The 7th International Symposium on Ship Construction in Antiquity was held between the 25th and the 30th of September 1999. The symposium took place in the vicinity of the village of Petalidi, Greece, near Pylos on the southern Peloponnese peninsula. Approximately 85 papers were presented covering a vast range of subjects, the largest number since the first symposium at Delfi in 1981. Although the focus was on ship construction in antiquity, related topics were also presented that included iconographic and historic analyses, trade, harbor installations and shipboard equipment. High standards of research were evident including, updated 'wet' information from the field. Among approximately 120 participants representing fifteen nations, twelve were from Israel, with the majority from the CMS. The following papers were presented by the Israeli delegation:
Elisha Linder posed a number of questions in the opening
session regarding: "The two 'so-called' Phoenician shipwrecks discovered
recently by Robert Ballard", and ignited a later debate. Eve Black
raised issues recently under discussion in Israel following the covering
over of the inner harbor at Caesarea, in her lecture: "From site to presentation
- for whom the nautical tradition?". Zaraza Friedman gave a talk
on several interesting finds from the sea entitled: "Lead weights of oars?
A case study". Ya'acov Sharvit and Ehud Galili revealed "New
finds from Israel: ancient ships and marine devices". Avner Raban
attended the podium three times, the first to analyze anchors identified
stratigraphically in Caesarea in his lecture: "Three-hole composite stone
anchors of the Middle Ages from Caesarea Maritima, Israel". Avner Raban
briefly related an experiment conducted by Nadav Sterlitz: "Tacking the
wind with a Bronze Age square rig: experimental sailing with a lower yard
- Minoan style". In the closing session, Avner Raban presented a summary
of underwater archaeology in Israel. Ya'acov Kahanov presented some results
from his research: "The sewing system in the Ma'agan Mikhael ship". Ezra
Marcus discussed sailing in antiquity: "Evidence for prehistoric seafaring
along the southern Levantine coast". Nadav Kashtan presented his research
topic: "Maritime activity of Jews in the Eastern Mediterranean during the
Hellenistic and Roman periods". Sarah Arenson followed with: "Jewish seafaring
in the Mediterranean in the medieval period". Michal Artzy gave an iconographic
analysis: "Third millennium boat graffito from Megiddo?" Aaron Brody discussed
his dissertation: "The patron deities of Cana'anite and Phoenician seafarers".
A number of topics related to Israeli finds and research conducted in Israel together with the CMS were presented. Chris Brandon gave a paper on Caesarea: "Recent work at Caesarea Maritima". Jerome Hall spoke about his work on the Kinneret Boat: "The 1st century CE boat from Lake Kinneret". Dillon Gorham reported on preliminary research on finds from Turkey and Tantura: "The palynological and archaeological studies of 9th century AD shipwrecks in Turkey and Israel: two projects from the Institute of Nautical Archaeology".
The Hellenic Institute for the Preservation of Nautical Tradition directed by its president Harry Tzalas together with Catherina Delaporta, the director of the Department of Underwater Antiquities of the Greek Ministry of Culture, very successfully organized the symposium.
All the participants are most grateful to the organizers for their warm hospitality, generosity and personal attention, and are looking forward to the eighth symposium.