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"To Design" And "To Build" Mediaeval Ships (Fifth To Fifteenth Centuries) — The Application Of Knowledge Held In Common With Civil Architecture, Or In Isolation?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is a consideration of the notions of geometric knowledge and know-how made use of in naval architecture in the Middle Ages. The manner in which the conception of forms can be defined within the body of frame-first carvel construction, characteristic of the mediaeval Mediterranean, is considered in the first part of the chapter. In the second part the fashion in which that geometric conception of forms is attested in the different types of written, graphic and archaeological sources are examined. In a third part, two questions are discussed that seem particularly important to us with respect to the theme of the workshop: the first concerns the manner in which the men of the mediaeval shipyards are designated; the second bears on the fashion in which the knowledge and know-how are acquired and transmitted.

Keywords: archaeological source; mediaeval shipyard; naval architecture



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