An ancient mariner’s tale

Michael J Curtis - PhD Student

An ancient mariner’s tale

Today we hear a lot about the need to patrol our territorial waters.  The same could have been said if you had lived on Crete in Classical and Hellenistic times as both archaeological and epigraphical evidence attests.

Photographed earlier in 2020, the shipsheds of the ancient city of Rhithymna, modern Rethymno, on the northern coast of Crete, lie in the shelter of the Venetian fortress. The site is a popular spot for sunbathing, picnics, and swimming in the sheltered, shallow waters, but in times past this was where naval patrol vessels were hauled out of the water and stored, probably with a timber superstructure for added protection.

Shipsheds are important evidence of ancient state-run maritime activity that is still practiced today.