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Keywords:

  • obelisk;
  • double-ship;
  • Portus;
  • Rome

The Egyptians transported obelisks to Alexandria for the last time shortly before 30 BC. The Romans learned from them after their annexation of Egypt in that year. In 13/12 BC two obelisks were transported from Heliopolis to Alexandria under Roman supervision. The hypothesis put forward is that in the light of this experience the Romans constructed a special sea-going version of the Nile vessels for onward transport to Rome—a double-ship with three hulls. © 2000 The Nautical Archaeology Society