THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF SHIPS by Paul Johnstone

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF SHIPS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Drawing chiefly on the accounts of the expedition leaders, Johnstone devotes a chapter each to twelve significant finds in the recent history of ship archaeology and arranges them chronologically according to the vessels' origins. Thus the first chapter concerns the oldest actual ship yet unearthed, the Cheops funeral craft from 2600 B.C., and the last deals with three 16th, 17th and 18th century vessels, one a merchant and two warships, which Johnstone treats (in a slightly forced and incohesive attampt at imposing a theme) as illustrations of the Naval Arms Race and human folly. Johnstone focuses on the findings and their significance as well as the process of their recovery; the discovery of a late Bronze Age Phoenician ""tramp"" trader inspires reassessment of the Greeks' supposed domination of the sea and perhaps of the dating of the Odyssey as well, the Porticello find off Sicily occasions a discussion of the damage done by looters, and Polynesian canoe remains throw light on the region's Stone Age sailors. Thus both the evolution of seagoing vessels and the development of relevant archaeological techniques and procedures are highlighted for those with the maturity and prior interest it will take to follow his detailed, unaccented reconstructions.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Walck