Reconstruction Project

The Program and the institutions that conducted it

The reconstruction of the Ship from Minoan era is a part of a 4-year integrated research program of Experimental Naval Archaeology (2001- 2004). The Program is conducted according to all scientific rules, following the procedure of the era concerned, with the use of authentic materials and tools. This Program is implemented with the collaboration among:

a) The "Maritime Museum of Crete", which is the inspirer and the financing organization of the Program and ,
b) The "Ancient Shipbuilding and Technology Research Institute NAUDOMO", which holds the total responsibility of Research, Shipbuilding and Management of the Program, (with an 8-member inter-scientific Research Team).

1. The research objective

The objective of this Research Program is to reconstruct a realistic and documented version of a prehistoric rowing ship.

2. The methodology used

Due to the lack of primary archaeological discoveries (meaning, the remains of shipwreck of this type), the research is based upon an innovating technocratic procedure of "Expert Approach" (which comes after the archaeological research).

This method, with the use of digital technology and following the rules of modern natural sciences, mainly interprets the secondary sources, in combination with the basic principles of our times.

That is, the prehistoric representations, vegetal raw materials, the technological framework of the era and finally the rules of naval architecture which were followed, even empirically, by the prehistoric shipbuilders via the process of trial and error.

3. How the ship was originally

3dAncestor of this typology of ships is considered the raft that was progressively curved in hull and was externally sealed with cloth. The shipbuilding version that has arisen from the research, gives a rowing ship, with auxiliary simple sails, made of split trunks of cypress, lashed together with ropes. The internal planning of the ship, in combination with the ergonomy and anthropometry of its crew, give a hydrodynamic, tear-shaped hull, of 17m length and 4m width roughly with obvious "naval virtues" in order to meet the challenges of Aegean Sea , where its prototype was traveling.

4. Trials and models

modelAll the processes and phases of shipbuilding were studied in a 3-D digital model, which attributed very explicit conclusions on the ship's manufacture, as well as a most precise picture of its form and characteristics.

Then, the entire theoretical study was applied in solid model (1:5), made of pentameter cypresses, in order for the entire procedure to be simulated and more certainty to be acquired for the shipbuilding.

5. Documentation

The theoretical documentation of the Program was conducted in a scientific congress, co- organized by the Chair of Naval History of Faculty of Naval Cadets and the Maritime Museum of Crete, in November 2002 at the War Museum of Athens. There, the members of the research team officially announced the results of their research to an audience familiar to the subject.

6. The research team

Members of the institute NAUDOMOS:
Kourtis Apostolos - Vice -Admiral Harbor Police Corps, professor of Naval History of the Faculty of Naval Cadets, Director of the program. (Total Research of the ship- Shipbuilding)

Pantzopoulos Ioannis, General Secretary of the Institute of Protection of Naval Tradition, Deputy manager of the program. (Representation Analysis)

Stella Kokkini, Professor of Botany University of Thessalonica. (Phytogeographical Documentation)

Athanassios Anagnostopoulos, Professor of Greek Literature in University of Boston , Director of "Treasure of Greek Language". (Literature Documentation)

Ioannis Loukas, Professor of Naval History of the Faculty of Naval Cadets. (Historical Documentation)

Ioannis Gavrilis, model Expert of PC Applications. (Model of Constructional Simulation)

Tasos Katsikas, Digital Technology expert. (Digital Model of Ship)

Nikos Orfanoudakis, Researcher of Ancient Technology. (Reconstruction of Ancient Tools)