Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


24 November 2014

The Middle Minoan Ship Slipway at the Kommos Harbor

Joseph W. Shaw, Κommos Conservancy, 09-10-2014

The Middle Minoan Ship Slipway at the Kommos Harbor

In 1985, excavation below the Central Courts of Minoan Buildings T and AA, revealed a long (18.40 m) but narrow (1.40 m.), segment of slab pavement heading west, sloping down toward the sea. At the time, and later, in our Volume V (2006), we had also identified the MM I-IIA pavement as having served as a “walkway” of the type commonly encountered in the West Courts of Minoan Palaces. Some think such walkways were used for processions, appropriate for the palatial buildings at Kommos after MM IIA.

Since then, the writer had an opportunity to independently examine Minoan walkways, so that I realized that our “walkway” was certainly something else. This is because it differs from the usual “walkways” by having shallow gaps 0.15-0.20 m. wide, set every 2- 2.60 m. Into each gap was set something, most likely wooden, which had simply disappeared. Our thought, proposed here, is that wooden beams were set in the gaps, projecting up slightly above the stone slabs, and functioning as “sleepers” upon which ships could slide when being hauled up or down the slope of the shoreline.

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