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Keywords:

  • Dor 2001/1;
  • Dor/Tantura lagoon;
  • Byzantine period;
  • transition in construction;
  • frame-based;
  • building stones

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References

Dor 2001/1 was a Byzantine coaster, about 16.9 m long, with an estimated displacement of 50 tonnes, dated to the first third of the 6th century CE, and loaded with building stones. It was excavated over five seasons, recorded under water, and a section of the shipwreck was retrieved and studied on land. The hull construction was based on frames without any type of planking edge-fasteners. It is thus among the earliest frame-based shipwrecks found so far in the Mediterranean. The origin of its construction tradition, with flat frames amidships, hard chine and straight sides, might have been related to a riverine tradition.

The Dor 2001/1 shipwreck was discovered in Dor/Tantura lagoon (Fig. 1) during a survey with water-jet probes. The search was conducted by students of the Department of Maritime Civilizations, with the assistance of the Maritime Workshop of the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies of the University of Haifa. The shipwreck was excavated over five seasons, from 2002 to 2006.

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Figure 1. Location of Dor 2001/1. (N. Yoselevich, H. Itzcovitch)

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The shipwreck is located at 32°36'28” N, 34°54'56.5” E, 70 m offshore, 2–3 m east of the lagoon's navigation channel. It is oriented approximately north-west/south-east, at a water depth of about 1.5 m, and is buried under about 1.5 m of sand. The water depth and the thickness of the sand layer change during the seasons, as a result of sand movements resulting from varying sea conditions—wind, waves and currents.

The total length of the find was 11.5 m, its maximum width was 4.5 m, and the dimensions of the original hull have been estimated at 16.9 × 5.4 m. It was recorded under water, and a 2.5-m-long section of the hull was removed and studied in the laboratory at the University of Haifa.

Among the finds were building stones, matting, ropes, and a wooden roundel. Although abundant 4–7th century CE pottery sherds were found in the site, a cautious approach in accepting these as in situ ceramics led to dating the shipwreck by 14C analysis, including wiggle-matching, to the first third of the 6th century CE.

The significance of the Dor 2001/1 hull is in its frame-based construction at this date, which is early for this construction feature; and its cross-section—flat frames amidships, hard chine and straight sides. It was not, however, a barge, but a sailing vessel with a pointed end.

Several articles have been published on the shipwreck, and it has been presented at several conferences (Kahanov and Mor, 2006; Mor and Kahanov, 2006; Kahanov and Mor, 2009; Mor, 2010a; Mor, 2010b). This report summarizes the research and its conclusions.

The hull (Fig. 2)

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References
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Figure 2. a) The hull remains. (C. Brandon, S. Haad); b) Top view of the hull, after removing the cargo—photomosaic. (S. Breitstein)

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About a quarter of the wooden hull survived, comprising about three-quarters of the bottom, up to the chine strake on the south-western side, and up to the second wale on the north-eastern side. The remains of one endpost survived at the north-western end of the shipwreck, while at the south-eastern end the hull was broken, perhaps about 2 m before the end of the keel timber. Generally, the north-western part of the shipwreck survived in a better state of preservation than the south-eastern, as it was protected by the stones found in the hold. Hull components comprised sections of the keel, false keel, endpost, false endpost, 79 framing timbers (among them floor timbers, half-frames, futtocks and top timbers), 29 strakes from both sides, including two wales and a chine strake, 21 ceiling strakes, including stringers, foot wales, a clamp and two sister-keelsons, a central longitudinal timber, and part of the mast-step assemblage.

Hull section (Fig. 2a)

A section of the hull about 2.5 m long was sawn out in the fourth excavation season, in 2005. It was taken to the Elaine Recanati Laboratories for Marine Research at the University of Haifa for examination. The section that was removed was a compromise between the desire to cause minimum damage to the archaeological find, and to retrieve the number of timbers which would provide the maximum significant information. This section was chosen after serious consideration, and after consulting the Israel Antiquities Authority. It included parts of the keel, false keel, central longitudinal timber, stringers, frames, planks from the second strake on the south-western side, and up to the second wale (the 20th strake) on the north-eastern, and ceiling planks. The timbers were transferred from the site in stainless-steel trays to a holding tank on shore, and then to the conservation facilities of the University. They were desalinated with tap water as the first stage of conservation and at the same time examined in detail, and recorded in drawings and photographs.

Keel (Figs 3, 4)

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Figure 3. a) The keel, endpost, false keel and false endpost. (S. Haad); b) The section of the north-western part of the keel timber retrieved for study in the laboratory. (A. Gary, S. Haad); c) The keel section retrieved for study in laboratory. (S. Haad); d)The section of the false keel retrieved for study in the laboratory. (S. Haad)

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Figure 4. The keel and false keel, view to the north-east (S. Breitstein), cross-shaped carpenter's marks and a rectangular notch. (N. Sheizaf, S. Haad)

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The total length of the central longitudinal spine of the shipwreck was 11.1 m, being broken at its south-eastern end. It comprised three keel elements and an endpost: the south-eastern keel section, made of Cupressus sempervirens, about 4.6 m long; the central keel section, made of Cupressus sempervirens, about 3.1 m long; and the north-western section, made of Tamarix (X5) sp., about 1.6 m long. The endpost (or a transitional timber or gripe), at the north-western end, measured about 1.8 m long horizontally. All the above dimensions are approximate as, except for the scarf between the central section of the keel and the keel's north-western part which was studied in the laboratory (Figs 3b, 3c); the other two scarfs were not completely visible. The scarf between the south-eastern section and the central part was visible only on the upper surface of the keel, between frames E18a and E19 (Fig. 3a). The scarf between the north-western section of the keel and the endpost was not visible; however its existence was confirmed by the different tree species of the two components. Thus, the keel components survived to a length of 9.3 m. Evaluation of the evidence of hull convergence at the broken south-eastern end gave an estimated length of the missing section of the keel of about 1.5–2 m, which could have been a keel timber, or a transitional timber as in the north-western end. Assuming at least half of the missing section in the south-east was the keel itself, the total length of the original keel components can be estimated at 10.2 m.

The keel was studied under water at its exposed 2.04-m-long south-eastern end, where it was accessible from its upper surface and both sides; along its upper surface between the frames; and the 1.8-m-long section which was retrieved for study in the laboratory. The cross-section of the keel was rectangular, without chamfered edges or rabbets for the garboards, which abutted the keel from the sides, and were not connected to the keel, but only to the frames. The seams between the garboards and the keel were caulked.

The keel's sided dimension varied between 98 and 122 mm, averaging 110 mm; and its moulded dimension varied between 100 and 172 mm, averaging 146 mm.

A rectangular notch was found 1.1 m from the keel's south-eastern end (Fig. 4). It was 70 × 80 mm, and penetrated the entire width of the keel. The notch was filled by a rectangular timber made of Ulmus campestris. It could have been used in hauling the ship up a slipway, or for controlling launching. Carpenter's marks were found about 0.5 m inward (see below).

A 1.8-m-long section of the central part of the keel was studied in the laboratory (Figs 3a, 3c). This timber was connected to the north-western section of the keel by a simple scarf and nails. Several bolts and nails were found in the upper and lower surfaces of this timber. The bolts in the lower surface were countersunk to facilitate fixing the false keel. The connection of the false keel was evidenced by a series of iron nails in the underside of the keel.

This section of the keel bore 7 × 7 mm square-section nails: eight on its north-eastern side, and four on its south-western side. Nail remains survived in the upper surface of the keel at almost all the frame stations. However, frames E18, E20, E22, E22a, E23, E24 and E29 were not connected to the keel. Four frames: E22, E22a, E23 and E24, were located in the retrieved section of the keel (Fig. 3c).

A wooden block, 31 × 34 × 5 mm, was found near the north-western end of this keel section. It had covered a bolt-hole that penetrated the entire thickness of the keel. This unused bolt-hole and its wooden cover were in the scarf area between the central and the north-western sections of the keel, under the extension of the north-western timber.

A 78-cm-long section of the north-western part of the keel was also retrieved. It formed one side of the scarf with the central section of the keel timbers (Figs 3a, 3b). Its sided dimension varied between 94 and 102 mm, averaging 100 mm, and its moulded dimension was maximum 170 mm, typically 140 mm, with a minimum thickness at the broken end of the scarf, where it was 30 mm thick. Similarly to the keel, a bolt-hole penetrated its entire thickness, with a larger round circle for the bolt head. Signs of two nails connecting it to the lower member of the scarf—the keel—were visible.

False keel (Figs 3a, 3d, 4, 5)

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Figure 5. The butt joint between the false keel and the false endpost at the north-west. (S. Breitstein)

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The false keel survived to a length of 9.7 m, from where it was broken at the south-eastern end, to its butt joint with the false endpost at the north-western end. It was made of Quercus coccifera, and was accessible for study along 2.04 m of its south-eastern end—partially from its underside; along 10 cm at its north-western end, south-east from the butt joint with the false endpost, and along the 2.3-m section that was retrieved (Fig. 3d). Its sided dimension varied between 11 cm at its south-eastern end, where it was similar to the keel, and 13 cm in the retrieved section, where it was about 20 mm wider than the keel, 10 mm on each side. Its moulded dimension tapered from 50 mm in the south-east to 90 mm in the section, averaging 60 mm. The false keel was connected to the keel by 10-mm-square iron nails, 200–300 mm apart, driven diagonally in opposite directions into pre-drilled holes in the underside of the keel.

Endpost (or transitional timber) (Figs 3a, 5, 6)

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Figure 6. a) The endpost, view from north-west. (S. Breitstein); b) The endpost, view from north-east. (S. Breitstein)

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A timber was attached at the north-western end of the keel. It curved upwards from the line of the keel, but was still in the very low part of the hull (for a general impression see Fig. 35, the suggested reconstruction of the hull); therefore it could have been a curved transitional timber—a gripe. However, for convenience it will be termed ‘endpost’. It was made of Ulmus campestris, poorly preserved, and considerably damaged by Teredo navalis. Its scarf with the keel was not visible, thus its surviving length can only be estimated at about 1.8 m. It was sided 100 mm and moulded between 180 and 220 mm, 200 mm on average. Rabbets were cut in both sides, about 90 mm below its upper surface. The rabbets and back rabbets were about 25 mm deep, and about 90 mm above the lower edge of the endpost. The end planks were fitted into the rabbets and nailed to the endpost with iron nails. Caulking material was found in the rabbets filling the gaps between the planks and the endpost.

False endpost (Figs 3a, 5, 6)

A false endpost was found at the north-western end of the shipwreck, attached to the endpost from below. It survived in its entirety, and was 1.1 m long. At its north-western end it fitted into a step in the endpost, and at its south-eastern end it was butt-jointed to the false keel. This timber was made of Cupressus sempervirens. The concretion of a metal nail, which connected it to the endpost, was found in its underside. As this timber was worked to match and fitted into the endpost and did not protrude below it, it might have been a repair.

Frames (Figs 7-11)

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Figure 7. a) The hull from the inside, view to the north-east. Note the truncated frame on the south-western side below, the flat frames, and the curved frames towards the north-western end above. (D. Gary); b) Frames on the north-eastern side of the hull, view to the north-east. (S. Breitstein); c) The hull from the inside after the removal of several frames, view to the north-west. Note the flat frames below and the curved frames towards the north-western end above. (D. Gary)

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Figure 8. The cross-section of the hull at Frame 17 (C. Brandon)

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Figure 9. a) Series of frames studied in the laboratory. (S. Haad, H. Itzcovitch); b) Floor timber E24a taken to the laboratory (S. Haad, A. Gary); c) Futtocks 23a and 24a taken to the laboratory. (S. Haad, A. Gary): d) Half-frame E21 taken to the laboratory (S. Haad, A. Gary)

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Figure 10. a) Floor timber (below) and half-frame (above) at the south-eastern end of the shipwreck, view to the north-west. Note the half-frame made of a single timber. (S. Breitstein); b) Floor timbers, half-frames and futtocks at the turn of the bilge of the NE side, view to the south-east. (S. Breitstein); c) Scarf between two half-frames. (S. Breitstein)

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Figure 11. a) Limber holes. (S. Breitstein); b) Three limber holes in Frame W18/E17. (S. Breitstein)

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The remains of 79 framing timbers were recorded. They were found in 44 frame stations, in 42 of which wood survived (Fig. 2). As only the lower section of the longitudinal spine remained (11.1 m long), and the estimated length of the original ship was about 16.9 m, the number of missing frames can be estimated at about 15, the majority at the south-eastern end. As frames survived up to the endpost, they give a good indication of the shape of the north-west end of the hull.

Transversally, frames survived up to the turn of the bilge on the south-west, and gave an indication of the angle of the side, which did not remain (Fig. 7a). On the north-eastern side, the bottom of the hull, the turn of the bilge and the side up to the second wale survived, preserving floor timbers, half-frames, futtocks and top timbers, some of them complete (Fig. 7b). These provide clear evidence of the hull's cross-section. The frames amidships had almost flat undersides, and sharp turns at the bilge, but towards the bow and stern they gradually converged with an increasing angle of deadrise. The hull was thus almost box-shaped amidships, but as a whole it did not look like a barge (Figs 7c, 8, 9a).

Frame timbers were made from eight different tree species: Fagus orientalis, Pinus brutia, Quercus cerris, Quercus coccifera, Quercus petrae, Tamarix (X5), Ulmus campestris, Ziziphus spina christi (Fig. 27, and see below).

Floor timbers spanned the bottom of the hull from bilge to bilge, giving and maintaining the hull's shape (for example E24a, Fig. 9b). Futtocks were placed at the turn of the bilge, touching but not connected to the ends of the floor timbers (Fig. 9c). South-east of floor timber and futtock E24a, a curved timber (futtock?) shaped to match the turn of the bilge, was nailed to both the floor timber and the futtock.

Half-frames were each made of a single naturally curved timber, placed with one end on or near the keel, the other forming the turn of the bilge—the chine strake shaping and maintaining this vulnerable area of the hull (Figs 9d, 10). The futtocks continued the half-frames upwards, but were not connected to them. The general framing pattern was of alternating floor timbers and pairs of half-frames, with futtocks and top timbers. Exceptionally at the mast-step area, between E16 and E20, six of seven framing timbers were floor timbers, and only one was a half-frame (E18a).

Most, but not all, floor timbers were nailed to the keel by a single iron nail (Fig. 2a). Two adjacent half-frames were scarfed together (Fig. 10c) and nailed from the side by an iron nail, generally above the line of the keel. The majority of half-frames were fixed to the keel by one iron nail each.

Planks were connected from the outside of the frames, generally by two nails per plank per frame. Thus, external frame surfaces had much evidence of nails. Ceiling planks were connected by iron nails to the inside surfaces of the frames. As not all ceiling planks were connected to the frames, and they were attached with fewer nails, there were many fewer nails on the internal surfaces of the frames.

Framing timbers were smooth on their underside with no recesses cut to fit on the keel. Limber holes were evident 60 mm (on average) from the keel, one on either side above the garboards (Fig. 11). Floor timbers thus had two limber holes cut in their undersides, while half-frames generally had one limber hole. Limber holes varied in width between 20 and 50 mm, 32 mm on average, and depth between 15 and 45 mm, 25 mm on average. Half the limber holes were rectangular, and half were semi-ellipsoidal. In five frames (floor timbers and half-frames) a third limber hole was found further from the keel (Figs 2a, 11b). There was no alignment between the extra limber holes. A possible explanation of their existence might be the use of prefabricated components, or a secondary use.

The average frame dimensions appear in Table 1.

Table 1. Average frame dimensions (mm)
 Floor timbers (mm)Half-frames (mm)Futtocks and top timbers (mm)
Sided908575
Moulded12010485
Room and space240

Planking (Figs 12-17)

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Figure 12. a) Sections of the first two strakes on the south-western side (SW1, SW2), and the north-eastern side (SE1, SE2), taken to the laboratory. Note their narrowing and thinning, and the scorch marks (A. Gary, S. Haad); b) Sections of the strakes SE3, SE4, SE7, SE9 of the north-eastern side taken to the laboratory (A. Gary, S. Haad)

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Figure 13. Planking cross-section amidships near Frame E20 (the remains of SE19 and wale 2 were retrieved from the sea before this was drawn). (C. Brandon)

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Figure 14. a) The end of the chine strake at the south-east: note half-frame E2 (S. Breitstein); b) The section of the chine strake taken to the laboratory. (A. Gary, S. Haad)

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Figure 15. a) Wale 1. (S. Breitstein); b) The section of Wale 1 that was transferred to the laboratory. (A. Gary, S. Haad)

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Figure 16. a) Planking butt joint at frame station at the south-west: Note nail remains. (S. Breitstein); b) Planking butt joint on strake SE15 at the north-east. (S. Breitstein); c) Butt joint in strake SE15, which was transferred to the laboratory. (A. Gary, S. Haad)

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Figure 17. Garboard shaping and its attachments to the endpost (A. Gary, S. Haad)

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Sections of 29 strakes made of Cupressus sempervirens survived. About the mid-section of the hull there were the remains of sections of nine strakes on the south-western side of the hull (SW1–garboard to SW9, Fig. 2), and 20 on the north-eastern side (SE1–garboard to SE20). The plank remains on the south-western side of the hull were in a poor state of preservation, and infected by Teredo navalis. Sections of the two first strakes on the south-western side of the hull (SW1, SW2) were studied in the laboratory (Fig. 12a), and the other strakes on this side were studied under water. The strakes on the north-eastern side of the hull were in a good state of preservation (except for the second wale, SE20, and strake SE19 beneath it). The planks which were part of the retrieved section were studied thoroughly in the laboratory (Fig. 12b). The rest of the planks on this side were studied under water in situ.

Planks were attached to the frames by iron nails. With exceptions (see below), each plank was connected to each frame by two nails.

The widths of the plank remains on the south-western side varied between 72 and 190 mm, averaging 130 mm; their thicknesses varied between 20 and 33 mm, 25 mm on average.

In the centre of the hull, the bottom on the north-eastern side was composed of 12 strakes, SE1–SE12 (Fig. 13). The chine strake, which created the turn of the bilge, formed the 13th strake (SE13) (Fig. 14a). As a result of the narrowing of the hull near its south-eastern end, there were only eight strakes at the bottom, the chine strake being the ninth. The chine strake was made of a half-log, on average 143 mm wide and 80 mm thick. Its upper and lower surfaces were worked flat to fit the planks (Fig. 14b). Above it, the strakes (SE14–SE20) changed attitude from horizontal over the bottom to a steeper angle. The first wale (SE18), was made of a half-log, averaging 220 mm wide and 102 mm thick (Fig. 15). Nails were driven from the inside into the flat (inboard) surface of this wale, and did not penetrate its entire thickness. This may be evidence for the installation of this wale after the control frames, but before the other frames (Steffy, 2004: 155–161); a technique for shaping frames (McGrail, 2008: 624). Above it was an additional strake in a poor state of preservation (SE19), and above this was the second wale (SE20), also made of a half-log, averaging 200 mm wide and 70 mm thick. Wale 2 was almost detached and heavily damaged by Teredo navalis. Similarly to wale 1, it was shaped above and below to fit the adjacent planking. Where visible, it was found that wale 2 was connected to each frame by a single iron nail from the outside. The widths of the plank remains on the north-eastern side of the hull varied from 70 mm to 206 mm, 131 mm on average; and their thickness varied between 23 and 31 mm, 28 mm on average. Two planking butt joints were identified: one on the seventh strake (SW7) on the south-western side, where the two plank ends were nailed to frame W22/E19a, each plank by two nails (Fig. 16a). The second butt joint was on the north-eastern side, in SE15, under frame E21a (Figs 16b, 16c). Two tree species were identified from the two sides of the joint: Cupressus sempervirens on the south-east and Pinus brutia on the north-west. The two plank edges were nailed to frame E21a, each by three nails. The north-western plank of SE15, made of Pinus brutia, was the only plank made of this tree species (all other planks were made of Cupressus sempervirens). This may have been a repair.

The sections of the first two strakes on the south-western side of the hull (SW1, SW2), which were studied in the laboratory, narrowed and thinned towards the north-west (Fig. 12), and twisted about 5° and 3° respectively to fit into the rabbet in the endpost. The first two strakes on the north-eastern side (SE1, SE2), also narrowed and thinned towards the end of the hull (Figs 12, 17). SE 1 was twisted about 10°, and evidence of charring was found on its inner face. This charring was probably evidence of heating for bending and shaping the plank in three dimensions to fit the endpost (Kahanov et al., 2004: 117).

Strake sections SE4 and SE6 were found to be split, but not through their entire thickness. These splits had been repaired by caulking, and further reinforced by nails. In SE4 the remains of four nails were found in each frame station between E23 and E24a. In SE6 remains of four nails were found in frame station E22a, and three nails were found in frame stations E23 and E23a.

No edge fastener of any type (mortises, tenons, dowels or coaks) was found in plank edges. Caulking was found in planking seams.

A summary of plank dimensions appears in Table 2. Calculations of minimum, maximum and average plank dimensions exclude the wales and the chine strake.

Table 2. Plank dimensions
 Width (mm)Thickness (mm)
MinimumMaximumAverageMinimumMaximumAverage
Planks on south-western side72190130203325
Planks on north-eastern side70206131233128
All planking70206131203327
Chine strake140150143609580
Wale 121022522098105102
Wale 2160210200608070

Central longitudinal timber (Figs 2, 18)

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Figure 18. a) The north-western end of the shipwreck: Note the central longitudinal timber. (S. Breitstein); b) The central longitudinal timber. (A. Gary, S. Haad, A. Shalom)

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The entire length, 2.55 m, of a central longitudinal timber of Quercus coccifera was found intact at the north-western end of the hull. It spanned the distance from the endpost to frame E24a/W31, where it ended unbroken. The central longitudinal timber (CLT) was recessed along its underside to fit framing timbers, but only for six of the ten frame stations over which it extended. In the other four frame stations the underside of the CLT was not shaped to fit the frames and just touched them. It was bolted at one frame (E28).

The CLT was between 140 and 180 mm sided, averaging 150 mm. At the north-western end it was 180 mm moulded, tapering to 100 mm at its south-eastern end. It was attached to the longitudinal spine of the hull by five long nails (bolts?), driven from its upper surface, penetrating its entire thickness into the keel or the endpost. Three of these nails spanned the gap between the lower surface of the CLT and the keel or endpost, without penetrating the frames. A rectangular recess, 45 × 35 × 15 mm, was found on its upper surface.

At frame station E32, two half-frames, overlapping by 170 mm, were installed. Recesses in the underside of the CLT were shaped to fit each of the half-frames. The north-eastern half-frame at frame station E32 was nailed to the endpost, and then connected to the CLT installed above it. The south-western half-frame was not nailed to the endpost, but only to the CLT, by a nail that was driven from its underside and penetrated its entire thickness into the CLT from below. Thus, these two timbers must have been connected together beforehand, and then installed as a single unit. The CLT touched the upper side of the endpost (Fig. 6). As neither the endpost nor the keel were fully accessible at this location, it is impossible to know how they were connected. However, where both the CLT and the endpost were visible, the remains of one nail (bolt?), one of the five nails in the CLT mentioned above, connected them together.

Sister-keelsons (Figs 2, 19, 20)

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Figure 19. The north-western area of the shipwreck. Note the sister-keelsons and the central longitudinal timber. (S. Breitstein)

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Figure 20. Sections of the sister-keelsons as documented in the laboratory. (A. Gary, S. Haad)

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Two sister-keelsons made of half-logs of Cupressus sempervirens were installed about 250 mm apart, one on either side of the central axis of the hull. At the north-western ends they rested on either side of the CLT, overlapping it by about 1 m: the north-eastern sister-keelsons (SKNE) from about frame station E28; and the south-western sister-keelsons (SKSW) from about frame station W36/E26a. The gap between the ceiling strakes and nail remains on the upper surface of the frames indicates that the sister-keelsons probably continued the entire length of the hull; however, wood remains survived only at the north-western side. Both timbers were sawn and worked flat on their under and inner sides to fit over the frames and match the CLT. They were left almost in their natural half-log shape on their upper and external sides. Remains of four rectangular recesses were found in the upper surface of the SKSW, averaging 80 × 70 × 20 mm. Remains of two rectangular recesses were found in the SKNE, averaging 60 × 50 × 10 mm. All recesses contained the remains of one or two nails. Altogether 22 nails were found in the SKSW, and six in the SKNE, connecting them to the frames. They were not nailed to the CLT. The space between the sister-keelsons about midships was probably partly occupied by the missing mast-step.

The dimensions of the sister-keelsons are presented in Table 3.

Table 3. Sister-keelson dimensions
 Extant length (m)Width (mm)Thickness (mm)
MinimumMaximumAverageMinimumMaximumAverage
North-eastern sister-keelson1.3790125110759080
South-western sister-keelson2.78313011080120100

Ceiling (Figs 21-26)

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Figure 21. The ceiling planking. (C. Brandon, S. Haad, N. Yoselevitch)

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Figure 22. The shipwreck from the inside, view to the north-west. Note the ceiling planking. (S. Breitstein)

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Figure 23. The section of the foot wale—C9, which was retrieved, as recorded in the laboratory. (S. Haad)

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Figure 24. The largest ceiling plank—C11, view to the north-west of the north-eastern side. (S. Breitstein)

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Figure 25. a) The clamp. (S. Breitstein); b) The section of the clamp studied in the laboratory. (S. Haad)

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Figure 26. The shipwreck from the inside, view to the north-east. Note the ceiling plank, C2 retrieved for dating by wiggle-matching, and the crutch. (S. Breitstein)

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Figure 27. Tree species. (Identification N. Liphschitz, drawing S. Haad)

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Twenty-one ceiling strakes survived, all of Pinus brutia: nine on the south-western side were labelled CA–CI; CA being next to the SKSW; 12 on the north-eastern side of the keel were labelled C1–C11; C1 being next to the SKNE. The ceiling planks on the south-west (CA–CI), survived only in the north-western part of the shipwreck. The ceiling planks on the north-eastern side (C1–C11) survived along the entire length of the shipwreck. Nine of them were laid on the frames at the bottom of the hull, and three above the turn of the bilge, on the inside of the hull. The ceiling planking converged both to the south-east and to the north-west, using drop strakes (C2, C4, C6, C8, C9).

The ceiling planks were laid above the floor timbers and half-frames, but not all were attached to them. Generally they alternated: a long plank attached by iron nails to the frame beneath (C3, C5, C7, C9 on the north-eastern side, CC, CE, CG, CI on the south-western side), and several short planks that generally were not attached to frames, but simply laid on them (C1, C2, C4, C6, C8 on the north-eastern side, CA, CB, CD, CF, CH on the south-western side). It seems that the shipwright first installed several long ceiling planks (C3, C5, C7, C9, C11, CC, CE, CG, CI), and later filled the gaps between them with shorter ceiling planks. The ceiling planks were not connected to each other. The nine ceiling strakes on the south-western side of the keel, CA–CI, were laid horizontally above the frames, and survived in varying lengths from 2.4 m (CH) to 4.4 m (CA). Their widths varied from 35 to 314 mm, 162 mm on average; and their thicknesses varied between 15 and 30 mm, 22 mm on average. Ceiling strake CC had a diagonal joint at its north-western end. The planks on either side of the joint were not connected to each other, but were fixed separately from both sides to the frames beneath with iron nails.

CI was a 60-mm-thick foot wale. It was the outermost plank surviving on this side of the hull, and formed the turn of the bilge on the south-western side. Unfortunately, this is exactly where this side was broken (the rest of this side of the hull can be extrapolated based on the other side, which survived). CI was about twice the thickness of other ceiling planks. It was heavily damaged by Teredo navalis.

From the north-east, C1–C9 were also laid horizontally above the frames. North-west of the crutch, their widths varied from 70 to 370 mm, 183 mm on average; and their thickness varied between 20 and 42 mm, 24 mm on average. South-east of the crutch, they had the same thicknesses, but they narrowed towards the south-eastern end, using drop strakes, and their widths varied from 60 to 90 mm. Some survived to a length of 3 m (C1), and some to 8.5 m (C5). C9, similarly to CI, was a foot wale (Fig. 23). It was installed on the frames at the turn of the bilge as the last ceiling plank belonging to the bottom, parallel to the chine strake (SE13) on the outside. C9 was 60 mm thick, about twice the thickness of the ceiling planking. While this foot wale was in the horizontal plane, the chine strake was at an angle of 45°–65°.

Ceiling strakes C10 and C11 were parallel to the ship's side rather than to the bottom. C10 was the first ceiling strake parallel to the side of the hull, averaging 170 mm wide. Above it was C11, the largest ceiling plank, which measured a maximum 300 mm wide and 40 mm thick (Fig. 24). It had a diagonal joint, south-east of the crutch. Its two planks were not connected to each other, but were connected separately by iron nails to the corresponding adjacent frames.

The 12th and uppermost ceiling strake was a clamp (Fig. 25). It was 60 mm thick, about twice the thickness of the ceiling planking, and was nailed to the frames from the inside, similarly to the foot wales. It was parallel to the first wale, thus together with it giving considerable longitudinal strength to the hull.

The ceiling planking on the south-west converged towards the north-west, using the short filling planks as drop strakes (CB, CD). One plank of ceiling strake C2 (Fig. 26), the nearest to the crutch from the north-west, was retrieved for dendrochronology and wiggle-matching analysis, as it was particularly wide and had many tree rings. It was not connected to the frames, and was apparently used as a limber board, giving easy access to the bilge below. It was 590 mm long, 300 mm wide and 25 mm thick.

A rectangular slot 40 × 50 mm was located in ceiling plank C3, nearly at its longitudinal centre, and penetrated its entire thickness.

Dimensions of ceiling planks appear in Table 4. Average widths and thicknesses do not include the foot wales and the clamp.

Table 4. Dimensions of ceiling planks
Ceiling planksWidth (mm)Thickness (mm)
MinimumMaximumAverageMinimumMaximumAverage
All (excluding foot wales and clamp)35370169154223
South-western (CA–CH)35314162153022
North-eastern (C1–C11), except foot wale (C9) and clamp70370183204224
Foot wale (CI)100115110507560
Foot wale (C9)92140113587860
Clamp (C12)120145130356260

Mast-step assemblage (crutch) (Figs 2, 26)

A timber 1.22 × 0.35 × 0.07 m, lying at 90° to the hull's longitudinal axis, was found at the approximate centre of the shipwreck, in the north-eastern part of the hull. It had a rectangular slot measuring 80 × 160 mm, which penetrated its entire thickness. This timber was probably one of the mast-step crutches. Based on parallel evidence from Tantura F and St Gervais II, the mast-step was fitted longitudinally between the sister-keelsons (Barkai and Kahanov, 2007: 24, 29, figs 1, 2, 7, 8, 9; Jézégou, 1983: 38–39, pls 27–29, 42). In Tantura F the mast-step assemblage was braced perpendicularly from the sides. The timber in Dor 2001/1 is apparently one of two similar timbers, only one of which survived.

Tree species

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References

Wood samples were taken from almost all hull components for species identification, which was conducted by Prof. Liphschitz of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University (Liphschitz, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006). The hull components were constructed from nine different tree species (Fig. 27, Tables 5, 6).

Table 5. Tree species and hull components
 Cupressus sempervirensFagus orientalisPinus brutiaQuercus cerrisQuercus cocciferaQuercus petraeaTamarix X5Ulmus campestrisZiziphus spina christi
Keel++
Cleat in keel+
False keel+
Endpost +
False endpost+
Frames++++++++
Planks (including chine and two wales)++
Ceiling (including foot wales and clamp)+
CLT+
Sister keelsons+
Crutch+
Table 6. Geographical distribution of the tree species used in the hull
 Cupressus sempervirensFagus orientalisPinus brutiaQuercus cerrisQuercus cocciferaQuercus petraeaTamarix X5Ulmus campestrisZiziphus spina christi
Balkans+++++
Caucasus+++
Eastern Aegean islands++++++++
Egypt?+
Greece (mainland)+++++
Levant (Syria, Lebanon and Israel)++++++
Mediterranean Europe+++++
Turkey++++++++
Other++++?+

The use of hard woods in the framing is significant: however, the use of eight different species needs investigation. Similarly worth noting is the use of Cupressus sempervirens in all hull planking and the keel, chine strake and wales, and the use of Pinus brutia only in the ceiling planking, including the foot wales and the clamp, and in a single plank repair (SE15).

The geographical distribution of the tree species used in the hull is shown in Table 6 (based on Davis, 1982; Liphschitz, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006). Most of the tree species grew in the eastern Aegean islands, and it is possible that the Dor 2001/1 could have been built in a shipyard there. Fagus orientalis and Ziziphus spina christi would have had to be imported to this region, but it is more likely that another tree species would have been used. Apart from Ziziphus spina christi, all the tree species grew in Turkey. Ziziphus spina christi, Tamarix (X5), Pinus brutia (which was used in all ceiling planking) and Cupressus sempervirens (from which all the planking was made) grew in the Levant. The import of timbers to shipyards is well known from Antiquity, specifically to this region (Meiggs, 1982: Ch. 12, 346; Ward, 2009). Thus, alternatively, it is possible that the hull was built in the Levant. This idea can be supported by the existence of components made of timbers in secondary use.

Fastenings

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References

Iron nails

Iron fasteners were the only functional elements that held components together in this hull, and there was no use of wood-joints. Nailing and bolting were both faster and easier than the more complex wood-joining techniques, and greatly simplified the construction process. Planks were made into strakes using simple butt joints attached with nails at frame stations. Another aspect is the much cheaper maintenance and repair of a nail-fastened hull, compared to one constructed with edge-joined planking.

Several types of nails were found in the shipwreck. Hardly any original metal survived: generally, the nail remains were large concretions, and once broken, a black paste appeared inside. This phenomenon is well known from other underwater sites, and is the result of biological and chemical reactions between iron and the environmental conditions under water. However, chemical analysis of a few metal remains indicated an alloy containing 90–93% iron (S. Eisenberg, pers. comm.). The absence of original iron and the existence of the black paste required measurements to be based, not on the original nails, but on evidence such as nail holes after the concretion and the black substance had been removed.

Bolts

In the sections of the keel and the CLT analysed in the laboratory, evidence of six similar bolts was identified (Figs 3, 18). Six recesses with a diameter of 49 mm, sunk 17 mm deep into the surface, were identified. In the centre of each of these recesses, a hole was drilled, about 23 mm in diameter, which penetrated the entire thickness of the timbers. At their exit, these holes were about 19 mm in diameter. In the keel timbers these holes were drilled from below. One was located at the scarf area between the two keel members. In the CLT two holes were drilled from above. The two bolts, connecting the CLT with the keel or the endpost, spanned the space between the frames (a third nail or bolt also spanned this space, but penetrated the CLT from the side, not from above), and were about 420 mm long (160 mm CLT moulded + 110 mm average frame moulded + 150 mm average keel moulded).

The unused bolt-hole found under a wooden cover at the north-western end of the keel section in the laboratory, penetrated the entire thickness of the keel, and had a square cross-section, 11 mm at the upper end, and 6.5 mm where it exited the underside.

Frame–keel nails (Figs 28, 29)

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Figure 28. Frames nailed to the keel in the south-eastern area of the shipwreck. (S. Breitstein)

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Figure 29. Floor timber E23a. Note the nail driven from below at the centre. (A. Gary, S. Haad)

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Evidence of iron nails connecting frames to the keel exists at almost all points where frames crossed the keel (Figs 2a, 28). The nails connecting frame timbers to the keel had a square cross-section and were tapered. On the upper surface of the frames, near their heads they were on average 12 × 12 mm, and where they entered the keel 7.5 × 7.5 mm.

Assuming these nails penetrated the entire thickness of the frames (average 110 mm), and about ⅔ of the keel thickness (average 150 mm); their length can be estimated at about 210 mm.

Seven frames were not nailed to the keel (E18, E20, E22, E22a, E24, and E29). Four of these were studied in the laboratory (Figs 2a, 3c). Generally, nails were driven from the upper surface of the frames downwards into the keel. However, the opposite was found in floor timber E23a, which was examined in the laboratory, where the nail was driven from the underside of the keel, fully penetrated it, and pierced the frame from below for about half of its thickness (Fig. 29).

Plank–frame nails

Planks were connected to the frames from the outside by iron nails, after the frames were attached to the keel (except for the frames mentioned above that were not connected to the keel). Generally, each plank was connected to each frame by two nails, about 2–3 cm from the plank edge (Fig. 16). The nails were driven from the outside, had round heads and a rectangular, tapered cross-section. Based on 300 measurements, the average dimensions of the nails were: head diameter 16 mm, cross-section near the head 7.3 mm, cross-section at the inner face of the planks 6.2 mm, and where measurements were accessible inside the frames, a cross-section of 4 mm. Their average length can be estimated at about 80 mm, based on the average thickness of the planks (27 mm), and double that thickness into the frames.

In some cases more nails were found connecting a plank to a frame. However, this was where planks were split, and additional reinforcement was required. Only one nail per plank per frame was used in the eighth strake on the south-western side (SW8), which was the narrowest plank on this side, averaging 80 mm. The nails were at the centre of this board, about 40 mm from the edges. In SE10, which was maximum 180 mm wide, three nails were found connecting it to frame E24. The strake section SE11, which was analysed in the laboratory, was a drop strake. It was connected by three nails to frame E23, by two nails to frames E23a and E24, and by one nail to frame E24a. One nail at each frame station was found in the section of the chine strake that was examined in the laboratory. Exceptionally, it was nailed to frame E22 by two nails. The nails were driven from the outside, similarly to the planking. These nails had a square cross-section averaging 10 mm near their heads, and 6.7 mm at the inner side of the chine strake, where they penetrated the frames. Their length can be estimated at about 150 mm (80 mm average chine strake thickness + ⅔ average frame thickness of 110 mm).

The nails connecting the frames and wale 1, driven from the inside of the hull, penetrated the entire thickness of the frames, and pierced about half the thickness of the wale. The nails that connected wale 2 to the frames were inserted from the outside. They penetrated the full thickness of the wale, entered the frames, but did not pass right through them. These nails had a square cross-section, about 12 mm near their head, tapering to about 7 mm between the wales and the frames. Their lengths can be estimated at about 150 mm (110 mm average frame thickness + ½ thickness of wale 1 of 100 mm; 70 mm, average thickness of wale 2 + ⅔ average frame thickness of 110 mm).

Ceiling plank–frame nails

Generally, only the long ceiling planks were nailed to the frames, while the short ceiling planks were just laid on them. With some exceptions, the ceiling planks were connected to the frames by one iron nail, and in a few instances by two nails. The nails were driven from the upper surface of the planks into the frames, about 30 mm from the plank edge, without a clear pattern. The nails had a square cross-section, and tapered along their length. Their average dimensions, based on 80 nails measured, were: head diameter 16 mm, cross-section near the head 7.4 mm, and cross-section inside the frame where accessible, 5.5 mm. Their length can be estimated at about 70 mm, based on average ceiling plank thickness (23 mm), and penetrating double that thickness into the frames.

Tool marks

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References

Carpenter's tool marks were visible on many components (see for example Figs 3b, 3c, 9c, 12, 17, 23). They were recorded under water and thoroughly studied in the components retrieved for study in the laboratory. The impression is that minimal work was invested, with considerable use of half-logs. Timbers were sawn, but were not planed or smoothed. Several types of saw marks were identified on many frames, planks, and ceiling planks. In some timbers hundreds of parallel saw lines were visible. In some places the saw marks were at a diagonal angle to the plank itself, in other places, mostly on the frames, which were made of hardwood, the saw marks were perpendicular. The space between the tooth-marks was 2–4 mm, and they were about 2 mm deep across the surface of the timbers.

Three cross-shaped (‘+’) signs (Fig. 4) were scribed in the south-western side of the keel, about 0.5 m inward from the notch along the keel between 1.65 and 1.75 m from the broken south-eastern end of the keel. Their average dimensions were 15 × 20 mm. Their purpose is not known; however, they perhaps marked a connection point (E. Maayan, pers. comm., 2012).

All limber holes that were studied in the laboratory seem to have been made by sawing at their edges and the fill being broken out by angling the saw. Several frames were sawn only on three sides, leaving the upper surface almost in its original shape. However, some chisel marks remained, apparently from removing the bark or other protuberances on the surface. Chisel marks were 20–30 mm wide.

Holes of several diameters were identified, made with augers or drill bits of various sizes. The shallow holes in the keel were 49 mm in diameter and 17 mm deep; and the 23 mm holes through the keel were made by an auger. The frames, wales and chine strake were drilled by a bit of slightly less than 10 mm in diameter. Planks and ceiling planks were drilled by a bit of slightly less than 7 mm diameter. The hole in the section of the keel that was studied in the laboratory, which was found covered, was 11 mm in diameter, which is different from diameters recorded in all other hull components. Perhaps this is another indication of the hole being drilled using a bit from a different tool kit, and the timber being reused.

Finds

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References

Building stones (Figs 30, 31)

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Figure 30. The shipwreck with the upper layer of the stones at the end of the second season. (C. Brandon, D. Gev, S. Haad)

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Figure 31. The stones in situ. (S. Breitstein)

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Altogether 96 building stones were found in the shipwreck-site, the majority in situ. At the north-western part of the shipwreck, 87 stones were found, stacked in two layers of three to seven adjacent rows. They were laid on the ceiling planking, which was partially protected by woven matting. Thus the ceiling planking was not accessible until the stones were removed. Following meticulous recording, by measuring, drawing and photographing the stones in situ, they were removed one by one, layer by layer. They were placed in a specially dug trench, 3 m west of the hull remains, about 2.80 m below sea-level, and covered with sand. An additional nine stones were found in the shipwreck-site, apparently not in their original locations. They were recorded, measured and removed to the same trench. Samples were taken from several stones, and two whole stones were retrieved for study in the laboratory. All the stones were slightly trapezoidal, apparently voussoirs of an arch, and were about the same size. Their average dimensions were: length 570 mm, height 180 mm, width at the wider side 280 mm, and 220 mm at the narrow side. The specific gravity was determined to be 2.1. Their average weight was about 54 kg, and their total weight was slightly more than 5 tonnes.

Petrographic analysis (by H. Mor, supervised by Y. Mart, N. Goldman, and A. Tsatskin, with the assistance of S. Katab) showed that the stones were biocalcarenite, locally known as kurkar (coarse calcareous sandstone). They contained abundant fine-grained quartz, foraminifera shells, and seaweed remains with carbonate fragments. These findings suggest that the stones were of local provenance, and not imported. They could have been brought from the nearby Habonim-Dor calcarenite ridge. The total weight of the stones found suggests they were part of the cargo. This cargo could also have served as ballast, although it would have made the ship stiff (Gillmer and Johnson, 1982: 146).

The shipping of construction materials (stone, marble) was common in the ancient world (Casson, 1995: 173; Fant, 2008: 121–135), and widespread in Late Antiquity (Leighton, 1972: 161–162; van Doorninck, 1972: 136–137; Ousterhout, 1999, 100–102; Morrisson and Sodini, 2002: 201–206). The kurkar quarries in the region of Dor were considered to be one of the main sources of livelihood of the Byzantine population of the site (Gibson et al., 1999: 72–73, 91–93, 104–106, 107–109; Safrai, 1994: 212–214, 422).

Matting (Fig. 32)

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Figure 32. a) The matting under water (S. Breitstein); b) The matting. (S. Haad)

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Several fragments of matting were found in the north-western part of the shipwreck, near the CLT and adjacent frames. They were found beneath the building stones, apparently to protect the ceiling planking. However, the matting was found only over an area of about 1 × 1 m, and most of the ceiling under the stones was found to be without matting.

Other than determining that it was made of broad leaves and gramineae, it was impossible to identify the species and origin (Liphschitz, 2002). A sample of the mat served also for 14C dating. Based on a few remains and photographs under water, the weaving pattern was identified as twill braid plaiting 2/2. This is a simple method of matting, and the most widespread (Adovasio, 1977: 99; Baginski and Shamir, 1998: 47–48; Shamir, 1999: 101; Shamir and Baginski, 2002: 253).

Ropes (Fig. 33)

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Figure 33. Rope: a) In situ (S. Breitstein); b) In laboratory (J. J. Gottlieb); c) Drawing of b (S. Haad); d) The rope construction (S. Haad)

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Three rope fragments were found. The longest, 300 mm, was found under the stones, and thus can be considered as being in situ. All rope finds were in a poor state of preservation. Although they were dated by 14C analysis, the material from which they were manufactured was not identified. This rope fragment was 35 mm in diameter, made of three Z-twisted strands, each 13 mm in diameter. Each strand was made of four S-twisted yarns, each 6 mm in diameter. Each yarn was made of two groups of fibres.

Pottery (Fig. 34)

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Figure 34. Examples of ceramics found in Dor 2001/1 site: African Red Slip Ware (1); Cypriote Red Slip Ware (2–5); Cooking pots and a lid, (6– 8); Strainer jug (9, 10). Local jars: Gaza jar (11–13); Bag-shaped jar (14–16); Grey bag-shaped jar (17, 18). Imported amphoras: Late Roman 1 amphora (Yassıada) (19–21). (R. Pollak)

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Figure 35. Reconstruction of Dor 2001/1. (A. Ben Zeev)

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The site was rich in Byzantine sherds, which were found mostly above the wreck, some above and between the stones, and very few within the hull. Most of these were severely damaged, many were found worn and with marine fouling, and a few have been partially restored. Although the majority of the sherds can be dated to the local Byzantine period (324–638 CE), pottery fragments dated between the Persian (538–332 BCE) and the Crusader (1099–1291 CE) periods were also found, sometimes in the same strata. Due to the nature of the lagoon, where the winter storms move pottery and stones very easily, it is not certain that the ceramic remains belong to this ship, and they cannot be considered unequivocally as in situ. Therefore out of the hundreds of sherds only the indicative were chosen for study, and only representative examples are shown here (Fig. 34).

The pottery assemblage is composed of amphoras and storage jars, cooking pots and tableware, including bowls of two types of high-quality tableware from the Late Roman–Byzantine periods, a continuation of the Terra Sigillata tradition.

The origins of the raw material of the ceramics were identified in the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus, and the Levant coast, mainly the southern coastal plains/western Shephelah (E. Buzaglo, supervised by Y. Goren, pers. comm. 2008). Most are dated to the Byzantine period, largely between the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 7th century CE. This ceramic assemblage could have been part of a ship's cargo, and for daily use on board. Whether these belonged to the original Dor 2001/1 ship is not known.

Dating

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References

Twelve 14C tests were carried out by traditional methods (by the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel: RT-4254, RT-4255, RT-4256, RT-4610, and RT-4611), and by AMS (by the Institute of Particle Physics of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich: ETH-25381, ETH-26367, ETH-28109, ETH-28110, ETH-29913, ETH-31268, and ETH-31269). The samples included short-lived organic material such as rope and matting. The 14C dates were between 240 and 540 CE (1σ), and between 220 and 580 CE (2σ). The calibrated ranges were obtained using OxCal 3.10 (Bronk Ramsey, 2005), based on the calibration curve of Reimer et al. (2004).

The ceramic analysis reinforces the 14C results, although with reservations, as it ranges between the 5th and the 7th centuries CE. Wiggle-matching conducted on the widest ceiling planks (C2, by S. Manning and B. Lorentzen, of the Tree-Ring Laboratory at Cornell University, Ithaca NY), provided a terminus post quem date of 507–527 CE (1σ) and 494–535 CE (2σ). Thus, it can be reliably suggested that Dor 2001/1 sailed and was wrecked about the first third of the 6th century CE.

Reconstruction (Fig. 35)

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References

The archaeological evidence at hand is a good basis for reconstruction. The total length of the archaeological spine of the hull is 11.1 m (Figs 2a, 3a). The estimated missing section (south-east) of the horizontal timber(s) of the longitudinal spine is about 1.5–2 m. At the north-west is the beginning of one endpost, with its upward curvature.

The surviving hull remains are 4.5 m wide, including a significant section of the bottom (Fig. 13). There is abundant information from one side (north-east) of the ship, up to the second wale, including the turn of the bilge, which is a hard chine (Figs 8, 9d, 10a, 10b, 14a, 15a). The vertical height of the upper edge of the second wale above the inner (upper) surface of the bottom planking is about 1 m (Fig. 13 and Table 2). There is evidence of a series of sequential frames from the central area of the shipwreck, converging towards the north-west, maintaining their original shapes (Figs 7a, 7b, 9a).

No analytical solution for the reconstruction exists, and its extrapolation is based on trial and error. The suggested reconstruction of the hull is only one of the solutions that can be tested in future research. It is based on the archaeological evidence, and the following working hypotheses: the hull converged at both ends (bow and stern); the total depth of the hull proposed by the naval engineers of the Israel Ministry of Transport, following the 1 m of surviving remains, was 2.5 m; and the ratio between the draught and freeboard at full load was 3:2 (McGrail 1987: 13; Kahanov et al., 2008: 396). The slight change in the angle of the upper part of the sides has no archaeological basis. However, the angle at which the side flared outwards near frame E-20 was about 120° (Fig. 13). The angle of the side of the Serçe Limanı shipwreck was about 110° (Steffy 2004: 156–158). The angles at which the sides of fluvial vessels flared outwards was from about vertical to about 120° (for example de Weerd 1988: 45, 47; Rieth 2008: 63), but they were much lower. Thus the side of Dor 2001/1 had to be angled slightly inwards. From this and for aesthetic reasons, an inward turn of the side is suggested.

Based on the above, combined with a reasonable extrapolation, the proposed reconstructed hull lines appear in Figure 35.

The results are a hull 16.9 m long (from the inside of the endposts), 5.4 m wide (from the inside of the planking), and 2.5 m deep amidships. The suggested reconstruction of the hull was examined by Dr D. Livne, Director, and L. Tendler, Chief Engineer, of the Division of Engineering and Operation of the Administration of Shipping and Ports, Israel Ministry of Transport, Haifa (The tests were based on Register Holland. Shipping Classification Society, Rules for Seagoing Sailing Vessels with a Length between 12–40 Mtrs Lpp up to 36 Passengers, Class Certificate Z+, 1992). The relevant estimated weights of the ship were as follows: hull, 12.5 tonnes; crew, water, provisions, mast, rudders, sails and rigging, etc., 3 tonnes. At full load the ship had a draught of 1.5 m and a freeboard of 1 m amidships. This ship had a displacement of about 50 tonnes, which means it could have carried about 35 tonnes of cargo. In this light the purpose of the stones can be reconsidered, as their weight is relatively small. However, their being cargo and also serving as ballast seems to be most likely.

Only a clue exists as to the location of the mast-step, about 6.5 m from the north-western end of the shipwreck, and nothing as to the sail. The wetted area of the proposed reconstructed hull of Dor 2001/1, at a draught of 1.5 m is 73 m2. It is suggested that Dor 2001/1 carried one lateen sail, of area about 73 m2 (Winters, 1994 pers. comm.; Matthews, 2004: 179–185; Ben Zeev et al., 2009: 68). In a test performed to check stability in a seaway, a sail of similar area was employed. This vessel, under full sail in a beam wind, was calculated to have been capable of weathering a Fresh Breeze (Beaufort No. 5, 21 knots), gusting to a Strong Breeze (Beaufort No. 6, 27 knots), with a wave height of 1.2–2.4 m (Beaufort Sea Disturbance No. 4). Fully loaded, it could heel up to 23°, before water started to enter. On the basis of waterline length, the accepted rule of thumb [1.34√(length of waterline in feet = 48 ft)] would give a maximum hull speed of about 9 knots (Gillmer and Johnson, 1982: 202–209).

Discussion

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References

This shipwreck is dated to the first third of the 6th century CE. It demonstrates several significant construction features: the majority of the frames nailed to the keel; the planks nailed to the frames by small iron nails; the garboards not connected to the keel; plank butt joints at frame stations; seam caulking; and no planking edge-fasteners. Thus this hull was based on frames, and constructed frame-first. Floor timbers shaped and strengthened the bottom of the hull, while half-frames formed the vulnerable turn of the bilge. In this hull the turn of the bilge was actually hard chine. Its integrity was based on the half-frames, which were made from naturally curved, single pieces of hardwood. With this framing system, frames preceded planks in the construction sequence at least as far up the sides as the ends of the half-frames. Futtocks, extending the floor timbers and the half-frames, and top timbers were the basis for the upper planking. The top timbers could have been supported by existing frames (floor timbers or half-frames), or by existing planks, and extended upwards all along the sides as the basis for completing the planking. Of course, shores and battens, or even wales (such as wale 1), could have been used as supports for installing the frames.

This hull construction demonstrates an innovative building technique in the Mediterranean, and therefore warrants special attention. It is one of the two oldest eastern Mediterranean archaeological examples of a frame/skeleton hull (the other is Tantura A [Kahanov et al., 2004: 113–118]). As the first, it establishes a construction tradition of hulls in the eastern Mediterranean, which were built on frames, both in concept and process (Pomey et al., 2012: 262, 296, 303 [Root 4], 308).

The keel and false keel were the basis of the hull, but it required longitudinal strengthening. The longitudinal members: wales, chine strake, foot wales, sister-keelsons and the clamp, also contributed to its lengthwise integrity. The long ceiling planks nailed to the frames supported them, and also strengthened the hull longitudinally. This hull is one of several without a large full-length keelson, but rather having a short central longitudinal timber (others, for example, are St Gervais and Tantura F: Jézégou, 1983: 38, 39. pls 8, 9; Barkai and Kahanov, 2007: 24, 25, figs 1, 2, 8, 9). Perhaps it was not strong enough, and the keel broke at some time. It had been repaired, as can be deduced from the section of the keel that was studied in the laboratory, and the greater thickness of the false keel at this location. Apparently this part of the keel was a reused timber. It was connected from below, and strengthened at each side by reinforcing boards, of which the only evidence is nail holes in the sides of the keel. Not all the frames were connected to this keel section. That it was a reused timber is supported by the unused bolt-hole of an exceptional diameter that was found in it.

The hull had an interesting cross-section: flat frames about midships, a hard chine, and straight sides. This initiated an idea by Rieth and Basch; that this hull was built in protected waters, maybe following a riverine shipbuilding tradition. This shipbuilding tradition might have originated in the Nile region (Basch, 2008; Rieth, 2008; Pomey et al., 2012: 303). Dor 2001/1 can be regarded as the archetype of a family of ships with similar geometrical hull-shapes. However, the shipyard was not necessarily located in the area of the source of the construction tradition. As has been well documented since Antiquity, timber could have been transported to the shipyard, which could have been located anywhere in the eastern Mediterranean.

At later stages and periods, ships of the same original tradition could have been built and developed in different ways, perhaps keeping some original characteristics, three of which (flat frames, hard chine, and straight sides) were evident in Dor 2001/1 (Kahanov, 2011).

Conclusions

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References

The Dor 2001/1 hull was built based on frames, both in concept and in the process of construction, as early as the first third of the 6th century CE. Thus it is one of the earliest hulls built in this innovative method in the Mediterranean. It precedes the traditional frame-built method, exemplified by the Serçe Limanı shipwreck, by about 500 years (Steffy, 1994: 83–85).

The hull had flat frames amidships, a hard chine, and straight sides, that may perhaps stem from a protected waters/riverine construction tradition, possibly originating in the Nile area. Dor 2001/1 is the first example found of this kind, and thus serves as an archetype and key in analysing the cross-section geometry of hulls.

On her last voyage she was delivering construction stones from the Dor area to an unknown destination, maybe as part of the church-building enterprise originated by the Byzantine Emperor (Justinian I) throughout the eastern Mediterranean.

Acknowledgements

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References

This research was partially supported by the Israel Science Foundation, the Hecht Trust, a Sir Maurice Hatter Fellowship for Maritime Studies, and the Israel Antiquities Authority. Thanks are due to John Tresman for the English editing, and to the anonymous reviewer for his constructive comments.

References

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  2. Abstract
  3. The hull (Fig. )
  4. Tree species
  5. Fastenings
  6. Tool marks
  7. Finds
  8. Dating
  9. Reconstruction (Fig. )
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusions
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. References
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