One of the most elusive boats from the ancient world — a mysterious river barge that famed Greek historian Herodotus described nearly 2,500 years ago — has finally been discovered.

Herodotus dedicated 23 lines of his "Historia" to this type of boat, known as a baris, after seeing the construction of one during his travels to Egypt in 450 B.C. In his writings, Herodotus described how the long barge had one rudder that passed through a hole in the keel, a mast made of acacia wood and sails made from papyrus.

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"It wasn't until we discovered this wreck that we realised Herodotus was right," Damian Robinson, the director of Oxford University's Centre for Maritime Archaeology, told The Guardian. "What Herodotus described was what we were looking at."

Historia - Herodotus - Barge - Builders - Planks

In the "Historia," Herodotus describes how the barge's builders used to "cut planks two cubits long [about 40 inches, or 100 centimeters] and arrange them like bricks," The Guardian reported. Herodotus also wrote that "On the strong and long tenons [pieces of wood] they insert two-cubit planks. When they have built their ship in this way, they stretch beams over them… They obturate [block up] the seams from within with papyrus."

An artistic rendering of the vessel. The upper half shows the ship...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Live Science
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