Istanbul and Bodrum, Turkey
Summer 2011

Hi Brian,
No worries for yesterday. I enjoyed learning about what you are doing. It’s a very interesting project.

I will attempt to answer your questions in list form in order to avoid confusion in my own mind and keep me on track LOL.

1. Is this article’s claim about these boats in fact being the successors of ancient hull shapes and there geometry out of date given that it was published in 1964?
answer: somewhat yes. I don’t mean to be vague but the geometry is very similar as you are aware, but ,as we discussed, construction is very different. 

2. Had the shift from shell first to frame first construction yet been discovered?
answer: short answer…no. At that point, very little ship’s hull remains had been discovered, recovered, or studied. In 1964, Dr. Bass and his team were in their third year of excavations of the Yassi Ada 4th c. Roman wreck. I cannot say for certain, but I seriously doubt that they were close to even knowing that the shell-first construction style was a cultural tradition at that point. As far a discovery of the date of transition is concerned, that came much much later and in some circles is still debatable (some time between the 4th and 9th centuries, with the 7th c. being most popular at this point)

3. If not from an archaeological perspective would it be possible to make the claim laid out here about the form  regardless of the technology used to produce it?
answer: I do not believe so. For example… If you make a concrete boat to mimic the tirhandil, then it’s geometry is also the same, it’s function is the same, but it’s construction is very different (as well as the materials). There is likely a better analogy than this, but I think you will get my point. 

Then again, if the visible end product looks similar, then perhaps the argument holds water.

I hope this helps. Feel free to write again or stop by the institute. 

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