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Markings And Pegs: Clues To Geometrical Procedures Of Roman Naval Architecture?

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Chapter Summary

One of the earliest plank-built vessels known, a barge buried near Chufrus pyramid in the middle of the 3rd millennium B.C., among them some of double-planked shell. From the Hellenistic period on, war ships and special-purpose vessels, as e.g. obelisk carriers or floating palaces (respectively temples) left the dockyards, their size approaching the maximum achievable length of wooden ship construction. One of the most striking features of the late Roman Mainz wrecks are series of up to 3 mm wide and deep incisions cut into the keel planks by saws. The only parallels of layout markings are known from the late Roman Guernsey wreck, the remnant of a cargo ship sunk off St. Peter Port. The transversal arrangement of the pegs in some cases accurately follows a vertical plane with an error of just 1 or 2 cm.

Keywords: layout marking; pegs; Roman Mainz; ship construction



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