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H 290 x W 205 mm

166 pages

48 figures, 5 tables (colour throughout)

Published Sep 2022

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803273303

Digital: 9781803273310

DOI 10.32028/9781803273303

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Maritime; Transport; Ancient Mediterranean; Shipping; Ancient Greece; Ancient Rome; Classical Antiquity; Sculpture

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The Maritime Transport of Sculptures in the Ancient Mediterranean

By Katerina Velentza

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With a focus on the underwater context of sculptures retrieved from beneath the sea, this volume examines where, when, why and how sculptures were transported on the Mediterranean Sea during Classical Antiquity through the lenses of both maritime and classical archaeology.



Introduction ;
Ancient sculptures lost at sea ;
Interpreting the maritime transport and underwater deposition of ancient sculptures in the Mediterranean Sea ;
Aims, objectives and research questions of the project ;
Structure of this book ;

Primary sources and literature review ;
Introduction ;
Ancient sources and historical records on the maritime transport and underwater deposition of sculptures ;
The underwater deposition of the ‘Arundel collection’ ;
The Mentor shipwreck ;
The HMS Colossus shipwreck ;
The SS Castor shipwreck ;
The history of discovering ancient sculptures underwater ;
Approaches to the study of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures from under water ;
Conclusion ;

Methodology of the research ;
Introduction ;
The importance of archaeological contexts in the study of sculptures from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea ;
Macro-scale research ;
Micro-scale research ;
Conclusion ;

The database for the maritime transport of sculptures in the ancient Mediterranean ;
Introduction ;
Geographical distribution of underwater deposits ;
Chronological distribution of underwater deposits ;
Types of sculptures transported by sea ;
Possible reasons and patterns of transport ;
The packing and stowing of sculptures on board ancient merchant vessels ;
Conclusion ;

Revisiting the Porticello shipwreck ;
Introduction ;
History of the discovery and research ;
The ship remains ;
The shipboard artefacts and the non-sculptural cargo ;
The sculptures ;
Interpreting the maritime transport of sculptures ;
Conclusion ;

The Favaritx shipwreck and the maritime transport of bronze sculptures as scrap ;
Introduction ;
Discovery and previous study of the Favaritx shipwreck ;
The sculptural artefacts ;
The non-sculptural artefacts ;
Interpreting the maritime transport of the Favaritx ship ;
Conclusion ;

The Mahdia shipwreck: reconsidering old data, making new observations ;
Introduction ;
Discovery and previous research ;
Re-evaluating the Mahdia shipwreck material ;
The ship remains ;
The sculptural artefacts ;
The other non-sculptural artefacts ;
Interpreting the maritime transport of the Mahdia ship ;
Conclusion ;

Discussion ;
Introduction ;
Where were sculptures transported by sea in the ancient Mediterranean? ;
When were sculptures transported by sea in the ancient Mediterranean? ;
Why were sculptures transported by sea in the ancient Mediterranean? ;
How were sculptures transported by sea in the ancient Mediterranean? ;
The maritime transport of sculptures in retrospect ;

Conclusion ;
Results of the research ;
Future directions ;

References ;

Appendix 1 (Online) Database ;

Appendix 2 (Online) Finds not included in the Database ;


About the Author

Katerina Velentza is a maritime archaeologist, currently a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Helsinki, in Finland, carrying out the project ‘Re-imagining the use of traditional watercraft in the Aegean Sea for a sustainable environment and economy’ with funding awarded by the Kone Foundation (Koneen Säätiö) in 2020. Previously she completed a PhD in Archaeology at the Centre of Maritime Archaeology of the University of Southampton (2020), an MA in Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton (2015-2016) and a BA in Classical Archaeology at King’s College London (2012-2015). As an archaeologist she has worked and conducted research in several archaeological projects and museums of the Mediterranean region, the UK and the Baltic Sea. Her research interests range from subjects of terrestrial and maritime archaeology from the period of Classical Antiquity to issues of modern maritime history and ethnography.